Several manufacturers will use the frontend at Drupa

Hybrid readies new workflow and direct drive DFE for digital presses

Rottenborn, far left: it needs a lot more data to drive the latest digital presses

Hybrid Software will showcase a new workflow system at Drupa that promises to "take away IT headaches” for end users.

CEO Mike Rottenborn described today’s IT environment as “more challenging for customers”.

“Any customer-facing system is prone to hacking or malware or phishing attacks, and that’s what they talk to Hybrid for – we operate at the nexus of print production and cutting-edge IT.”

Its existing Cloudflow workflow product is used by thousands of customers, and at Drupa Hybrid will add to the family with the launch of MyCloudflow.

“Hybrid operates MyCloudflow for the customers and takes full responsibility for the operation and for the availability,” explained CMO Christopher Graf.

“It takes away local IT headaches that customers may have, and also the heavy hardware investments that may be needed in order to run an environment like this.”

Hybrid Software will run all its Drupa demonstrations on the MyCloudflow technology stack. It is a 100% cloud-based, SaaS product.

“It runs in AWS using Mambo. It’s a no IT solution, so it offers quick access and it’s a private and secure environment for each customer,” Graf added.

He also cited strong data protection and “immutable backups”.

There’s also a new colour management module for Cloudflow, ColorSpace, which analyses files and whether the design would be printable on any particular output device.

Other new products include MyPackz, described as a logical next step for its Packz PDF editing solution for labels and packaging.

Hybrid Software also aims to make 3D modelling “mainstream” with the launch of Capture 3D.

It will show the software for shrink sleeves and metal forming such as tin cans at Drupa.

Rottenborn said the group was unique because it serves both OEMs and end users.

Although some of its OEM relationships are confidential, it has partnerships with HP, Fujifilm, ABG, Canon, Koenig & Bauer and Weigang.

Its Global Graphics business has launched a Smart DFE using software know-how from across the group, and powered by the Harlequin Direct RIP.

“Digital presses are getting bigger, they’re getting faster, they’re getting higher resolution and higher quality, and all that translates to mean it needs a lot more data to drive a digital press,” Rottenborn stated.

“The old architecture a DFE would RIP a job to a hard disk and then stream it from the hard disk to the digital press. It created a kind of toxic combination of hardware cost where the DFE and servers it ran on were costing as much as the digital press!”

“We’ve broken that model with Smart DFE, which means we RIP direct to the printhead electronics without ever buffering that job on disk.”

He said the all-in-one digital frontend would be used by “several major manufacturers” at Drupa.

Hybrid’s subsidiary Meteor Inkjet has developed a head driver card for the new Epson D3000 printhead, and the group will also show a 4m-long ink tester on its booth using the new Epson heads.

Rottenborn also noted that despite all the hype around advances in digital printing “conventional printing is not going away” and the firm was still investing in flexo screening technology and automation for offset printing.