Features Opinion Tech
Are you ready to transform your workflow?

June 14, 2024  By Juergen Krebs

Conversations at Drupa focused on how digital print can help operations transform, grow and thrive. Key to successfully achieving that is digitization of other business processes such as end-to-end automation.

Drupa’s own Print Horizons report said that globally 29 per cent of companies had not started to automate their processes. While 54 per cent had prepress automation, 35 per cent had press and postpress automation and 13 per cent end to end JDF workflow.

There are three main ways in which print service providers can enhance their technology workflow and automate very common job processes.


Cloud-driven automation

This is where automation begins. Once clients have submitted their jobs through a cloud-based solution, it automatically manages the various different processes including file conversion and pre flighting. The job ticket then flows into more advanced functionality such as approval processes and impositions before going directly on press. This can be fully automated depending on what the job is. At some points the workflow can also ask for some manual intervention if that is what is needed.

Data-driven automation

This is the automation of the process from receipt of data through to assigning it to the correct template, adding and preparing it with printer marks, adding slip sheets and then composing it in the most appropriate manner and then sending it directly down to the printer. These steps are commonly manual and are done today by a lot of people, but by automating the process the throughput can be improved, and margins and efficiency increased.

Process-driven automation

This is for the more complex work where far more functionality is needed such as transactional print, book printing, or more complex commercial print jobs. Job onboarding can be linked through to various different inputs and there are integrations to lots of other business-related solutions. Operations can also assess where the automation is required, whether it’s raw data preparation for data-driven output, prepress with impositions or more complex and specialist needs – grouping, sorting, splitting jobs as well as postal optimization. Process-driven automation can also manage a fleet of different output devices across a production environment.

All three ways have been developed to automate where it makes sense to automate. They also allow for manual interventions to be built in when that makes sense too, ensuring smooth and streamlined processes that are highly agile and responsive.

Juergen Krebs is software sales manager, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe

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