Asura® offers you fully automated quality control for print files at the prepress stage with subsequent optimization of the PDF files. Error identification – correction – automatically, as part of your prepress workflow!
All Asura versions are connected to our flexible workflow management system Workspace as standard. With Workspace you can define all your print production steps digitally, run them automatically and adapt them flexibly at any time. With an easy-to-use drag and drop editor, you can set up different production lines according to the requirements of your print jobs and modify them at any time. By connecting the prepress software Asura to the workflow management system Workspace, not only are classic prepress work steps such as preflighting, color management, creating bleed and white masks or impositioning PDFs automated, but also the entire prepress process.
The prepress software Asura runs completely independently and around the clock without a hitch in the background, but with great effect on your production. By automating your prepress processes with Asura PDF file printing issues are minimized, potential points of failure reduced, your RIP speed gets streamlined. Benefit from time savings and better quality and make full use of the cost-saving potential in your prepress. With Asura you will reliably meet your printing deadline and avoid customer complaints and reprints.
With Asura, the preflight software, you can generate all your printing data, fully automated, in Adobe Standard and ensure that printing goes smoothly. Asura also fully supports PDF 2.0. Incoming files like ads, articles, or any other PDF print job will be imported automatically, checked for errors such as low-resolution images, hairlines, or transparencies via Asura’s preflight module, and corrected and optimized for printing as needed using the comprehensive correction module. Asura’s “digital data washing machine” does not just identify errors; it also corrects and normalizes errors, or in other words, processes PDFs according to current standards so that the processed print data is error-free and can be printed without a problem.
"I can say without a doubt that OneVision's Asura Pro product has been a key product in my ability to automate many different aspects of prepress in the commercial printing and book printing industries. It is not their "preflight" capabilities that I am speaking about, it is their file normalization and correction abilities that has allowed prepress automation to exist in these industries even running in conjunction with industry standards such as Agfa Apogee and Creo/Kodak Prinergy.
Asura helps to streamline and correct incoming PDFs, and in addition their file reporting capabilities allows incoming PDFs to be directed into additional processing steps, or specific correction steps all based on internal page content and what it discovers as files are normalized."
Allen Filson, Director Professional Services of Canon Solutions America
The high degree of automation makes the entire production process during pre-press faster, saves manual interventions, and thus saves precious time.
With Flatten Transparencies:
Recalculation and restructuring of elements
Original appearance of image remains
Ideal file optimization for printing
Benefits with flatten transparencies
Shorter RIP times due to
• Less complex files
• Less data volume as invisible elements are removed
No occurrence of color issues during the RIP
Preflight report: All file errors are visualized as an extra file
More than 130 different errors can be discovered automatically
File issues are identified right away -> for immediate repairing
Preflight results are used for workflow control
With Cut Spreads:
Customer files can be cut horizontally or vertically
Spreads and pages are divided automatically
Position of cut line is always in the exact center of the page
For errorless impositioning
With Place Watermarks:
Watermarks ensure a secure preview of images and documents as well as the possibility to mark documents e.g. as "confidential"
Marks file for customer approval
Prevents misuse of customer data and images
PDF/UA is defined ISO standard for accessible PDF technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/UA).
How does it work?
Preflight can find if a PDF is a true PDF/UA.
Faulty documents can be rejected.
Asura preserves the UA status when outputting the file.
You can ensure that output file is a true PDF/UA document. This is often required when providing official PDF files, e.g. for tenders, governmental purposes, archiving,…
Also PDF/UA is required for persons who require or benefit from assistive technology when reading electronic content.
Reader software will be able to reliably reflow text onto small screens, provide powerful navigation options, transform text appearance, improve search engine functionality, aid in the selection and copying of text, and more.
Software outputs file properties like colors, fonts, etc.
