By DPS Staff
Workflow is essential to digital print environments. Providers of software and workflow tools offer capabilities from job submission to proofing and campaign reporting. These vendors highlighted the latest versions of their solutions at Graph Expo, which wrapped up on October 1 in Chicago, IL.
Here, we provide highlights from a few software/workflow solutions providers from the event.
Avanti Computer Systems Limited
Avanti offered demonstrations of the Avanti Slingshot’s Advanced JDF Framework workflow module, which is the company’s newest addition to its Print MIS platform. The new module provides a platform to integrate workflow offerings such as Xerox FreeFlow Core, Ricoh TotalFlow, HP SmartStream, Kodak Prinergy, and Konica Minolta Printgroove into Avanti Slingshot. According to the company, this preserves data integrity and ensures cross-system communication, which is vital to realizing the benefits of Computer Integrated Manufacturing.
CGS featured the latest ORIS CxF Toolbox and ORIS CxF Designer. The ORIS CxF Toolbox converts measured CGATS data from any instrument to CxF data. Any PDFx file can be analyzed with CxF Toolbox to extract data for tone value increase aims, colorimetry, and tolerances.
ORIS CxF Designer users already create CxF files and import them directly into the Adobe design software swatch library. Colormetric brand colors are used for file creation then CxF Designer automatically exports the full CxF metadata to the PDFx file.
Crawford demonstrated its new dashboard technology for high-volume customer communications workflows. The new dashboard allows automated document factory users to know what is happening in real time on the production floor. The company’s dashboards are easy to use, customizable, modular, and provide workflow visibility to offer improved productivity and lower IT costs.
EFI’s Enterprise Automated Workflow showcased, real-time, two-way updates on production progress and challenges including EFI Monarch Portal or EFI Digital StoreFront; Monarch ERP/MIS; Monarch Planner; EFI PrintFlow Dynamic Scheduling; EFI Fiery digital front ends; EFI PrintStream; and EFI SmartLinc.
Also shown was the company’s new Fiery Color Profiler Suite, version 4.6. The Suite’s Express Profiler module enables users to create high-quality output profiles with confidence.
Additionally, the new Fiery FS150 Pro DFE platform, the core processing technology in the Canon imagePRESS F200 server, will be driving new production engines from Canon, Ricoh, and Xerox at the show. The new DFE platform includes the latest version of EFI’s JDF-certified Fiery technology, which can connect users’ operations into efficient, plant-wide management workflows.
The company also displayed its marketing automation and image personalization technologies from its latest acquisition of DirectSmile.
Enfocus demonstrated its Switch 12, Update 2, and the newest versions of the Connect and flagship PitStop families for Graph Expo attendees.
Fujifilm premiered XMF Workflow version 6.1 at the show. The company says its newest version is one of the first systems to utilize Adobe’s scalability framework, known as the Mercury RIP Architecture, to increase speed and performance. XMF Workflow is a powerful and flexible production hub built around PDF and JDF technologies, along with Adobe APPE technology, to offer a rich set of capabilities in pre-flighting, color management, and automated imposition. XMF Workflow streamlines a print facility by automating the work for greater efficiency and productivity, and it’s CIP4 certified.
Fujifilm also debuted XMF Remote version 10.1, which is now 100 percent HTML5. XMF Remote is a powerful job submission/job approval tool, allowing XMF Workflow users the ability to offer customers online job upload, pre-flighting, proofing, and approval abilities. XMF Remote enhances the efficiency for expediting the approval process, and streamlines production.
GMC Software Technology (GMC)
GMC focused its attention on helping print service providers create, produce, deliver, and manage more effective customer communications that drive new opportunities. The company’s solutions allow print service providers of all sizes to produce and deliver all types of customer communication documents through virtually any media channel.
Demonstrating its updated range of color management workflow and proofing technologies, GMG featured the launch of its ColorProof 5.6 as well as highlighted new features of its GMG CoZone.
GMG ColorProof 5.6 marks the latest release of the company’s proofing software. Print facilities with existing systems in place can use a new interface to plug GMG ColorProof 5.6 into their workflow. Many new features include a solution for optical brightened media, smart hot folder and job ticket hot folder, centralized color management, individual working space, parallel RIPping, and automatic re-issuing jobs for continuous productivity.
