The tools to automate your workflow are better than ever. Countless announcements from drupa followed the same underlying theme—workflow automation.
Automation pioneer David Watson, founder of Ultimate Technographics, will be missed after his passing at drupa this year. He introduced Impostrip at drupa in 1990 and this year was announcing a line of products to automate every part of the industry.
The Ultimate Lineup has packages specifically for digital printing, with features including PDF optimizing, Barcoding options, Digital Book and Card Stackers, and OnDemand imposing. For offset printing, there are modules offering Page Pairing, Proofing, and Smart Marks and ganging features. Ink Ready is a module for creating CIP4 PPF files, and the product levels are based on press size so you get all that you need. Ultimate has newspaper printing covered as well. The product has page pairing, which supports multiple editions and has options for web growth and fanning to compensate in prepress for imperfections in the web press.
Ultimate announced their work with other vendors to provide JDF connectivity with digital in-line and near-line booklet finishing equipment. Lastly, there is software available to impose XPS native pages, which you may remember from a previous article are native print files from machines with Windows Vista and XML capabilities.
Use the Ultimate Impostrip On Demand plugin for PowerSWITCH 08 or use the built-in hot folder feature to place folders in PowerSWITCH workflows. The new PowerSWITCH 08 has launched and the open source product, now from Enfocus, has many powerful new features to create automated workflows.
Switch 08 is a major upgrade for the whole Switch group of products. Tools for scheduling, prioritizing, and timing have been added to increase the capacity of equipment and balance loads. Improvements have been made to the already powerful FTP and Email tools to allow for timing and control over file removal.
Along with the addition of the Ultimate Impostrip On Demand plugin, there is an EFI ColorProof XT Configurator that can configure BestColor proofs based on metadata passed from the file. Many of the existing tools have been updated as well.
Currently there are a large number of vendors working together to allow you to pick and choose exactly what you need to automate your processes. We all share the same dream of a platform that is open and to which vendors can bring the very best of their products as users need them. Gradually, we will automate each process, fitting it into the workflow; we will add pieces each day, week, and month, making it better and better. You can realize this dream if you just look at the products around you and see that there are vendors working together to help the industry automate.
Find out more about Ultimate Technographics and their products at www.imposition.com and visit crossroads.gradual.com to see the who’s who of vendors supporting this dream of automation. SWITCH 08 products are available for a free trial at www.enfocus.com.