Offering both offset and digital printing expands a company's
range of services. It also boosts timescale flexibility. Both
printing processes can now be controlled with a single prepress
workflow. The Prinect Digital Print Manager achieves this by
integrating digital printing systems in the Prinect print shop
The slogan of Austrian print shop Grasl Druck & Neue
Medien GmbH, which currently employs a workforce of 120 in Bad
Vöslau near Vienna, is "Everything from a single source
with a single point of contact." To remain true to this motto,
the print shop augmented its existing offset equipment with two
digital printing presses - an HP Indigo 3050 and a Xerox DC 7000.
This had the disadvantage of creating three parallel prepress
workflows, which in turn increased the operator input and
maintenance work required. It also meant deciding early on whether
to process a job using offset or digital printing. To standardize
procedures, the print shop introduced the Prinect Digital Print
Standard format brings integration The Prinect Digital Print Manager uses Job Definition Format
(JDF) and Job Messaging Format (JMF) to communicate with digital
systems. It enables comprehensive information to be defined on the
screen - known as the Prinect Cockpit - and to be output as a job
to offset or digital print systems. The digital output parameters
can be saved in processing sequences, thereby enabling automatic
print job transfer. The Prinect Digital Print Manager also ensures
feedback of production data from the digital printing presses to
the Prinect Cockpit. For example, users can see on screen
whether/when a digital print job is complete and initiate
subsequent postpress operations at the appropriate time. "We
consider the enhanced automation of prepress processes and the
greater transparency of job tracking to be key benefits,"
reveals Walter Grasl.
Flexible selection of printing processes
It is not, however, simply a case of "either/
or". Jobs can also be output on both offset and digital
presses. "If we are printing an annual report, for example, we
can use offset printing for the actual production run but also
produce digital prints quickly in advance," explains Grasl.
This could quite conceivably work the other way round, too. If a
catalog produced using offset printing needs to be reprinted in a
very short run with a particular quality level, this can be done
very quickly and cost-effectively using digital printing. Hybrid
products can also be managed simply, sharing production between
offset and digital printing presses.
In future, it should also be possible to output booklet
proofs from Prinect Prepress Manager directly on digital printing
presses using the Prinect Digital Print Manager. This will save
time and money compared with form proofs or output on laser
printers, while also offering higher quality and greater
flexibility in terms of formats.
Faster return on investment Flexibility in production brings a particularly quick return
on investment for short runs and print-on-demand jobs. "We all
benefit from the Prinect Digital Print Manager and now only use a
single prepress system for offset and digital printing. This
workflow standardization saves us a great deal of time and money
and makes our production operations much more flexible,"
explains Grasl. Production staff can now decide at the last minute
whether to output imposed pages on one of the two Suprasetter 105
presses, the HP Indigo 3050, or the Xerox DC 7000. In addition to
offering everything from a single source, Grasl Druck & Neue
Medien GmbH thus now also satisfies customer needs faster.