This article is sponsored by Canon as part of WhatTheyThink's Print Software Product Spotlight series. In preparing this article, the WhatTheyThink Print Software Section editors conducted original research on Canon’s PRISMA Tools. This Product Spotlight describes what the editors feel are the product suite’s strengths in the marketplace. Canon reviewed the final article for accuracy but had no editorial control over the content.

Wearable technologies have exploded in popularity in recent years. The growth is not a surprise since smartwatches have matured beyond their role as an extension of your smartphone into a health monitoring tool. Today’s smartwatches provide real-time information for the wearer’s health in one small, easy-to-use device.

Wearables push useful information to the user’s attention. By taking the pulse of your health, from heartbeat to the number of steps taken daily, you can make better health decisions. In the past, measuring your heart rate and rhythms, physical activity, sleep patterns, and other lifestyle information would have required different devices, expertise to understand them, and time to manage them. Tools that make data accessible and understandable are making a similar impact in the printing industry.

How do you take the pulse of your print operations? Shop floor supervisors and operators must be aware of schedules, work-in-progress jobs, equipment status, material consumption, and other operational metrics. Shop floor data may be gathered and connected to a print MIS solution, but can everyone see that information in real-time to make spontaneous adjustments and meet deadlines or customer requests? In many cases, the data is not accessible to the very people who need to react to the information to meet delivery timeframes. The system may be too complex to train operators, require costly licenses limiting the number of users, or lack options to provide a customizable dashboard.

Canon’s PRISMAlytics Dashboard is like a smartwatch for keeping the pulse of your print operation. It works with PRISMAsync-connected printing equipment like Canon’s imagePRESS and varioPRINT devices. The solution is part of Canon’s cloud-based application suite accessible through a web browser connection from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. PRISMAlytics Dashboard provides shop floor supervisors and operators with a single view of connected equipment. This includes displaying detailed printer usage and productivity data,  consumable usage on supported presses, calibration history and non-productive and maintenance times. Users can easily select specific periods of times for analysis and comparisons.

Since that information is reported from the equipment every 15 minutes, the operators and supervisors can focus on production instead of data collection. The dashboards are particularly helpful for analyzing the impact of changes in the production environment. The impact of a change in paper from your supplier, for example, can be monitored to see if it produces more jams or other issues. Printer performance levels and usage can be watched over time to understand benchmark productivity levels and identify trends. Finally, the data can be exported as a CSV file for further analysis and reporting. 

In-plants and other print environments that need printer utilization data for billing or chargeback purposes can benefit from another application called PRISMAlytics Accounting. The solution is easy to set up and can capture accurate job, customer, or department accounting information for allocating costs to the correct client or budget-holder. Like PRISMAlytics Dashboard, the information can be exported as a CSV file for additional analysis or reporting. The CSV file can then be imported into your preferred accounting software for billing. More extensive reporting capabilities are available as options, such as data by user or account ID and media and inkjet consumption.

PRISMAlytics Accounting reporting can also be a valuable tool for account managers and customer support representatives, providing access to detailed information when responding to billing or usage inquiries. The ability to capture the detailed accounting record in near real-time for import into your billing software reduces manual errors and can help speed up the accounts payable and receivable cycles. 

Just as the smartwatch brings awareness of information for its user to make better health decisions, the collection of PRISMAlytics Tools for data analysis and accounting monitors the operational pulse and direction of your print operation. The awareness these tools provide in near real-time can help your staff make quick and decisive actions to help keep production running smoothly and make better print production decisions.

See the companion WhatTheyThink Product Spotlight to review the PRISMAprepare Go solution. PRISMAprepare Go is a pre-production workflow solution that allows customers to submit print jobs into the print shop workflow easily.