bharatbhasha.com
Free Articles  >>  Computers and internet >>  Page 41  >> 

How Wide Format Production Management Software Can Improve Throughput and Cut Material Costs







Where time is wasted and costs are added in wide-format print production is often in the hand-over between the various discrete processes that constitute the job - file receipt and preparation, printing, finishing, collation, packing, shipping and installation - which in many cases are still being carried out as separate, manual operations. Planning and automation of the whole process from end to end can enable reduction of these manual 'touch points' and is a major factor in achieving an efficient large-format digital printing system.

Dedicated workflow and production management software is available for wide-format digital print shops. The capabilities of different vendors' offerings vary but will ideally address all of the following categories.

Media optimisation: Screen print operators are familiar with step-and-repeat and job nesting to maximise the work that can be produced from a fixed area of media. In the digital world, workflow software can handle these tasks automatically, and also be able to calculate tiled output for the production of finished jobs that exceed the bed size or roll width. Systems with more sophisticated nesting capabilities can rotate and arrange jobs according to their cut-out paths rather than just butting up the bounding boxes of the artwork, which further reduces media wastage. Job scheduling capabilities make it possible for less urgent jobs that are destined for a specific printer and media combination to be queued and held until sufficient work is ready to fill a pre-determined area or roll length.

Communication with finishing equipment: Many large format jobs require further work once printed, such as cutting out of window, vehicle or floor decals, or cutting, creasing and folding of rigid POS or display products, for example. There is an additional productivity benefit if this information can be communicated directly to automated finishing equipment, particularly CNC cutters, so that complex cut-outs can be handled reliably with minimal additional manual set-up of the cutting table; often the necessary information is generated at the prepress stage as part of the artwork preparation process. Refinements in this area can include on-the-fly recalculation of cutting paths based on media distortion or mis-register during the printing process.

Production planning for distribution: Not only is installation an important part of most wide format jobs, but the collation, packing and shipping of multiple items can be a major bottleneck for the print service provider. Although it may intuitively seem quicker to print all items of a similar type at once, sorting and packing the finished products for a large retail chain order with a mix of several item types per store and multiple drop/installation points can easily take as long as the printing does, with the danger of large or fragile items being damaged while in storage or during collation.

Production planning systems can take the collation, packing and shipping requirements into account in order to provide the fastest overall fulfilment, even if that may mean printing and finishing items in an apparently less productive sequence. With correct colour management, load balancing across multiple printers - and even across multiple print sites - can also be implemented, enabling the most efficient use of a print provider's resources to meet customer orders.

Versioning / variable data printing: Although most large format print is short-run and highly customised by its nature, there is a growing demand for 'every version different' variable data print (VDP) in which a master template is combined on-the-fly with variable text and/or image data from a database to generate automatically a sequence of customised pieces. This technology originates in high volume digital or hybrid offset/digital 'transpromo' print, but the applications in wide format work for serving franchise customers, such as restaurant chains, for example, are clear.

The adoption of emerging VDP output file standards such as PDF/VT is likely to drive demand for VDP in the large format sector, as is the increasing range of software tools that can generate this type of print data stream. While some of these are dedicated applications for producing high-volume personalised direct mail, others operate as plug-ins to standard page layout tools such as Adobe InDesign and so are relevant to the wide-format sector.

Not all RIP/workflow vendors support all of the production management features described here, and not all users will require all of them. However, an awareness of their existence will help large format print service providers to choose RIP and workflow solutions which recognise that putting ink on substrate is only one part of the larger chain of events that constitutes delivering a wide-format job and which provide the best combination of efficiency, productivity and cost-saving.


About Author Michael Walker :

This article is an extract from 'Why integration matters in large-format printing', a free white paper from EFI written by UK technology writer Michael Walker that explains the benefits in productivity and profitability to wide-format printer providers from using production management software with their print systems. To download the white paper please visit <a href="http://w3.efi.com/en-gb/vutek/dm/promo/large-format-printing" target="_blank">http://w3.efi.com/en-gb/vutek/dm/promo/large-format-printing</a>


Article Source: https://www.bharatbhasha.com
Article Url: https://www.bharatbhasha.com/internet-and-computers.php/472480


Article Added on Monday, June 23, 2014
LD
Other Articles by Michael Walker

How To Choose a Wide Format Printer for Maximum Business Efficiency
When you choose a new wide-format printer, it's natural to think about the obvious physical attributes of the device in question - roll-fed or flatbed design(or hybrid), width or format, how many ink colours (including white and/or metallics), (eco) solvent, UV-curable or latex inks, the range of supported substrates, resolution and print modes and speeds. High volume users, especially with flatbed printers, may want to think about automation options for unattended operation and...

Why Integrating Your Wide Format Printing Equipment Will Keep You Ahead of the Competition
Wide-format print is one of the most vibrant sectors of the digital print market, as evidenced by the 22,000 people who made their way to Fespa London in June 2013. Three groups are driving this growth: conventional sign shops and screen printers adding or switching to digital printing methods; existing wide-format users wanting to increase capacity or improve quality and/or productivity to meet customer demand; and commercial offset printers or prepress specialists who are keen to capture a...

