April '22

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(Image courtesy Agfa) G R A PH I C S - PR O.C O M 2 0 2 2 A P R I L G R A P H I C S P R O 1 9 SOFTWARE Workflow has improved dramati- cally and will continue to improve, Hutcheson says. Years ago, shops were set up with a RIP software and a printer. at has changed dramatically. She says when people talk about workow, they are not talking about RIP software. ey are talking about a dynamic process that is trying to streamline and automate as much of the steps leading up to getting a job on the press as possible. Because everything can be automated upfront, "it helps to catch any type of mistakes upfront," Hutcheson says. "Talking about cost efficiencies, you want to nd out about an error before it hits the press. Anything you can do pre-ighting, prechecking up front helps to avoid costly mistakes." D'Amico says the term workow can encompass so many parts of a printing operation, from automation tools on the equipment itself, like automatic feeding of materials through the machines, to the software that manages each job on the equipment. New software options are making it easier for shops to enter jobs into the print queue ahead of time. at helps businesses with less experienced opera- tors. A more experienced worker can set everything up to run during the rst shift and then all the workers on the second shift need to do is switch out substrates when necessary. Everything else is taken care of, which saves on labor costs. "What we're seeing is more of a move to low touch, whether through xml, Hot Folders, spreadsheet imports, there has to be automation for these jobs," says Nick Benkovich, eProductivity Software. "At the back end, the challenge for a lot of folks in wide format is that substrates are so expensive if you lose square inches here and there, suddenly you've lost the prot on it," he explains. His company's workow management software makes it easier to optimize jobs by ganging simi- lar ones together to use substrates more eectively. He says supply chain disruptions have contributed to substrate cost increases of

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