advanter special – Datenhandling in Druckereien

advanter special – data handling in print companies

Many processes in a print company are complex, very diverse and subject to high demands. Different types of jobs, for example campaign jobs with hundreds of image files, meet high time & cost pressure as well as maximum quality demands. Information about motifs must be recorded, processed and reliably transferred across different tools.

Data, files, motifs – basis of the orders

Data, files and motifs are the central elements of jobs for printers. Data handling is a highly sensitive and complex issue because, on the one hand, the data must be transferred and stored securely. On the other hand, huge amounts of data are often transferred, which require sufficient capacities. For large campaigns, for example, it is not uncommon for several hundred files to be transferred. These must then be processed and allocated after transmission. And this should be done with a minimum of effort and without friction losses. The files and all related information must always be complete, up-to-date, well-structured and easy to find throughout the entire process until the final product is delivered to the respective end customer.

Data handling also requires suitable interfaces for the seamless transfer and transmission of data including all related information.

The inquiry – launch of a new campaign

The process starts with a price request from a customer. The preliminary calculation is usually based on the customer’s estimated information. Details or final information on the delivery distributor or the number of motifs are often not yet available. The initial calculation is often based on empirical values.

Depending on the scope of the campaign, further information on the order (for example, which country, which branch gets which motifs in which quantities and designs) is provided in an Excel list. This information can be quickly and easily imported into advanter and used to create the order. However, this is usually not sufficient for a final calculation or even an estimate of the margin, because the final details for the order only emerge with the print files…. which arrive far too often just shortly before the start of production.

It is not uncommon for a project to start in this phase. But even at this stage advanter can already record expenses for the analysis or the project action. When the order is finally placed, the framework for the coming production is set on the basis of the quotation.

The delivery of the files

The time pressure is enormous, because the motifs – as is so often the case – are sent just before the start of production. Production is scheduled on the basis of the available key data.

The production files arrive at the print shop in various ways. It is not uncommon for large amounts of data with hundreds of files to be transferred. Various formats in different resolutions find their way to the printer.

The delivery of the data - the way of the files to the print shop
The delivery of the data - the way of the files to the print company

Preparing the files

After the files have arrived, they can be temporarily stored in the advanter DMS directory. Shortly before production, the files are moved to the production directory either with advanter or by the graphics department.

Storage of production files
Storage of production files

Assigning motifs to order items – quick and easy with advanter

Individual files are assigned to the corresponding order items by hand. With large campaigns, however, you quickly reach the limits of manageability – at least when time and quality play such an important role in the project.

With advanter, the assignment of the order item to the ordered motifs is done very simply on the basis of the motif or file name:

Assignment of files or motives to order items
Assignment of files or motifs to order items

Integration of workflow systems

After the ordered motifs have all the details for the print job (incl. file allocation), the order can be made available to a workflow software (e.g. Switch, ESKO, oneVision, tFlow, Durst) via an XML format directly from advanter.

The files are processed in the workflow software (or manually via the graphics department).

The workflow software checks the files using the information from the XML and, if necessary, automatically performs conversions according to the print requirements (size, allowances, profiles, etc.). Files that are marked for manual processing are saved separately. A corresponding mail informs the graphics processing about the necessary manual processing. Notifications are also sent in case of errors.

In addition, the workflow software creates preview images (thumbnails) and saves them in the production directory next to the print files. The preview files are later used by advanter for labelling the motives and packages.

The way of the data to the print
The way of the data to the print

Following the completion of the files by the workflow software or the graphics department, the completion message including reporting and feedback on the duration of graphics processing is sent to advanter, where the information is processed to update the margin.

After conversion of the files, printing is started directly from the RIP software.

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