These properties can be used for file routing in the workflow management system or for individual generation of proof sheets
Asura includes preconfigured assembly lines incl. templates for Proof Form and Nesting Report
If multiple identical images are embedded in a file, all occurrences can now be identified. Instead of embedding these images, "Reference XObject" elements are created
Thus reducing file size
With Prompt PDF:
The fewer vector points and the fewer vector elements -> the shorter the loading time for a file (in the web)
With Compare Documents:
Deviations are revealed from the original
Automated quality assurance
Final visual check
Accurate complaints processing with a precise display of the deviations from the original, down to the last pixel
With Overlay Pages:
Specific parts of a page's content can be replaced
All you need for this is the original document and the document with the new content.
With Solvero Approval:
Suspect files are automatically sent to Solvero
Following visual checks and repairs, these files can either be sent back to Asura or removed from the workflow
As a visual checkpoint to automated workflows
Preserves CMYK black
Higher printing quality – less customer complaints
|Normalize||Allows to adjust the files to your production environment|
|Color Management||Defines input color calibration and overprint settings|
|Create PDF||Converts all supported formats into PDF, performs some basic optimizations|
|Split Multi-page Documents||Splits a multi-page document into multiple documents|
|Modify Page Format||Allows various modifications of page size|
|Unify Color Names||Unifies the names of process and spot colors, especially PANTONE colors|
|Prepare Sheet||Defines sheet properties such as paper size and output orientation, and the print |
marks to be added
|Detect URLs||Parses all text of input files for strings that may constitute URLs and inserts |
corresponding link annotations
|Trim White Space||Trims pages depending on page contents|
|Convert to Image and EPS||Convert documents to image files and EPS files|
|Merge Documents||Merges multiple documents into one document|
|Print Documents||Prints to any installed Postscript printer|
|Create Preview Images||Creates a preview image in PNG format for each document page|
|Find Barcodes||Checks single-page documents for presence of barcodes. |
The following barcode types will be detected: EAN 8, EAN 13, UPC-A, Code 39, Code 128, ISBN 13, ITF (Interleaved 2 of 5) and QR.
|Extract Images||Extracts images from PDF file|
|Variable Data Printing||Variable data such as addresses, graphics and images can be inserted into a PDF template for personalization|
According to your individual requirements, we offer the right software solution for your pre-press.
|Function||Asura Access||Asura||Asura Pro|
| Flatten Transparencies|
Removes transparency from a PDF-file
Allows to adjust the files to your production environment
Performs detailed checks on file quality
| Color Management|
Defines input color calibration and overprint settings
|Prepare PDF (Create PDF)|
Converts all supported formats into PDF, performs some basic optimizations
| Split Multi-page Documents|
Splits a multi-page document into multiple documents
Cuts spreads horizontally or vertically
| Modify Page Format|
Allows various modifications of page size
|Unify Color Names|
Unifies the names of process and spot colors, especially PANTONE colors
Defines sheet properties such as paper size and output orientation, and the print marks to be added. Furthermore it allows defining and placing barcodes
Send documents for the manual assessment/revision/approval to Solvero
| Detect URLs|
Parses all text of input files for strings that may constitute URLs and inserts corresponding link annotations
|Record to CSV|
Automatically records and calculates the amount of ink required for a job file and enables the printer to determine how many ink needs to be purchased
|Rasterize PDF Pages (Convert Complex Pages to Images)|
Converts pages to images if they have too many images or graphics
|Variable Data Printing|
Variable data such as addresses, graphics and images can be inserted into a PDF template for personalization
|Trim White Space|
Trims pages depending on page content
|Convert to Image and EPS|
Convert documents to image files and EPS files
Merges multiple documents into one document
Places a watermark onto each document page
Prints to any installed Postscript printer
Compares two files to identify differences or calculates the amount of ink saved after having applied Inksave
|Simplify PDF for Viewing (Prompt PDF)|
Creates PDF files optimized for fast screen rendering
Overlays the pages of two documents
|Create Preview Images|
Creates a preview image in PNG format for each document page
Checks single-page documents for presence of barcodes
