Improves automation in printing processes that include combined offset and digital systems
Komori Corporation (Sumida-ku, Tokyo; President, Representative Director and COO: Satoshi Mochida) and SCREEN Graphic and Precision Solutions Co., Ltd. (Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto; Representative Director, President and Corporate Officer: Tsuneo Baba) have completed development of a new integrated workflow solution that significantly enhances automation in all processes from prepress to printing and through to postpress. Komori and SCREEN GP have already installed the workflow at printing company Mizukami Insatsu Co., Ltd. and are currently performing verification tests. The following is an outline.
Integrated Workflow Promoting Printing System Automation
As client needs continue to diversify, printing companies are being forced to work to ever shorter deadlines. This has created a requirement for more efficient work processes that incorporate both offset and digital systems, making it possible to achieve optimal results for a variety of different needs. Komori and SCREEN GP have answered this call by developing a solution that combines KP-Connect Pro (formerly K-Station 4), Komori’s advanced printing task control software, and EQUIOS 5.0, the latest version of SCREEN GP’s universal workflow platform.
This workflow is being used at the Mizukami Insatsu site to improve automation along a hybrid printing process that includes a PlateRite plate recorder, Lithrone G sheet-fed offset press and Impremia IS29 29 inch sheet-fed UV inkjet digital printing system. These systems will also be linked to postpress devices via JDF, creating a workflow that supports comprehensive integrated control from prepress right through to postpress.
Komori’s KP-Connect Pro (formerly K-Station 4) printing task control software is positioned between the MIS and production site, where it brings transparency to complex process information and allows all operators to share the latest production details. With its direct link to Komori’s production equipment, the software is able to automatically set work instructions and collect precise information on operating results. While it can easily be run from iPads or other tablet devices, its schedule creation/transmission and result collection functions enable sophisticated real-time control of all production devices.
To develop its EQUIOS universal workflow, SCREEN GP drew on its extensive technical knowledge of prepress and printing processes and combined this with its expertise in cutting-edge inkjet technologies. This wealth of results-based experience gave rise to a highly professional technology that offers high-speed processing using the latest RIP core, color management linked to paper information and imposition functions that integrate SCREEN’s full prepress knowhow, allowing it to function as a control center for a wide range of print devices. In short, EQUIOS helps to create an environment in which any printing system can produce outstanding quality, performance and stability even for relatively inexperienced operators.
Komori and SCREEN GP plan to continue their current technical cooperation as they work to provide further optimized solutions to the printing industry’s need to handle increasingly diversified, short-turnaround jobs. Both companies are also fully committed to maintaining their efforts to promote continuing growth of the overall printing industry.
? Comments by Katsuya Kawai, President of Mizukami Insatsu Co., Ltd.
One of the prime goals we are promoting is the creation of a design for a smart factory by 2025. All devices, peripherals and processes will be connected using IoT concepts, enabling dramatically improved transparency of real-time operations. A single operator will control multiple systems, part-time employees, AI and robotics. Our vision is to create a smart factory that uses next-generation printing logistics to achieve a truly new dimension of productivity.
The verification project currently being performed with Komori and SCREEN GP is basically the first step toward realizing this vision. I am looking forward to even greater cooperation between printing companies and equipment manufacturers as we move forward. This will enable us to develop the optimal type of facilities we require for the future.
? Mizukami Insatsu Co., Ltd.
Mizukami Insatsu has embraced a business model that, at its core, fuses production and service, and is based around a concept of removing all burden from its customers. To make this possible, the company maintains a wide array of departments that handle marketing, creative design, customized production, fulfillment, logistics and information and communication technology. Mizukami Insatsu also continues to pursue an active growth strategy. Construction work on its new fulfillment center is currently scheduled for completion in March 2017.
? Comments by Eiji Kajita, Director and Operating Officer and General Manager, Corporate Planning Office, Komori Corporation
I firmly believe the next-generation integrated workflow solution formed by EQUIOS and KP-Connect Pro will help to significantly improve the optimization and performance of prepress and press operations, and in fact the entire printing process. We are currently performing verification tests of this workflow at Mizukami Insatsu, a highly progressive company that operates print lines including combined offset and digital systems. It fills me with great pride to be able to make this announcement.
? Komori Corporation
Komori is a leading manufacturer whose products include Lithrone and Enthrone series sheet-fed offset presses, System series web offset presses and various other graphic arts devices. It also supplies currency printing presses to Japan’s National Printing Bureau as well as customers in dozens of countries around the world.
Komori is committed to improving the quality and performance of its existing presses and responding to the ongoing trend toward digital and networked production. It is currently focused on the development of information sharing networks and automated systems supporting the construction of integrated print workflows. Komori’s long-term goal is to continue providing its customers with a comprehensive range of printing solutions tailored to specific needs as it works to remain a trusted print engineering service provider (PESP).
? Comments by Tsuneo Baba, President of SCREEN Graphic and Precision Solutions Co., Ltd.
I am delighted with the integrated workflow we have been able to create by combining the latest version of EQUIOS with KP-Connect Pro. It has allowed the creation of a comprehensive solution platform that will help to address a wide range of printing needs. With its installation at Mizukami Insatsu, the workflow is expected to make a major contribution to automation along the entire printing process. I am also confident this and future technical collaborations between Komori and SCREEN GP will become a major source of innovation for the whole printing industry.
? SCREEN Graphic and Precision Solutions Co., Ltd. (SCREEN GP)
SCREEN GP is a core group company of SCREEN Holdings Co., Ltd. (formerly Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd.) and is also one of the world’s leading manufacturers of graphic arts equipment. SCREEN GP has utilized the image processing and inkjet technologies developed by the SCREEN Group over many decades to create the Truepress Jet series of inkjet POD presses, which includes roll-fed, UV label, large size and sheet-fed systems. The comprehensive lineup also features market-leading products such as EQUIOS universal workflow and the PlateRite series of CtP devices.