How MIS ERP Helps Wide Format Print Service Providers Improve Internal Efficiency and Save Money
The purpose of Management Information Systems (MIS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is to link the production-specific systems in a wide-format printshop with the financial and logistical functions of the business. This reduces duplication of effort and the likelihood of errors between initial sale, order confirmation and scheduling, production, fulfilment, billing and analysis. In addition to improving levels of customer service through more accurate job specification,...

How a Wide Format Workflow Can Speed Production and Ensure Quality While Cutting Costs
As in other parts of the printing industry, the wide-format sector is seeing a general increase in the number of jobs handled each day, while individual runs become shorter. This is a result of the ongoing trend towards increased customisation and more tightly targeted print and also because of the increasing productivity of large-format print devices. This means that the printing time decreases as a proportion of the total time that a job takes, while the job set-up and pre-flighting,...

How MIS and ERP Can Help Wide Format Print Service Providers Improve Customer Service
Historically, 'workflow' in printing of any kind has been primarily concerned with putting ink on paper and related physical production processes but in today's digital world, the distinction between management and production processes is much less clear. Specifying, quoting, order entry, job tracking, inventory management, invoicing, financial status monitoring and profitability analysis are all aspects of running a wide-format print business where missing, inaccurate or late information can...

Why Web To Print Needs Integration and Automation to Succeed
Most of the essential production and management information relating to any print job has to be defined at the ordering stage, however the order is taken. This includes pagination or size, number and type of inks, substrate, finishing, quantity, delivery and/or installation and billing addresses or pre-payment options. A correctly configured and integrated W2P system can ensure that all this information is both collected at the point of order and passed on. Depending on the type of job, the...

How to Integrate Web to Print Into Business Systems for Maximum Efficiency and Profit
There are three fundamental approaches to integrating online print sales portals to printers' MIS/ERP, production, financial or CRM systems in order to automate job information transfer. Bespoke software development: Developing a unique tailored system should in theory give the best match to a printer's exact requirements but typically requires IT skills not usually found in smaller and mid-sized printing companies. Many W2P and MIS solutions offer APIs (application programming interfaces),...

How Web To Print Can Grow a Wide Format Print Business and Enhance Existing Customer Relationships
A web-to-print (W2P) system allows print work to be quoted, ordered, tracked and managed online using a standard web browser. With a W2P portal, customers may upload artwork, order catalogue items or modify template-based designs, and review and approve the artwork, all via their usual web browser. Online payments may also be made or invoices generated against purchase orders. Why implement web-to-print? There are many potential benefits from running an online sales portal. Customers gain...

Common Mistakes To Avoid in Implementing Web to Print
With the advent of hosted or 'software as a service' options for web-to-print (W2P), many of the financial and technical obstacles that may have discouraged smaller print service providers have been removed. But W2P implementations can still fail, for a variety of business-related reasons that have nothing to do with the technology or its pricing. Now that W2P has been around for a number of years, the experience of those early adopters who tried but failed with W2P can be put to your...

What Kind Of Print To Offer Via Web to Print And Who To Offer It To
Web-to-print (W2P) is most applicable to general commercial digital and wide-format production where there are many short-run jobs. In this environment, job acquisition and management account for a relatively higher proportion of total production costs, while machine time and consumables may be relatively small contributors. Quite apart from the value of the convenience to customers, automating these job management processes through integrated W2P may well bring greater improvements in...

Click here to see More Articles by Michael Walker
Publishers / Webmasters
Article ID: 472480
DELINK URL from Authors Bio
REMOVE Article
Tell A Friend
Leave A Comment!
Download this article in PDF
Report Article!
Search through all the articles:


515 Users Online !
Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
 
computers and internet >> Top 50 Articles on computers and internet
Category - >
Advertising Advice Affiliate Programs Automobiles
Be Your Own Mentor Careers Communication Consumers
CopyWriting Crime Domain Names DoT com Entrepreneur Corner
Ebooks Ecommerce Education Email
Entertainment Environment Family Finance And Business
Food & Drink Gardening Health & Fitness Hobbies
Home Business Home Improvement Humour House Holds
Internet And Computers Kiddos and Teens Legal Matters Mail Order
Management Marketing Marriage MetaPhysical
Motivational MultiMedia Multi Level Marketing NewsLetters
Pets Psychology Religion Parenting
Politics Sales Science Search Engine Optimization
Site Promotion Sports Technology Travel
Web Development Web Hosting WeightLoss Women's Corner
Writing Miscellaneous Articles Real Estate Arts And Crafts
Aging


Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors
and do not necessarily represent the views of bharatbhasha.com and/or its owners.


Copyright AwareINDIA. All rights reserved || Privacy Policy || Terms Of Use || Author Guidelines || Free Articles
FAQs Link To Us || Submit An Article || Free Downloads|| Contact Us || Site Map  || Advertise with Us ||
Click here for Special webhosting packages for visitors of this website only!
Vastu Shastra

Shared Linux Hosting Provided By AwareIndia







Company IDS