Also shown, GMC’s CoZone, which is a modular production environment based in the cloud.
Meadows Publishing Solutions
Meadows Publishing Solutions highlighted the latest release of DesignMerge Pro and AutoPrice for Adobe Creative Cloud 2014, supporting both MAC and Window’s platforms.
The company also announced that Meadows DesignMerge Pro is tested and approved for use with the Kodak NexPress Digital Production Color Press.
In addition to its high-speed inserting technology, Pitney Bowes targeted small- and mid-sized businesses with demonstrations of the ConnectRight Mailer. The mail management software provides real-time access to USPS address data and automation discounts so that mailers have peace of mind knowing their communications reach the right addresses immediately.
PressWise by SmartSoft
SmartSoft previewed new print shop management tools for PressWise, its all-in-one Web to print, MIS, and workflow automation system. Updates include new custom reporting features that give shop owners and production managers better insight into their business.
PTI Marketing Technologies
PTI highlighted the newest features and functionalities to serve its evolving customer needs. The company’s MarcomCentral solution boasted new integrations with Birst for business intelligence, Marketo for intelligent email marketing automation, and Salesforce.com integration.
Visitors also saw demonstrations of updates to FusionPro VDP, including a plug-in to Mavericks and Yosemite operating systems, as well as Adobe InDesign CC and CC 2014.
Ricoh showcased several workflow solutions at its Graph Expo booth. Ricoh TotalFlow Path is a hardware agnostic offering designed to connect multiple production print processes ultimately increasing automation. It allows printers to redefine workflows; merge stages of the print process; including applications such as Web to print, prepress, and print management, and enable information to flow swiftly and easily while keeping overall operating costs low.
The company also showcased the Critical Communications Suite, which now offers a new Avanti Slingshot Connect feature, enabling users to send jobs and JDF information to their MIS system from Ricoh ProcessDirector.
Ricoh also demonstrated its 1to1Create marketing Services and Color Management Services.
Kodak exhibited enhancements to KODAK PRINERGY Workflow 6.1. Attendees see how PRINERGY Workflow continues to build on the software’s history of prepress innovation with an improved Web-based interface and easy job management tools.
Rochester Software Associates
Rochester Software Associates (RSA) debuted WebCRD 9.4, offering enhancements designed to reduce errors and the time it takes for users to configure and order documents. Features include Intelligent Document Setup, expanded integrations, and automatic job ticketing for any production printer with native commands or JDF.
The company also showcased the recently released Legalprint automated batch printing and PDF conversion software. LeagalPrint is designed to streamline electronic delivery for legal firms by converting hard copy and electronically stored files and emails from native format to print-ready PDFs for batch processing on production printers.
Tapoix unveiled its Taopix Mobile to the U.S. with its Version 5 photo gift software platform. Taopix Mobile is a new, mobile-Web optimized designer application that comes with Taopix Online, and its HTML5-based designer application.
The company also previewed Version 5 of Taopix Desktop professional download application and new photobook and gift design templates.
Celebrating 25 years of imposition software at Graph Expo, Ultimate TechnoGraphics showcased the new Ultimate Bindery v4. The solution offers a new, responsive Web-based user interface allowing the management of finishing automating from a computer or tablet. Operators and managers now define and manage JDF finishing flows and automate each bindery devices operating a specific finishing transformation on a printed project from any location.
Workflow played an integral role to Xerox’s booth. The company’s booth theme, “Let’s Automate and Simplify,” highlighted the latest release of FreeFlow Core and other workflow solutions designed to eliminate touch points from the print process.
FreeFlow Core 4.0 constructs workflows that intelligently automate file preparation. Building on its launch last year, the enhanced browser-based software solution takes the guesswork out of print and electronic file production with two new optional modules—the Output Management Module, and the Variable Data Printing Module.
Digital Print Innovation
The above only represents a few of the innovations announced on the show floor. Next week we conclude the wrap up with a look at the latest in media/substrates offerings. Look for additional show coverage in the November/December issue. dps
Oct2014, DPS Magazine