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Technique and Agfa implement MIS and JDF integration with :Apogee

Friday, June 13, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

(June 12, 2008) At DRUPA 08, Grafische Groep Bongaerts (GGB) has selected Technique to provide a complete MIS solution across its Web Offset and Sheet-fed printing plants.

The solution will provide a fully integrated workflow covering all commercial, production and business functions. The commercial aspects include Technique's tightly integrated, web-based, CRM, Sales Enquiries and the new "Customer Portal" applications. These tools provide highly efficient, seamless integration with the back office estimating application, considerably reducing the amount of re-keying of data and providing a fully electronic workflow from Request for Quote, Estimate, Quote, Order Confirmation and Order Entry.

Production will be run with Technique's Order Management, Production Scheduling and Data Collection. Besides normal order administration functions, Order Management is used for the majority of job planning and allows work to be moved between both internal and external resources, as well as allowing sections to be split and combined without going back to estimating. The seamless integration with Scheduling and Data Collection and use of (XML-based) electronic job tickets eliminates the need to print paper job tickets completely and it avoids that stale information is used in production. Once a job enters a production, the status of all-scheduled-tasks and all-products-produced (including work in progress) can be tracked by staff and customers. The system shows the schedules, the quantities and the location of all pallets in real-time.

A key part of the implementation will be the connection to Agfa's Apogee pre-press software. Jobs, incl. all relevant production parameters such as the imposition, are automatically created in :Apogee Portal and passed along to :Apogee Prepress for production. In real time, events about pages received and approved, and plates made are communicated back to the Schedule. This allows real-time tracking of all of the key pre-press milestones without the use of paper lists and long production meetings.

"Integrating the Technique MIS with :Apogee shows that JDF integration really works", says Bart De Pelsmaeker, Director of the Software Group at Agfa Graphics, "the customer has evident benefits from it, like a further standardization of jobs that will automatically process with less effort and less cost."
The pre-press department can see the schedule live and will know in time when jobs approach press-time while not all pages have arrived, and approvals or plates are still missing. Any imminent problems can be seen well in advance allowing either immediate action to be taken to resolve the problem, or a change in the running order on press to be applied based on which jobs have met all the key milestones.

"Communication is probably one of the most important issues to handle in our industry," says Bart Bongaerts, Joint Managing Director of GGB, "now that we can integrate our :Apogee system from Agfa with the Technique solution, we will automate the process for sure, but first of all we expect to be working more efficiently at the end."

Much of the business data will be produced from Technique's data collection systems, which will be installed on all presses, and the real-time inventory control that links the reel stand at the press to the inventory control system. As rolls are consumed, the inventory is updated immediately. Analysis tools include the comprehensive suite of standard reports as well as Technique's new "Business Intelligence" module. This module ships with a library of reports. The data underlying data sets allow simple modification of existing reports or creation of new reports. All reports are available via a web browser and subscriptions can be created for any report, permitting any report to be delivered via e-mail (in a variety of formats) at any desired date and time. This proactive report generation method means data is delivered in a timely manner and without interaction from the user.

"We are extremely pleased to have been selected by GGB to provide solutions to their well respected company. We fully hope to capitalise on the Agfa partnership with GGB's current :Apogee products to deliver amazing levels of business automation." Paul Cooper, CEO of Technique




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