Global Graphics(Nasdaq Europe: GLGR, Euronext: GLOG), the world's leading OEM supplier of software and equipment to the graphic arts industry today unveiled a new version of its MaxWorkFlow software here in Booth # 7105 at Print '01.
New version 3.6 adds new modules to the system's expanding set of workflow functions. It now provides system status reports in real time and can automatically append barcodes to documents, film, or plates to automate the flow of work. The new version also gives OEMs new tools with which to easily integrate third-party vector software such as preflighting and imposition packages or raster software such as printer drivers, to customize the system to their customers' unique needs.
MaxWorkFlow is the company's next-generation, open architecture visual workflow system that allows OEMs to create customized print production workflows based on industry standard file formats such as PostScript, PDF, EPS and TIFF. The software currently includes more than 25 different modules that perform multiple tasks and make complex output processes simple and efficient. MaxWorkFlow handles key tasks such as local/remote proofing, high-resolution outputting, EPS and PDF optimization, downsampling, composite proofing, imposition, OPI, and trapping. Its unique user interface and modular design ensure the system can be customized for individual needs and easily upgraded.
"Version 3.6 of MaxWorkFlow provides additional new functions that help OEMs integrate any technology they choose into MaxWorkFlow-based systems, and give users new tools to automate workflows. The result is a more powerful and flexible workflow product that is customized by OEMs to the needs of the markets and clients they serve, and is also easy for users to install, learn and use to solve specific workflow problems," said James Freidah, president and chief operating officer, Global Graphics Software.
The new modules included in MaxWorkFlow 3.6 are as follows:
MaxBarCode is a pre-RIP module that can generate and affix a barcode to any output media – page, film or plate – when a MaxRIP, Optimizer or MaxPDFCreator module interprets the PostScript. The barcoded media can then be tracked by optical readers and routed automatically through the production process. This means Global Graphics Software OEMs can now integrate the MaxBarCode module to provide MaxWorkFlow systems, as well as to route and track corporate document workflows.
The module presently supports the following barcode formats such as EAN, UPC and Code 39. It also enables barcodes to be scaled, rotated, and located anywhere on the page or plate. When utilized with MaxSmartScan Naming Convention feature, unique barcode names based on file field attributes such as Name, Page, Color, Title in PS, Plate number, Project, etc., are possible. Additionally, multiple barcodes per page or plate can be configured in an easy to use GUI.
MaxMasterReport is a new job management module that gives workflow system administrators a real-time window into the entire operation of a MaxWorkFlow system from anywhere on a LAN or WAN. The new module logs all events for every important system activity, allowing the administrator to see the status of any job or module throughout the system and identify where and when problems occur. These can range from preflighting errors to paper jams and no media loaded to output device and system errors.
MaxWorkFlow Job Management Modules are controlled through the setup of the MaxSmartScan folder, and MaxQueuers. These modules work together to accept input from all types of computer systems and route data intelligently to the production modules. Using intuitively easy setup tools, MaxSmartScan publishes the workflow to users on the network. The management data is reported back to the system with logging of all activities that occurs inside the MaxWorkFlow system. The MaxMasterReport client runs on any browser on the user's network, allowing them, for example, to monitor a workflow in Chicago from across the country or halfway around the world.
OEM Tool Modules
The new MaxEnabler and MaxBlackBox modules offer a simple way for third-party developers to integrate their own proprietary subsystems into the MaxWorkFlow product.
MaxEnabler affords the OEM to integrate existing proprietary or third party applications directly into the workflow. Accommodating EPS, PDF and PostScript job files, MaxEnabler places them in a Hot folder where an external application — the OEM's unique trapping or color management modules, for example — can access them. It later returns them to MaxWorkFlow after they have been processed. In addition, MaxEnabler writes out an XML 'job ticket' so that intelligent applications are able to dynamically discern the intended destination devices and the re-entry points back in to the workflow After re-entry, job files resume their progression along the MaxWorkFlow delineated workflow steps as normal.
MaxBlackBox lets OEMs integrate their own terminal modules – such as drivers for specific platesetters, proofers and digital copiers or even data conversion to other file formats. OEM and third party technologies are programmatically bound to a visual representation in MaxWorkFlow, where they operate as native workflow modules and can even operate in distributed environments.
The Page Splitter module takes a multi-page PostScript file and splits it into individual, smaller files, in PDF, EPS or PostScript for every page. Thus a single PostScript file with 10 pages is converted into 10 separate PostScript files.
The files generated by the Page Splitter module can be made available to other systems via the Queuer module or they can be sent for output via a Harlequin RIP module. For example, the Page Splitter can send the individual pages in a multipage file to multiple RIPping stations for parallel processing resulting in much faster overall throughput for the job.
Many of the new modules are being demonstrated here at Print '01. All have been released and are available for immediate shipment to Global Graphics OEMs.
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