Extracts images from PDF-files
Enables Workspace to use job tickets
|Recompose Plates (PlugRECOMPOSEin)|
Recomposes the plate pages of separated documents to composite pages
|Trim to Crop Marks (PlugCROPin)|
Automatically detects crop marks and accordingly trims document pages
|Generate & Modify Spot Colors (PlugSPOTin) |
Modifies plate names according to specified color rules
|Fit to Size (PlugFITin)|
Checks ad sizes according to predefined parameters and adjusts them automatically
|Filter Text (PlugFILTERin)|
Filters documents depending on the occurences of specified strings in the text
|Convert to Text (PlugTEXTin)|
Converts documents to text files
Asura also includes extremely helpful workflow tools that are included, no matter which version you choose:
|Function|| Workspace |
| Jobs Overview|
Clear and structured list of all jobs processed with the system. Can be filtered and sorted. Job details available
Easy to use – takes over groups and users from your Windows user management
|Connect to any number of folders on local or UNC|
Sends e-mails to one or more recipients. Job files may be attached
Allows transfer of native files into Workspace assembly lines by printing
|FTP & FTPS-Support|
Unlimited upload and download of files to and from FTP servers
Mode that can distribute files according to file format
Enables Workspace to integrate scripts into an assembly line
Creates a detailed log file
Schedules the execution of modules in assembly lines by setting waiting times
|Compress / Decompress Files|
Supports import from archive formats, e.g. zip, tar, gzip, jar and export as zip
“Overall I have been very happy with the OneVision products we have purchased. Asura is fast, effective and powerful.” – Mike Thorson from Ripon Printers about the company’s success story of automating their production workflow
Read about Ripon Printer’s decision to further automate their production workflow by implementing additional OneVision software solutions and the achievements they could gain thereby.
Ripon Printers started its business in 1962 by printing and publishing newspapers. Over the years Ripon Printers have grown into a $50 million a year commercial printer with more than 270 employees. Ripon Printers is headquartered in Wisconsin. From there the company utilizes high-end technologies to provide personal services to catalog marketers and publishers throughout the United States.
In the following, Mike Thorson, Prepress Manager from Ripon Printers, talks about how Ripon Printers expanded the automation level of their production workflow and shows how the company could gain remarkable benefits in the field of efficiency, quality as well as cost reduction.
Why have you decided to purchase OneVision’s Asura and the worfklow solutions Workspace Pro and Workspace Balance? Which expectations did you have towards the softwares?
We purchased OneVision Speedflow Check and Speedflow Edit many years ago. Since then we have updated to OneVision Asura to gain some of the additional automated fixes it offered. Since then, we have added Workspace Pro and Workspace Balance to again take advantage of more automation, the ability to string together modules and to increase throughput. We are currently putting through an average of 5,000 pages per week with a peak of over 11,000. As for expectations, we purchased it to preflight and automatically fix common issues with PDF files.
How do Asura, Workspace Pro and Workspace Balance fulfil these expectations?
It works very well. It’s fast and effective.
Could you please also describe how Asura, Workspace Pro and Workspace Balance are working in your specific production environment?
Asura sits in front of Prinergy workflow to clean up and preflight incoming PDF files. Once through Asura, we rarely have issues with Prinergy.
Was it difficult to implement OneVision products in your existing processes and system landscape?
From a “working together” with our workflow, it was very easy. We had some basic profiles working within the first couple of days. That said, it does take a while to develop an understanding of all of the options. There are literally hundreds of choices you can make when setting up a workflow. However, once you get started, it builds upon itself and becomes easier and quicker to create new processes.
How do Asura, Workspace Pro and Workspace Balance facilitate your work?
By doing virtually all of the preflight and many of the common fixes automatically, it allows us to focus on RIPing, trapping and imposing files. We have been able to continue to grow as a company while reducing needed staff in prepress.
Did the fact that you were already using OneVision products influence your decision to buy Workspace Pro and Workspace Balance? And if so, how did it influence your decision?
