MIS developer Tharstern has launched a new tool to enable printers to teach their MIS how to lay down impositions in the correct way for their equipment and processes.
Layout Library removes the need for a company’s pre-press department to manually adjust or change the impositions sent down by the MIS, Tharstern said.
“MIS-to-pre-press connectivity is pivotal to automation and while there have been great strides made in this area, it has still always felt like all of the knowledge was held in pre-press and the MIS was only sending a rough idea of the imposition layout for pre-press to interpret and make good,” said Tharstern managing director Keith McMurtrie.
“On the whole, that did work, but one of the challenges that has remained unconquerable, in our opinion, is change control. When pre-press make changes to an imposition, the integrity of the workflow is broken and feedback about job status and costing is nearly impossible.
“Some pre-press systems have gone a long way in trying to communicate this information back to the MIS but, honestly, it’s typically too late or too difficult to flush that information into the relevant areas for each job. There are just too many implications.”
McMurtrie added the main problem with automatic impositions created by an MIS is that, while they follow industry standards and best practice, there is not an automatic “one-size-fits-all” way to do this that would work for everyone.
“Each and every company we work with has so many variables and personal preferences that affect how they want to lay down their impositions.
“What people seem to want in an automatic production route is for the MIS to come up with the layout that they would have selected manually.”
Using Layout Library, Tharstern said the MIS will still create dynamic impositions automatically but there is now added functionality to teach the software about any exceptions to the rules.
Users can tell their MIS exactly how to lay down different products and different parts, and can control all the flipping and rotating of their signatures and sheets to fit in with their equipment and workflow.
They can also make allowances for non-printable regions for slow-down wheels, flex signature and sheet sizes automatically, and also support variable cut-off CutStar type equipment.
These layout profiles are then assigned product types and criteria – for example, substrate, run length, orientation and grain direction – so the estimating engine within Tharstern knows which imposition to select for that product type and situation. There is no limit to the number of layout profiles that can be created.
The layouts can be associated with different equipment, Tharstern said, with one imposition for digital and one for litho, one for a bookletmaker and one for conventional binding, for example.
Users can also set different layouts for situations where the imposition needs to be different because of additional finishing processes, such as die-cutting.
Layout Library is available with immediate effect and the new tool can be installed at existing customers' sites by Tharstern's technical team.
Tharstern will demonstrate the Layout Library in a webinar tomorrow (13 June) at 3pm. To register, visit: bit.ly/tharstern-layout.