"The topic of Print 4.0 reflects the spirit of the times and OneVision seems to be optimally prepared for it. Automation is becoming more and more important with minimal or no errors in the editing of the data by the operator or user," summarized Markus Künne of Westermann Druck GmbH our open house event, which took place on May 16th and 17th in Regensburg. 50 representatives from 32 printing companies, magazine publishers, book printers, and newspaper publishers from the entire German-Austrian-Swiss region, joined the event in our headquarters.
Leading companies in their respective industries, such as Hubert Burda Media, the Bauer Media Group and the Spiegel Verlag / Funke Mediengruppe, the Straubinger Tagblatt and the Ippen Publishing Group – represented by the Verlag Dierichs and the Münchner Merkur – took the opportunity to learn more about the topic of digitizing and automating printing workflows. However, the large and leading companies were not the only ones to use this opportunity for exchange of ideas with colleagues and software developers, but also a few smaller publishers and reproduction studios convinced themselves right on the spot of the wide range of possibilities which the flexible software solutions offer. Companies gained inspiration for the design and organization of their production workflows:
"In a vision of the comprehensive effectiveness of this approach, orders are managed independently by whole value chains, book their machine tools and their material and organize their delivery to the customer." Fraunhofer IAO
Within the scope of Print 4.0, many areas, such as order placement & job scheduling, shipping / logistics processes or material management and ordering processes can be automated. The focus of the lecture by Dr. Hoffmann-Walbeck, professor for applied computer science and prepress in print and media technology studies at the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart, is the integration of production processes and workflow management systems.
A production process is made up of many applications and devices, which check, trap, or print individual processes such as data. A sequence of defined tasks, which are triggered, controlled and terminated by events, forms in sum a workflow. Several workflow engines (applications and devices) are, in turn, modeled, managed and controlled under a data organization and a user interface in workflow management systems.
In an integrated workflow, the applications / devices or workflow management systems communicate automatically with one another using metadata (job tickets). Further programs and devices can be connected to the workflow via various interfaces. Workflow management systems, not only control production processes, but also provide information on material, electronic or conceptual resources.
The controller defines all workflow processes in job definition format and copies the process tree for each application / device so that each part of the process is defined. As soon as all input resources – metadata, scripts, data from databases or MIS – are available, a process can be started automatically.
In practice, this system is already widely used. In connection with this, Rainer Gelner, Technical Director of Bosch-Druck GmbH outlined a comprehensive case study on how the large sheet offset and digital printing company utilizes the workflow management system Workspace Pro and the prepress suite Asura in order to digitize and automate their printing workflows.
Through the introduction of Workspace Pro as a workflow management system and platform for all OneVision software solutions, Rainer Gelner and the business unit manager for workflow management systems, Peter Eis, have explained how commercial printers, newspaper publishers and magazine publishers can achieve more efficiency and higher data quality in print and media prepress.
Gerd Köberich – responsible for the division of infographics and image editing at Verlag Dierichs GmbH & Co. KG – demonstrated rather impressively that not only a large part of the image editing, but also the image processing workflow can run largely automatically by the working with metadata in the image processing software Amendo. Keeping in mind his requests for the future development of Amendo, Köberich created a perfect transition for the Leader of the Imaging and Color Management Business Unit, Klaus Gödde, who gave an outlook on the latest and planned functions.
Following these presentations, there was a separate break-out session for all magazine and some newspaper publishers who participated in the Open House. During this session, publishers could discuss with one another how they have used Amendo so far in their company and how Amendo can be used in the best possible way in publishing. This resulted in an intensive exchange of experience between Bauer Media, Burda Media, Funke Medien, Spiegel Verlag, Deutscher Landwirtschaftsverlag, Aschendorff Druckzentrum, and Mohn Media on the topic of image processing workflows.
Offering content in digital form – there is now no way for newspaper and magazine publishing to get around it. Nevertheless, newspaper publishers generate, on average, only 8% of their sales from digital publishing. In this regard, not only does the right tool seem to be the decisive factor, but above all, a convincing overall concept.
In his lecture on digital publishing, OneVison CEO Hussein Khalil explained how, among other things, newspaper publisher Salzburger Nachrichten and the largest music publishing house worldwide, Schott Music, have created interactive reader experiences through unique ideas. It is becoming increasingly clear that the well-researched, readable articles provide the added value of a paid online edition, compared to the articles provided free of charge. If these articles which have already been created for the print version are augmented with rich-media, e.g. videos and photo galleries, the reader gets a multimedia reading experience. If this enhancement is carried over to advertisements and promotional articles, a new source of revenue is developed, with which the online version can make a further contribution to the return on investment.
By way of conclusion, Hussein Khalil encouraged attendees to not only circulate their content in the classic print area, but also to venture taking a step towards digitization, since both areas complement each other in a promising way.