Yes. The Speedflow products worked so well, we didn’t have to question the reliability of the software or the ability for it to get a lot of work through quickly. We had faith in OneVision (the company) to understand what we were looking to do and when they had a product to meet the need, we trusted it would meet the need. It did.
How satisfied are you with the support of OneVision?
I have been very satisfied. Honestly we do not need support that often other than for software upgrades but when we do, they are there and get us an answer. Occasionally we send them problematic files and they have pretty much always been able to give us a way to work with whatever we have been sent.
What would you tell your colleagues from other commercial printing companies if they asked you about your experiences with OneVision and its products?
Overall I have been very happy with the OneVision products we have purchased. Asura is fast, effective and powerful. When we initially purchased OneVision Speedflow Check and Edit software in 2005, one of my employees asked “Why would we waste so much money on a piece of software?” After using OneVision Speedflow Check and Edit for approximately one year, the same employee declared “This is the best software we have ever purchased”.
Production and quality all in one
„We have been using Asura to implement automated PDF workflows to the complete satisfaction of our customers since 2006. Both in the conversion of customer to production files and in cross media publishing as well as in sending ready-to-print files to printing companies, Asura makes us efficient as well as flexible. In addition, we can continue optimising future developments in line with future demands“, explain Jochen Krause and André Sliwian. Both administrate Asura® for Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH, one of Germany‘s leading publishing houses for directory media.
Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH was founded in 1927 and today with its headquarters in Essen and branch offices in Stuttgart, Detmold and Potsdam has become Germany‘s largest publisher of telephone and industry directory media. Together with Telekom subsidiary DeTeMedien GmbH, the publishing group publishes a total of 121 print editions with around 85,000 ads a year for Das Telefonbuch, Das Örtliche, Gelbe Seiten and Gelbe Seiten regionally. In its publishing regions, the company is also responsible for the highly-frequented online editions of the communication directories. In doing so, Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH permits small and medium-sized companies in particular to position advertising across all media and with wide coverage.
Higher quality thanks to more efficient processing
In recent years, a consistent digital workflow has been implemented step by step on the basis of analogue worksteps. As part of this holistic process digitisation, it was natural for the company to look for a standardised software solution for data optimisation for its production. „As Asura has already been in use since 2006 in advert typesetting for external data processing and advert optimisation, the decision to process data checking and optimisation of the entire production process (creating adverts and pages) using Asura was not a difficult one. In this way, we can virtually exclude returns due to adverts containing technical errors“, explains Harry Koch, Head of Advert Creation at Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH. ”This allows us to not only improve reliability in processing jobs, but also to utilise resources that have become available at the same time. This allows us to concentrate more on our core task of delivering to customers the optimal support for their print and online listings when it comes to design.“
Prepared for progress
Just over a year ago was the eagerly anticipated changeover to version 12. „The complete change of the system architecture through to the promising modular design made it possible to depict the existing workflow with precision and to exclude redundant worksteps. The production lines currently in use also allow additional sub-processes to be processed in an automated way through new features“. That is how André Sliwian and Jochen Krause describe the current status following the version changeover. „The modular design offers plenty of scope for technical creativity to flow. This is why we are looking to the future with optimism so that we continue to be up to meet future technical requirements.“
„OneVision offers us professional and well-engineered software to automate and optimize our daily work in prepress.“
Dialog marketing specialist Paragon Customer Communications Schwandorf GmbH explains how the automation software Asura has significantly reduced the error rate for print jobs and optimized print quality, especially in the inkjet sector.
Every print service provider is challenged on a daily basis to complete a wide variety of print jobs as quickly as possible and in the best possible quality, always depending on the publication requirements. But what is the best way to do this? Andreas Mann, Prepress Manager of Paragon Customer Communications Schwandorf GmbH, shows how the implementation of personalized and individualized print campaigns goes hand in hand with a fully automated prepress process and which successes are achieved in terms of reliability, efficiency and print quality. The dialogue marketing specialist is part of Paragon Group Limited and, with around 1,300 employees in six countries, it is one of the leading companies for individualized customer communication in Europe. The company supports retail customers across all industries, such as Payback, dm, T-Mobile and the Otto Group, in the implementation of marketing campaigns. In addition to comprehensive concept consulting, address and data management, the print service provider also creates a wide variety of print products for its customers, such as printed mailings in the form of cross folder direct mailings, pop-up self-mailers, bulk mail (mass print products), magazines and much more.
