Ultimate TechnoGraphics and PrintPlanet.com are proud to present a new whitepaper about the importance of Finishing Automation for printers, written by industry analyst and author Richard Romano.
Automation has become a critical component of the print production workflow. In order for printing companies to compete effectively in today’s challenging print market, productivity and efficiency have become essential. But “workflow automation” has been generally synonymous with “prepress and printing automation,” with binding and finishing often overlooked. A new white paper, Look But Don’t Touch! Automating the Print Production Workflow from Prepress to Finishing-sponsored by Ultimate TechnoGraphics-looks at how this last piece of the production puzzle should not be left out of the workflow automation conversation.
As the white paper identifies, since the beginning of printing, the drive for automation has always been met with some degree of resistance, Even today, print business owners and operators raise questions-and not unreasonable ones-about the cost of automation, the amount of shop disruption that can be involved, if high-tech skills are required to implement it, if it can work with their often assorted collection of multi-vendor equipment, and, ultimately, if there really are significant benefits of finishing automation.
The white paper offers a brief history of automation and a description of the Job Description Format (JDF), the underlying technology that allows complete end-to-end, from prepress to finishing automation. The bulk of the white paper, taking the form of “FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions),” stresses that complete automation-especially finishing automation-is within the reach of virtually any shop, regardless of size, equipment, technological proficiency or job variation. Some of the questions addressed include:
- Why finishing automation is important?
- Manually setting up a job on the finishing line only takes a few minutes. Will finishing automation really help all that much?
- I have too many different jobs. How would I even start to automate anything?
- I have finishing equipment of all different makes and models. How could I possibly automate it all?
- JDF is too complex, and I don’t have programmers. Does that mean automation is not something I can avail myself of?
- My equipment is not JDF-enabled. Does that mean that I can’t automate it?
The white paper answers these questions and more, and identifies software solutions- with examples like Ultimate Bindery®-that can take the manual labor out of prepping jobs for finishing, allowing finishing to be set up and “preflighted” as early as the prepress stage, ensuring that all job specs are compatible with the available finishing equipment, saving shops time, labor, materials, and money.
According to PrintPlanet CEO Paul White, “A job can’t be shipped until it’s finished, so automating the entire process from ordering to finishing makes perfect sense. And, while streamlining their manufacturing process, savvy printers gain a significant profitability edge. Increasing the bottom line is a very important topic for PrintPlanet members, and we thank Ultimate TechnoGraphics for sharing this exclusive report.”