More productivity and effectiveness with Workflow Management Systems
“Industry 4.0” – Combining and automating recurring process steps
As part of “Industry v4.0” the goal is not only to automate recurring tasks and single process steps but to combine them into workflows and to enable the entire workflow to run automatically based on software systems. IT-based workflow management systems will connect single automatized process steps – mostly through interfaces – and enable an efficient and reliable collaboration between human being and machine.
Investment in a contemporary automated workflow from the perspective of providers of printing services
In today’s market, print service providers are now confronted with a series of challenges that impact the future development of their businesses, resulting in more print jobs with low volumes and high levels of complexity. To remain competitive and to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty, it becomes crucial to reliably and precisely complete a rising number of print jobs with decreasing volumes as fast as possible. Speed and quality are the major factors in customers’ choice of where to place print orders. Most jobs can be produced more efficiently and more effectively as a result of automation.
The production workflow remains at any time the same: After jobs got submitted – by email attachment or by uploading to the FTP server or hot folder – the customer transfers his print data to the printing house. Subsequently the preflighting of print PDFs checks whether the color spaces were assigned correctly or requested resolution values are kept. Furthermore the layout will be checked, followed by the color optimization. If required, images can also be optimized. Finally, the RIP will screen the print data to make it interpretable for the printing machines. The proofing function ensures a result that fully meets the expectations. Depending on the print method printing plates will be constructed and the data will be printed.
If the printing house additionally offers services like repro and set works, amendatory process tasks like image optimization and PDF imposition are already integrated in the workflow. As this production workflow always equates a similar pattern it can be standardized and runs completely automatic through a workflow management system:
There are already existing software solutions for single process steps as imposition, formatting (as bleed or generate varnish and white masks), preflighting, image processing, halftone printing and if applicable inksaving, which fulfill these functions mostly automated. By combining individual software programs with the workflow management system, the entire process can be run fully automatically. Once the print data has been uploaded to the FTP server or hot folder, or sent by e-mail, the print file automatically undergoes each individual step in the process. Automation of recurring tasks reduces the risk of errors while reducing turnaround times.
Error avoidance: With an automated workflow manual interventions are eliminated and therefore not only do costs fall but so do the numbers of mistakes and misprints.
Cost reduction: Every single manual process step increases costs. In order to withstand the massive price pressure the printing industry experiences today, it is necessary to use the potential savings of an efficiently designed workflow.
Quicker turnaround for print jobs and increased throughput: With a comprehensive workflow automatization, last-minute changes and additional customizations can be implemented without adjusting deadlines accordingly.
Enhanced transparency and traceability: Automatic tracking leads to more efficient planning and therefore to a significant reduction in downtime and delays that can frequently arise due to a lack of internal or external communication with the customer.
It clearly shows: To stay competitive in today’s business and to push innovative business ideas ahead, service providers must completely rely on a fully automated workflow management system.
Only in that way a rising number of print jobs with decreasing volumes and high levels of complexity can be produced while efficiency can be increased and costs reduced.
One stop shop: Automation of single process steps and combining them with an integrated workflow management system.
OneVision offers high-performance, extremely flexible software solutions for automating production processes in agencies, publishers, pre-press businesses and print shops. In addition to software for individual process steps such as pre-flight, image processing, ink saving, RIP, and imposition PDFs, the software publisher offers workflow management systems that allow workflows to be set up individually and run automatically. OneVision’s automation software makes use of unique functionality to filter, sort and route data, while supporting metadata, including JDF, XML, XMP, IPTC, and EXIF. As such, OneVision represents the ideal link between MIS, task, and job planning systems, online portals, databases and output RIPs, automating tasks that are still widely performed via manual processes and thereby standardizing and accelerating the entire production process while eliminating errors. With its range of intuitive software programs, OneVision fulfills the complete set of requirements that are driving today’s print service providers to invest in fully automated workflows.
Print & Produktion 1-2 2017, February
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