Workflow integration in digital and large format printing

advanter special – Workflow integration in digital and large format printing

The printing sector is facing constant and rapid change. Automated processes, digital networking and the integration of workflow management systems have led to faster and more efficient workflows. Enquiries and requirements are increasingly shifting towards “digital”. The seamless integration of systems is essential for the efficiency of processes.

The printing industry – especially the large format printing sector – is generally known for complex and diverse work orders. The optimised and error-free coordination of jobs, resources and processes is of crucial importance.

Printing industry in transition

The industry has changed dramatically in recent years. Characterised by upheaval and the crises of recent years as well as tough competition, efficiency, resource and cost management are now more crucial success factors than ever.

Requests are increasingly turning into digital (small) orders with frequent format changes. The demand for on-demand printing and personalisation has grown strongly. And the trend is still rising. The integration of online platforms and digital order entry is now often a minimum requirement.

Digitalisation has made rapid inroads and significantly changed work processes. Without digital support in processes and workflows, it is often impossible to cope with the enormous pressure in terms of time, costs and quality.

Great expectations and high demands

Workflow Integration ganzheitlich

Real-time communication of data and information is one of the key factors for commercial success. Many orders come in spontaneously and have to be realised under extremely high time pressure. Flexibility is required! It is important to have a complete and comprehensive overview at all times: Machine utilisation, capacities, stock levels, etc.. All details of all orders must be constantly up to date and available.

Digital support is essential

In the course of the developments described above, workflow automation has established itself as a key component of modern print shop management in recent years. Many manual tasks are automated, which leads to accelerated production, a reduction in errors and increased productivity. In combination with a powerful ERP system, workflow automation enables seamless integration of all processes. Efficiency along the entire print production chain is improved.

What does "workflow automation in the print shop" mean?

Workflow automation generally refers to the (partial) automation of work processes. Originally manual work steps are replaced by automated processes. This can generally take place in almost all areas of a company, whether in production, sales, logistics or accounting.

In the printing industry, workflow automation is primarily supported in pre-press and production with the help of special workflow systems. The degree of automation varies from company to company: everything is possible, from individual sub-areas to complete automation without the need for further manual user intervention. The degree of automation often also depends on the type of job.

Workflow integration: ERP system connected?

In order to digitally map the entire company process, it is essential that the systems used interlock seamlessly and work together without friction loss. In the best case scenario, the user will not even notice the system change.

To ensure this, the automated processes from the workflow software are integrated into the ERP system. The ERP system controls the automated processes at a higher level and monitors the progress of overall production. For example, the data and information from quotation management flows seamlessly into the workflow software, which returns the production data and production status to the ERP system or to connected RIP systems after processing. From there, everything is then forwarded to production, logistics, accounting and/or controlling.

Workflow Integration mit advanter

How to integrate? The optimal connection

The connection of the ERP or MIS software to the workflow systems can be realised in different ways – depending on the specific requirements of the company. Either via a standard interface that is supported by both systems or via a customised interface that is specifically tailored to the needs of the company.

It is a great advantage to use industry-specific ERP software. This is because only here can the special requirements of the industry be implemented with manageable effort.

Workflow integration in practice - connection to advanter

advanter can be easily connected to various workflow systems. Seamlessly and without system changes or special locks.

The connections to Switch from Enfocus in combination with the Impressed Workflow Server, the Automation Engine from ESKO or the Wide Format Automation Suite from OneVision, for example, have been successfully used by many of our customers for years.

For integration, an XML file is created from the advanter job module with all the job details, print positions, formats, sub-formats, motifs and paths. The XML is transferred in the specified path when the job is released or manually exported via the function menu. For the import, the XML is first created in the set workflow import path and imported via the advanter application server.

The way of the data to the print
Workflow integration with advanter

Depending on the job, various workflow types can be stored directly, which control the conversion of the print file in the workflow software, e.g. for textiles, canvas, etc. This can also be stored directly in the address module for standard jobs. For standard jobs, this can also be stored directly in the address module.

Advantages? Numerous! Absolutely! Obviously!


  • Improved efficiency and productivity
  • Cost savings and faster throughput times
  • Improved machine utilisation
  • Better quality control, better overall quality and lower error rates
  • Time savings overall and in many small individual processes, saving time and labour, which in turn can be used for other projects
  • Increased flexibility in the project and improved transparency
  • Greater customer satisfaction and competitiveness
  • Securing margins


Holistic process optimisation with an ERP or MIS system and integrated workflow system offers you as a printing company an effective solution for improving your production processes, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction. And this applies to the big picture as well as to every last detail of your process chain. The automation of tasks and processes enables efficient working methods and provides transparency and control over the workflow.

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