Mr. Mann, what printing processes and machines are used by Paragon Customer Communications?
For the creation of our print products we rely on sheet-fed and digital web printing as well as web offset printing. Our machinery consists of various offset and digital printing machines such as the HP Indigo, the Prosper Press from Kodak and the Rotoman from MAN Roland. In addition, we use more than 100 high-speed inkjet printing systems and finishing machines for finishing our print products.
What is your average order volume per year?
In web-fed printing alone, we have around 1,000 orders a year with over 3,000 versions. The number is even higher in digital printing.
Why did you decide to purchase OneVision solutions? What did you expect from the new technology?
We grew up with OneVision and have been using the software for years. The first products we had from OneVision were the prepress software Asura and the PDF editor Solvero. Since Asura was linked to the Workspace workflow management system, the production lines can be more versatile and many individual steps can be automated. This increases our efficiency and guarantees production reliability. We especially appreciate the versatile application possibilities and the modular construction in Workspace.
Please describe your workflow. Which software and systems are you using, where are OneVision products embedded in your workflow?
We use the OneVision solutions in two departments of Paragon Customer Communications Schwandorf GmbH. The main area of application is in prepress. Here, all data is checked and optimized with the Asura prepress package. The Layout Programming department uses the software to automatically embed watermarks – depending on file names – in PDFs. For error-free variable data printing, the position (x,y) of special texts in documents is determined according to certain criteria. With Asura's "Compare Documents" module we can easily compare documents (pdf, xml) and generate a test report. The data is then forwarded to our Apogee workflow system.
To what extent do OneVision software solutions meet your expectations?
OneVision's software solutions meet our expectations. In case of problems or special tasks we get a solution quickly via the support.
Was it difficult to introduce OneVision software into your existing processes and system landscape?
Since the software can also be used autonomously, the introduction was very unproblematic. Depending on the area of application, we have integrated the automatisms into the workflow or let them work independently.
How do you assess your print quality through the use of OneVision technologies?
The error rate for print jobs has been significantly reduced, while print quality – especially in the inkjet sector – is being optimized.
How satisfied are you with OneVision's support?
We are very satisfied with OneVision's support. We can always rely on fast and competent help.
What would you tell your colleagues from other printers if they asked about your experiences with OneVision and the products?
OneVision offers a good, professional and mature software solution to automate and optimize the daily work processes for creating print products. Depending on the individual requirements, each print shop can select the appropriate modules for itself and thus implement an optimal printing process.
Peter Slaughter, Advertisement, Production and Operations Director, Financial Times:
"The extremely secure system significantly reduces administration time and error rates. This enables you to supply your files in a fast and efficient way."
Götz Fahlke, Application Consultant Prepress, DuMont Mediengruppe:
"The 4D color space conversion enables us to further increase the printing quality by avoiding black components in chromatic colors and to simultaneously optimize and simplify the workflow."
Thomas Ovelgönne, Head of Prepress, Druckhaus Waiblingen:
“The new 4D color management technology makes color space conversions and language changing much easier and safer. Black components are retained in color space conversions – even when flattening transparencies. Language changes are no longer an issue, even for documents in the wrong color spaces! Using this technology has meant that we are well-prepared for the upcoming PSO conversion and the associated color space adjustments.”
Bernhard Lüders, CEO, Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH:
"Asura is a key component in implementing a consistent, digital workflow: We use Asura for typesetting ads, checking data and optimizing the entire production run.“
"With the use of Asura preflighting, we are able to visualise final print results and rectify contents integrity issues leading to advertisement rejection. We have successfully reduced the overall advertisement rejection rate to a sustainable level."