Roland Schwingel, Head of Development at OneVision Software, gives in the following interview insights into the new product category "Automation Suites". The Suites enable printers to automate not only the whole production process but also single working steps. He also explains for what industries Automation Suites are developed, how they work and how users can profit by implementing an Automation Suite.
Roland, all in-house software developments at OneVision follow the principle that using them significantly increases the quality of print data and efficiency in production and that our customers benefit from cost and time savings resulting from boosted efficiency. This is essentially due to the fact that a high level of automation in print production is achieved via our software. This year, we have released three new Automation Suites for different target markets – the Wide Format Automation Suite, the Book Automation Suite, and the Label Automation Suite. What prompted the development of these products?
Roland Schwingel: We have enormous expertise in printing. We are a world market leader in prepress software for publishers and have worked very closely with our customers for over 25 years, who primarily used to be newspaper publishers but now include book publishers, magazine publishers, and printing companies. This intensive dialog has given us a good insight to the market’s necessities. Many of our customers diversify their offerings, and what used to be pure newspaper publishers now operate as printing centers. For one, we want to accompany this diversification and make this step easy for our existing customers via the appropriate production software. For two, we wish to offer our expertise in PDF workflow automation not only to newspaper printers but also to set up software suites tailored for wide format printers, book publishers and label printers.
What exactly are Automation Suites?
Roland Schwingel: Automation Suites are designed to be holistic solutions. All of them contain a flexible workflow management system that printing houses and publishers can digitally define and automate their production processes with. Numerous tools that automate the individual work steps in the workflow are tied to this workflow management system. As a result every functionality that is required for editing and processing orders is combined to one Suite. In conclusion, the high level of automation provides users with benefits such as faster throughput times, higher machine utilization – more orders can be processed due to quicker throughput times – and, ultimately, better efficiency and profitability.
For what industries are Automation Suites developed?
Roland Schwingel: The name says it all: currently, there is a Commercial Print Automation Suite, a Wide Format Automation Suite, a Book Automation Suite and a Label Automation Suite. The Wide Format Automation Suite is the software solution for wide and super-wide format printers and – in addition to the workflow management system – includes essential technologies such as nesting, tiling & paneling, which makes printing wide format print jobs significantly easier and – due to less material usage – cheaper. The Book Automation Suite is tailored to book printers. Here, too, does the workflow management system build the foundation that essential functions, such as impositioning, are tied to. Label printers benefit from a smooth production thanks to the Label Automation Suite. The Suite is a 2-in-1 system that also handles optimization of print data in addition to production planning. One definitive standout feature is that orders can be ganged to one print run across customers, irrespective of the shape and quantity of labels. The Commercial Automation Suite helps commercial printers to automate their workflow. Functionalities such as VPD (Variable Data Printing) and automatic bleed generation are just two of many highlights that make production more efficient.
How do I benefit as a publisher/printer by implementing an Automation Suite?
Roland Schwingel: Implementing an Automation Suite significantly increases the level of automation in publishers’ and printers’ production, which in turn leads to considerable time and cost savings. As a result, many work steps in the workflow, which previously needed to be completed manually, can now proceed automatically. Thanks to the integrated prepress package, incoming data is checked for possible errors right at the start and subsequently optimized so that time-consuming and costly re-prints are avoided. Throughput times are shortened, and a high level of machine utilization is made possible. In a nutshell: Publishers and printers can achieve the perfect interplay between their print machines and software and thus, benefit from faster production times, increased throughput and increased print quality by using an Automation Suite.
Can an Automation Suite be easily integrated into my current processes?
Roland Schwingel: The Automation Suites can be easily and quickly integrated into existing system configurations at any time, from a simple hotfolder connection to various more complex interfaces such as the MIS system and customer- and application-specific job ticket connections. Our workflow solutions are generally very flexible here. Of course, we are also happy to provide on-site support for integration.
I am a regular customer and am very interested in the Automation Suites, but I am already using existing solutions. What are my options?
Roland Schwingel: Our regular customers should also have the option to expand their current solutions via an Automation Suite. In this case, you can return to us the solutions you already purchased and have them billed against an industry solution.
I find OneVision’s industry solutions interesting, but none of them are right for me, unfortunately. How can OneVision help me?
Roland Schwingel: In such a case, we would first hold a joint discussion and analyze the needs and goals of the interested party. Afterwards, we would provide advice on which options are available to automate the complete workflow and single work steps in order to develop a tailor-made solution together.
The Book Automation Suite combines a workflow management system with an extensive prepress package and special tools for book printing to automate the print and procution processes of book publishers – especially in the field of book on demand printing.
Split and merge: content pages and cover pages are split automatically in 2C / 4C in order to apply the respective color management
Automatic impositioning: automated selection and adjustment of templates according to file format (incl. barcodes)
The 2-in-1 system for label printing combines production planning and optimization of print files. With the Label Automation Suite digital printers can automate time-consuming manuel work and signifanctly speed up their production process.
Replace time-consuming manual work by automated job tasks (automatic adjustment/creation of bleed when creating varnish and white masks)
Orders from different customers are combined in one collect-run form
The Wide Format Automation Suite consists of a flexible workflow management system, a comprehensive prepress package and innovative technologies such as nesting to automate the production process of wide and super wide format printers to achieve maximum efficiency
An automated nesting technology that lets you virtually eradicate waste completely
Tiling and Paneling: file formats that are larger than the maximum print format can be automatically tiled/ paneled and split into multiple formats for production.
Cut line manager: accepts all cut line types and names