Extensive prepress workflow integration
Automation Engine features new workflow editing and monitoring capabilities. These come with highly visual feedback through the user interface.
Throughput and efficiency is increased by means of the conditional automation tools. These tools reduce operator intervention, hand-offs and allow for automated decisions and routing in the workflow.
Efficient client application tools
The Pilot is the primary client tool, that runs on Mac and PC, and offers an easy and intuitive interface for any operator or administrator that needs complete access to the system.
Shuttle is a new client that offers an easy user interface for operators that require limited interaction with the workflow. It is available as a module for any of the interactive editing applications (ArtPro, DeskPack, PackEdge, FastImpose,…). Shuttle allows you to launch a workflow straight from the editing application. Shuttle greatly simplifies overall operation and reduces the number of required workflows.
Job organization and data management
A job in Automation Engine represents a production order that organizes the data storage for the job but also the job’s metadata, its link to order ID, due date, customer info, Customer Service Representative contacts…
Besides these administration attributes, a job can also contain the graphical specifications like barcode, inks, RIP options… This job information can be used in any workflow to take advantage of all the data that is already there, avoiding double entries.
Linking with external systems (MIS,ERP)
Automation Engine is able to obtain information from external systems through SQL queries, XML or XMP data… This data populates job information and workflow parameters, using values that already exist. Examples include step & repeat data, barcodes, colors to be used, etc.
All job information, is kept in an internal database, which can be archived for future use. The history of prepress actions in these archives can be used for relaunching jobs or for statistics purposes. Order administration systems can be linked through an MIS integration project.
Information and data are centralized, which reduces operator intervention. Savings are achieved by measuring and billing consumables, proofs and plates.
MIS integration also allows for automated step-and-repeat or imposition. Milestones can be communicated to the business system to report on the status of prepress jobs: “data arrived”, “approved”, “plates ready”…
Reduce the administrative overhead, especially in environments where job runs are becoming shorter, but job overhead stays the same, like in digital print.
Imposition and Step-and-Repeat
The advanced job management available for “page production” environments offers a comprehensive overview of the entire prepress department in relation to pages, proofs, sheets and plates status. This gives better control and easier job flow management.
For step-and-repeat several tasks are available to automate the process, depending on the type of repetition that is required. Data can be acquired from an external database or MIS system to further streamline and automate the overall job processing.