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Thought Leadership Video Series

EFI's Wide Format Automation Solutions

Published on January 10, 2012

Senior Marketing Manager Mark Goodearl and Cary Sherburne discuss how EFI brings better integration for a more efficient workflow to meet wide format's ever increasing demand for automation.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com, and I’m here with Mark Goodearl, who is Product Marketing Manager for EFI Inkjet Solutions.  Welcome.  

Mark Goodearl:  Thank you.  

Cary Sherburne: So, in the wide format market, what’s going on in terms of process automation, meaning, commercial print companies have been sort of worrying about this for a while and many of them have taken steps to automate their process.  Are wide format people finding the same issues?  

Mark Goodearl:  Yeah, everybody wants to become more efficient.  They want to find automation and efficiencies in their operations.  So what EFI, VTeck and overall what EFI’s been doing is working to create better integration between the product sets.  So, from the inkjet solutions perspective, we’ve been working to develop hooks into the Fiery XF RIP.  

Cary Sherburne: Okay.  

Mark Goodearl:  So that people in free press and the person operating the printer have visibility to each other through the systems.  And when a job is RIPped and a press… the artwork and the parameters that go with that job are pushed through the printer and the press operator doesn’t have any questions about, you know, what type of sub straight or how many copies or how is this supposed to be run.  That information is passed to them.  

Cary Sherburne:  So the whole job ticket, JDF… is it JDF can be used?  

Mark Goodearl:  We use – so on the Vutek GS printers, we’ve integrated a JDF server.  So that that job information is transmitted electronically from the prepress to the printer and ultimately it gets pushed back upstream to the Fiery XF station as well in terms of the job start time, end time, duration, print, ink usage, sub straight, square area, things like that that help you understand your machine utilization, your human resources, your costs of your materials and you can even calculate your waste from that information.  

Cary Sherburne:  So, you can also go further upstream, right?  Into, like, digital storefront.  

Mark Goodearl:  Absolutely.  

Cary Sherburne: So you have a customer facing.  So talk a little bit about that.  

Mark Goodearl:  So with digital storefront, you have a 24/7, 365 day storefront allowing your customers, customer, as it may be, to submit their orders.  You aggregate those into MIS, the customer receives a job, you know, their ticket number, you know, they request their due date; they can do their e-commerce right there.  

Cary Sherburne:  Whole thing.  

Mark Goodearl:  Pay for it, it’s all taken care of, you can set it up for ad hoc jobs or catalogue type jobs were they just pick, you know, I need 10 more of these.  And that gets pulled into the MIS, managed, sent to the prepress station, RIPped and is sent to the printer.  

Cary Sherburne:  So this really gives you – gives the printer and end-to-end control over the, both the production and the business processes…  

Mark Goodearl:  It does.  

Cary Sherburne:  It might be a little intimidating maybe to look at that and say, aye, you know, how do I even get started.  So, how do I get started?  I mean, do I have to do it all at once?  How do I do it?  

Mark Goodearl:  No, it’s very modular.  You can add the pieces that are relevant to you at the time you need it.  If you buy a Vutek GS printer that capability is built into it.  

Cary Sherburne:  So the Fiery comes with that.  

Mark Goodearl:  Fiery comes with it.  So, by default, you get the basic four set of integration in terms of the RIP and the printer have that capability.  It’s done through your network, so basically, once you have your printer and RIP installed, you just, there’s a handshake that’s done based on IT addresses and they’re connected.  And then from that point on, the activity on the printer, if it comes from that RIP, will be reflected in the RIP and you can see what’s in queue, what’s printing, what’s printed, stage of process of the kind of job, etc.  And you have that afterward information in terms of the metrics of other jobs.  

Cary Sherburne:  So then, when maybe the next element that they would like to – that they should think about is maybe the MIS and then maybe finally the customer facing.  

Mark Goodearl:  Right.  So, you know, they may want to start with digital storefront, they may want to start with some basic cross captured modules of pace system.  Really, you can step into it and, you know, add one module at a time.  Maybe you start with basic cost capture and then move onto scheduling at a later time once you’ve understood and you know, change the workflow process of your organization.  

Cary Sherburne:  Great.  Thank you very much.  

Mark Goodearl:  Thank you.  

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Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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