The manufacturer is working with one of its current existing web-to-print partners, which include RedTie, EFI Digital Storefront, PageFlex, BrandMaker, Neo7even and MS-Visucom, to develop the module, which will be co-branded, but it will not confirm which partner it has chosen until September.
Prinect web-to-print manager will enable users to automate processes such as creating mixed forms or selecting the most suitable production technology. The web-to-print functions also have direct access to the central Prinect database along with the MIS and production workflow, which will enable print buyers to place orders or issue print approvals online via customised web-to-print portals.
Both Heidelberg and its chosen partner are building the system, which will be an optional module for Prinect, to agreed specifications but it will not be joint intellectual property and they are not sharing research and development. Heidelberg will distribute the system exclusively via its sales and service organisation.
The web-to-print solution will be targeted mainly at commercial sheet-fed offset printers. Users will be able to customise templates and import InDesign pages as templates.
Heidelberg estimates that a basic template could be created within a few minutes.
Dr Peter Leu, Heidelberg vice president of Prinect Workflow, said: "We have now almost completed the storefront capabilities. At Graph Expo the integration with Prinect will be shown as an early version. Up until Drupa next year we will be working on finalising the integration, which will include automatic processing and gang automation, ready for full demo and shipment."
Heidelberg is also developing Prinect Business Manager, a fully integrated MIS solution with central data management based on technoloy developed by software manufacturer CERM, which was acquired by Heidelberg earlier this year. The Prinect Business Manager system will eventually be able to access the same database as the production workflow.