Screen previews cloud-based personalisation package

Barney Cox
Monday, February 25, 2013

Screen has shown its cloud-based Variable Front-end Service, which it expects to commercialise by the end of 2013.

The service uses a plug-in to Adobe Acrobat to enable designers to produce and submit a template that they or their client then links to a database. The cloud-based software then handles pre-flighting and PDF creation pulling the appropriate data and graphics into the variable fields.

"This method of working addresses the security concerns customer may have with sharing a database," said Screen Europe vice president of solutions & technology Tim Taylor. It also ensures that presses are fed with a clean PDF created by a professional workflow.

Although the Variable Front-end Service was mooted in the run up to last year’s Drupa, its first European outing was earlier this month at the Hunkeler Innovationdays.

"Everyone who we showed it to in Lucerne liked it and could see the application for it," said Taylor.

The target market is graphically-rich direct mail pieces, which are one of the emerging applications for continuous-feed inkjet.

"This is a design-led tool for future high-value applications," said Taylor. He said that it complemented the firm’s Truepress Jet SX sheetfed B2 inkjet and Truepress Jet 520 continuous feed machines.

The service integrates with Screen’s Equios workflow to enable sites to batch and route jobs through production in the most efficient manner.

There is a Japanese firm beta testing the software and Screen Europe is currently seeking a suitable European site. The technology development is finalised, however, Screen is continuing to work on developing the business model. Taylor said he thought a combination of monthly subscription and page-based fees would be most likely.

The software is based on Screen’s desktop VaryPress Studio variable data application, which is widely used in Japan, where it competes with tools such as GMC PrintNet T, but is not available outside the firm’s domestic market.


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