Flexible, Scalable, Integrated Solutions
Open-systems workflow solutions are redefining prepress operations for today's package printers.
by: Marie Alonso, Prepress editor
PACKAGING SERVES THE dual purpose of holding and protecting a product, while effectively presenting and selling the brand. Accordingly, the expectations placed on package printers are very high. Putting today's creative design ideas into practice calls for innovative, flexible solutions. As Heidelberg phrases it, the production process is characterized by seamless workflows, automated handling systems, in-line and off-line coating and finishing, and flexible formats.
As workflow solutions move beyond commercial printing into the packaging environment, many companies are jumping on the JDF bandwagon with their automated, integrated solutions.
Heidelberg's Packaging Solutions are cost-effective workflows targeted to converters producing folding cartons. One product specifically of interest when looking at Heidelberg's approach to automated prepress workflows is Prinect Data Control, an automated control system for networked production. It links together the Prinect CP2000 Center (or CPTronic/CPC 1), Plate Image Reader, and Prinect Prepress Interface, plus connects them with other print shop operations such as prepress, the pressroom, and production planning.
Other presses and finishing machines can also be connected online via an open interface. The Prinect Data Control host interface permits direct exchange of job and production data for follow-up costing. In addition, an AJAVA application also facilitates manual entry of production data to extend the scope of the networked control system. Depending on the customer's needs, the number of users working with this software can vary, and optional "Smart" and "Plus" versions are also available.
Trade shops and converters serving the packaging industry need powerful tools to meet increasing customer expectations. And several companies are offering the workflow solutions to fill these needs.
Creo provides digital solutions for offset, flexo, and gravure printing in streamlined, accelerated workflows for a various industries. These solutions also connect with third-party equipment and file types to include the Internet and business management systems in packaging operations.