Label magazine Narrow WebTech reports about the new functionalities of DigiLabel 17.1
DigiLabel 17.1: Complete more label printing jobs in less time
The German software manufacturer OneVision will soon release the latest version of its automated software solution for label printing. Together with its customers, OneVision continues to develop the software solution and constantly adapts it to meet the needs of label printers. With DigiLabel 17.1 complex stages in the label printing process are simplified, automated, and optimized even further. As a result label printers will achieve increased throughput, which helps to save valuable time and cost, and increases the overall output efficiency.
With the 2-in-1 solution DigiLabel, OneVision provides digital label printers a comprehensive system for production planning and simplifies complex label workflows. DigiLabel optimizes the entire label workflow from order receipt through to prepress stages and production planning. Prepress includes a fully automated quality check of PDFs, resulting in a subsequent optimization for the print run. In the following production planning, the software checks all open jobs and combines even multi-customer orders in one single collect run. The job is then automatically transferred to printing and cutting machines. By automating the entire production process, sources of error in production can be avoided, as well as saving time and resources.
Simplifying label control and production with a single system
DigiLabel processes production files from various management information systems (MIS) which can be easily connected to the system via interfaces. The first production step involves the automatic import, the optimization and the standardization of the artwork. This improves the quality of the incoming data to ensure a smooth, error-free print run. The software includes preflight and normalization, also tools for modifications – such as trim to cutting dies, create white and varnish masks, or extending the bleed. Individual assembly lines can be created for complex amendments to the artwork, with multiple sequential modifications, such as rounding off all corners, upscaling images, and creation of white masks. It is possible to run those assembly lines directly in DigiLabel to automatically edit the customer’s PDF file. Minor adjustments, such as minimal deviation to the cutting die size due to a differing interpretation of the line center, can be corrected directly from DigiLabel via smart resizing with a single mouse click. If manual processing is required, e.g., due to a last-minute amendment by the customer, PDF editing tools such as Solvero Access (included) or any third-party PDF editing tool can be connected via a web interface. All these correction tools, which can be accessed from the program directly, speed up the workflow. If the tools are implemented in DigiLabel, it reports all editing steps with logs that can be reviewed if the customer has questions or complaints.
In order to simplify communications with the customer, a flexible approval PDF is automatically generated at the end of the process. All information, such as a preview of the label or the DigiLabel editor is provided and if required can be used to create an approval PDF. Moreover, the OneVision PDF tools can be used to dynamically create preview data, such as comparisons of print images and hot foil output, in order to check whether the different processing stages are fully consistent with one another and fitting into the same space. This allows errors to be recognized, corrected, and avoided at an early stage, increasing customer satisfaction and resulting in time and cost savings.
Marks for automatic system control
An additional new feature, which significantly simplifies production processes, is the dynamic mark generation. Individual marks can be defined for each machine by the label printer. If a particular production workflow is defined within the job data, appropriate marks will be integrated into the respective job. A practical example can provide insights into this process: passer marks should only be created if a foil will be applied at a later stage of production. This new approach also allows automation of more complex decisions, which previously had to be done via laborious manual work. For example, a color bar with the applicable label colors can be printed alongside the label. Due to that color measurements for quality control can be made after printing with little additional effort, as all necessary data is already generated automatically. Free programming also allows label printers to adapt the tool to their specific requirements to create a flexible workflow.
Finishing process as a new software component
The new version of DigiLabel 17.1 from the print expert OneVision includes support of finishing machines. Thus the software solution can now depict the entire production process. As soon as a label requires finishing with hot or cold foil, embossing or lacquering, this information will be read out from the job data. Within the label software, finishing colors are defined and standardized to ensure that the system recognizes them automatically. On this basis, the necessary finishing designs are generated for production. The information can then be forwarded via marks to the finishing machines as control information, and can be produced smoothly and error free. The special function of marks for finishing machines also enables the creation and addition of punch holes to the output, considering the minimum size requirements.
Punching machines and laser cutters are the next steps in the finishing process. Support for laser cutters is optimized for multi-customer jobs with small batches. The way collect run configuration can now be chosen is on the basis of a wide range of highly specific criteria, such as optimized paper usage or minimal surplus production. On this basis the label printer receives a series of suggested options for collect runs. The operator can then manually decide which should actually be used for printing, which makes it possible to optimize each printer’s output to the maximum. Following this stage, the laser control data is created, containing relevant information including the cutting shape, the number of items to output, and the cutting depth, to further increase the levels of automation.
However, the label printing software is not solely aligned to produce with laser cutters. Indeed, it can also be used with die-cut plates. When configuring die-cut plates, the label printer can plan the composition with regards to production volumes, color use, shape changes or the necessary roll length in order to maximize the savings. All previously produced die-cut plates are stored in an archive in order to ensure a fast and easy re-production if needed. A further benefit of this archiving is that DigiLabel automatically checks if a suitable die-cut plate has been produced previously, to save the costs of producing a new die-cut plate if not required.
One workflow management system for all users
To create the workflow of label printers in the most efficient and automated way, OneVision makes use of its well-proven workflow management technology. A consistent, overarching interface allows all operators to monitor every stage of the production process, from order receipt to actual production, with roles being allocated according to levels of responsibility. DigiLabel guarantees maximum transparency from order receipt to final printing to ensure a reliable production. The job workflow system has been simplified even further in the new software release by enabling it to be adapted to the way the customer company works. Depending on the size of the company, users can decide how to allocate tasks and permissions. Larger companies with specialist divisions can distribute roles by department, while smaller companies – where a single employee is responsible for tasks that span across departments, can allocate tasks on a job-by-job basis. This provides a better overview of individual tasks. Meanwhile, coordination among specific users is improved by sending messages directly via DigiLabel, to ensure a smooth production process with no unnecessary downtime.
DigiLabel is an intranet-based solution for standard web browsers that is quick and easy to install and can be connected to existing digital print, embossing, and laser cutting machines. Digital printers who produce small runs of self-adhesive label rolls can benefit from the software, thanks to the ability to combine many jobs in a combined production run, even if those jobs come from multiple customers. OneVision’s objective is to continue to develop its software solution to anticipate, recognize and solve the challenges faced by professional label printers.
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