Product profile: This month’s topic: Prepress software

Xanté

Xanté’s iQueue 5.0 prepress workflow is a comprehensive system for Xanté’s digital print solutions and it has the ability to manage multiple jobs across multiple Xanté devices, employ advanced screening options to reduce waste, monitor consumables across multiple devices, estimate job costs, provide imposition templates and much more.

Xanté’s iQueue 5.0 enables the operator to set custom screening options including desired linescreen, screen angle and halftone shape. Additionally, Xanté’s colour management allows for colour adjustments on-the-fly and custom profiles to be saved and stored for later use. New to iQueue 5.0 is the Right-On spot colour matching system. This feature uses a visual gamma matching system providing a visual comparison for the operator who can then make the necessary changes. This enables the operator to maintain complete control over colour conversions so that settling for unexpected spot colour conversion issues is no longer a problem.

Job cost estimating is also available at one’s fingertips, whereby clicking on the Job Ticket and entering the desired quantity will provide an estimated consumables cost. Detailed consumables usage across multiple devices is another great feature that provides a detailed view of toner levels, drum life, belt life and fuser life of active Xanté ILUMINA devices. iQueue 5.0’s Print Queues allow jobs to be removed, prioritized and moved between devices with the simple drag and drop feature on the user-friendly interface. When it comes time to archive a job, simply create a folder and drag and drop all projects for the customer. Job Ticket information will be saved in the folder that include customized settings, thereby allowing the operator to simply “press print” when it comes time to reprint. All of these automation and functionality features provide opportunity for greater bottom-line profitability and a better night’s sleep!

XMPie, A Xerox Company

Creating one-to-one marketing campaigns is at the heart of XMPie’s functionality. XMPie was established in the year 2000 to make it easier for people to produce personalized communications. Their prepress technology integrates the Adobe Creative Suite to create personalized marketing pieces that can be executed across multiple mediums. Designs can include personalized images, graphics and data-driven charts and graphs. From a cross-media standpoint, this technology is extremely valuable because it incorporates personalized web pages, response URL’s, personalized emails and mobile messages. As our world becomes more and more hyper-customized (and arguably less driven by messages in print), XMPie’s software solutions allow for intense personalization across a range of mediums to remain relevant to customers. XMPie promises “reach.relevancy.results”.

XMPie’s uDirect VDP and personalization software suite is available in three options:  Classic, Studio and Premier. uDirect Classic allows the user to link to data sources (like Microsoft Excel), as well as incorporate static images, text and graphics from InDesign and make them variable. On the higher end, uDirect Studio and uDirect Premier are ideal for VDP projects that are more image and data-intensive (incorporating Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) that allow advanced variable data image, graphics personalization and customized business data rules.

Another fantastic benefit of the latest XMPie software is the comprehensive ROI reporting capabilities to better measure campaign success. This includes their exclusive technology for up-to-the-minute monitoring of an entire cross-media campaign from one, comprehensive database. This information can then be used to prompt a phone call from sales or customer service, for example, to capture the optimum window of opportunity. Marketing efforts should always be measurable and XMPie helps get the right information into the hands of marketing executives.

EskoArtwork

EskoArtwork provides a broad-range of prepress software solutions for the commercial print market. More specifically, EskoArtwork specializes in prepress solutions for the packaging market.

EskoArtwork’s Automation Engine is a prepress workflow system that helps printers “increase quality, reduce errors and drive cost out of the process.” The system is designed to be transparent by allowing for a simple user interface that the operator, manager or any level employee can easily use. The Automation Engine also supports JDF communication between devices for increased productivity. It avoids the need to provide the information more than once, as well as avoiding conflicting double entries. MIS integration allows for job milestones to be communicated to key individuals, such as “approved”, “plates ready”, and so on.

Advanced job management tools provide a complete overview of the entire prepress process, providing better visibility and control of a given job. The Automation Engine also has a unique “report card” functionality, whereby a report card can be generated for a given job based on predefined custom templates. 3D PDF files can be generated to accurately show how a package will look when complete. The 3D PDF files can be merged into the report card for a comprehensive document relating to all job specifications, images and customer information for easy reference.

Kodak

Kodak’s Prinergy prepress workflow has been in existence for almost 13 years and incorporates job proofing, imposition and RIPing into one cohesive workflow. JDF integration enables increased efficiency as job parameters are set up only once early in the workflow and communicate job specifications to other, third-party devices. Kodak says it best: “With zero-touch automation and connectivity to the widest range of digital presses, the Prinergy Digital Workflow allows you to do more with your digital print system – for less.”

Kodak’s Intelligent Prepress Manager (IPM) is a unique way to save time, reduce waste and improve productivity in the plate room. The IPM allows Kodak plate-making equipment to operate continuously without operator intervention. It eliminates the need for manual checks at regularly scheduled intervals so that operators can attend to more important work. The system continuously monitors the equipment and if anything needs attention it will send an email or SMS to various addresses based on the issue. For example, if the platesetter is in need of restocking, the IPM will alert the operator. When preventative maintenance is required or the chemistry needs replacing, an operator or service technician can be notified. In addition to the obvious time savings and productivity increase opportunities, the IPM also provides custom reports about actual costs of a job. This information can be used by the management team to help calculate job profitability. Estimators can also benefit from this feature to draw from more accurate job costs and apply them in the early stages of future projects.

Comments

Diana Varma is an Instructor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University and the Owner of ON-SITE First Aid & CPR Training Group, a health & safety company that provides training to the Graphic Arts Industry.