Each step in a workflow is performed over and over again, every day. There are subtle changes that alter its direction but for the most part the work gets done. Workflows like these can be fully automated using your existing responses to those subtle changes that define the paths of your workflow.
With the addition of a Preflight and Automation software your existing technology could allow for an automated workflow where a CSR submits a job that is automatically preflighted, imposed and setup for the Indigo press all in one step.
This type of workflow is made possible by the new features for Switch 11, Pitstop Server and HP SmartStream. Together they build very powerful hands off workflows. Existing Indigo users will find that their old Pitstop has a new look. Plugging both the Indigo HP SmartStream and Pitstop Server into Switch 11 will give them an automation ability unlike any other.
Switch is a vendor neutral automation solution allowing users to get more out of their existing investments and workflows. It automates many third party applications and provides a powerful communication tool along with other tools like: job metadata, database communication, PDF preflight, PDF manipulation, Colour correction, Imposition, Web Portal and many others. The website www.crossroads-world.com links all the partners, including HP with the automation users.
The HP Indigo Team has developed three new plugins for Switch that will improve the productivity of HP SmartStream users. One is to control and automate the setup of imposition and the second is to control variable data print jobs. The third gives you the power to automate job submissions directly to Indigo presses removing manual interaction.
Workflows can include the following automated tasks:
Automatically sorting and collating separate jobs and batching into single print jobs.
Cross platform automation of Variable Data Print jobs and Imposition jobs through integration with HP. SmartStream Designer for Adobe InDesign in both Mac and Windows versions.
Automatic and dynamic setup of job parameters such as number of print copies, print priority, stacker destination and separation mode.
Creation and insertion of customized banner sheets at the beginning of jobs to assist in finishing, tracking and fulfillment.
Automation preflight and correction of PDF files prior to print submission.
Automated file manipulation through other third party applications plugged into Switch.
Smart Preflight and Rules Based Automation make workflows effective.
PitStop Pro and Pitstop Server have been significantly improved with the addition of custom rules based automation. Using variables in all flavours we can dynamically preflight and determine which actions to take. Add Switch variables, jdf or xml job tickets coming from MIS, web portal or order entry systems and there are significant opportunites to automate high-volumes production processes.
Variable sets within Pitstop allow the preflight to be contoured to information provided by the PDF or job ticket. Other enhancements include:
A new Find and Replace Tool allows for easily correcting misspellings or applying new branding styles.
Re-merge split text segments into a single line. Text manipulations are made easy.
Pitstop Server’s “Find Text” Action allows users to adjust specific text to a new branding style or ensure that specific text fragments are included like legal phrases. The ability to merge characters and words into single text lines avoids problems with overlapping text when reformatting or correcting text fragments later.
When Pitstop Server is plugged into Switch the entire set of Switch variables can be used for Pitstops variable set. Switch data includes document statistics like size, page count, embedded xmp data, job data, metadata attached to or accompanying the job. Add an order entry portal using Switch client and your customized job ticket can drive the workflow from the start.
Although there will always be jobs that require intervention, the idea of gradually automating the process for certain items can be realized with products like these. Picking a product, a customer, a press, to be the focus for your automation setups make the task within your grasp today. Once your comfort zone is established add modules, try to automate a more complex project. Use resources at www.enfocus.com and www.crossroads-world.com . Download sample flows and setups to get a starting point. Allow Smart Automation to help you realize what you are capable of.