Leading print software developer Caldera has launched the latest update to its flagship workflow solution, Flow+ 2.0. The second-generation software has been completely rebuilt to be Caldera's fastest and most accurate wide-format workflow system yet.
First revealed at FESPA 2013 in June, the latest improvements in Flow+ 2.0 address three key areas to give better all-round performance. A new design and graphic interface offers an enhanced, streamlined user experience, while the Real Time Statistics Engine allows operators to see a snapshot of the current production load; a production planning module features a number of tools for output optimisation. As with previous versions, Flow+ 2.0 will not only integrate perfectly with Caldera's RIP solutions, but is also compatible with most major third-party RIPs.
"As printing equipment develops and improves, so must the software for driving it," says Serge Clauss, product sales manager Caldera. "As we saw at FESPA 2013, there is a new generation of ultra-fast wide-format printers arriving on the market, and we have anticipated our customers' demand for these machines with a comprehensive workflow product that is capable of matching their pace."
Built on more than 20 years of experience in wide-format imaging, Caldera has created Flow+ 2.0 to be a complete dashboard for printing operations of any size, helping users to manage and monitor jobs at all stages of the workflow, from quotation to delivery. Amongst its key features, the advanced quotation system is a particular boon to existing customers – including Belgian wide-format house Pélegrie, which has seen significant efficiency gains through consistent, customised quoting.
Live job tracking is enhanced in the latest Flow+ release, with the Real Time Statistic Engine able to generate clear charts with coloured icons to help production managers monitor individual jobs and assess the overall workload at a glance. Another major component is the production planning module which, in tandem with the statistics engine, helps printers maximise the efficiency of their equipment and resources. Production managers are able to prioritise jobs or transfer work from one machine to another within one easy-to-use interface.
Tools such as stock and inventory management and integration with major accounting packages allow for finite monitoring and control of materials usage, as well as having an immediate calculation of the profit margin for each job based on the cost of media, inks and other business-specific variables. These data can also be channelled into reports to help management and sales teams see which products are performing most successfully, for example, or where productivity gains could be made.
"We have made marked improvements to the architecture of Flow+ to make version 2.0 our most robust workflow product yet," says Julien Walther, Flow+ project manager, Caldera. "With the new Statistics Engine and production planning tools, our users will have the ultimate control of their production floors at their fingertips."