Automated workflows put production in the fast lane
The wide-format sector has traditionally not required an
all-in-one workflow, but a changing marketplace is putting pressure on turnarounds and such systems can certainly bring benefits – at a price. Words Jenny Roper
In the commercial print world, it is relatively common for a business to boast that it did not even know a job was there until it rolled off the press, such is the seamless automation of its workflow. And this investment in the pre-press process, such businesses argue, means that the efficiencies are in the system to enable some semblance of a margin off the daily work, be it produced digitally or on a litho press.
This isn’t a boast many in the wide-format sector could, or some would say would need to, make. Margins are traditionally healthier in this sector and that level of automation is usually seen as unnecessary.
Yet software developer GMG has indicated this may be about to change. The release of its ProductionSuite, bringing commercial print style integrated seamless workflow to wide-format, suggests that the commoditisation and reducing margins in commercial print are approaching in all but the most niche corners of the wide-format sector, and so automation is a must. But despite some printers avidly taking up the option, for many this type of product remains a luxury, with them arguing that adapting existing solutions is much the more cost effective option, or that any form of automation is not really required.
"The idea of having the Editor sat in the same package as the colour calibration and RIP is
that there’s a huge time saving benefit."
Graham de Kock, CWE Solutions