Software
Markem-Imaje has released Version 6.0 of its CoLOS information management system, a software designed to provide users with higher uptimes, throughput and compliance in product coding and packaging activities. The CoLOS information management system, Markem-Imaje explains, aims to minimize risk of coding errors, ensuring compliance with regulations that is described as helping to reduce overall packaging running costs by up to 15 percent.
HP Inc. today announced the HP One Package workflow suite for PageWide Industrial corrugated presses, describing it as the industry’s first ecosystem for digital corrugated printing.
Onyx Graphics has introduced Onyx 18, the newest release of the company’s wide- and grand-format software, featuring new colour technologies designed for colour accuracy, consistency and conformance to standards such as G7 and Fogra. According to the company, it is the first solution compatible with iccMAX, the new standard recommended by the ICC for all wide- and grand-format print applications including textile and soft signage.
A new software development kit for preparing documents for print is available today from Global Graphics Software, the developers of the Harlequin RIP and ScreenPro.
Esko has extended its portfolio of solutions with Text Recognition, a new plug-in for Adobe Illustrator that aims to make last-minute copy changes to outlined text fast, safe and simple.
Ultimate TechnoGraphics, a Montreal, Quebec-based company specializing in imposition and finishing automation, has announced the new Ultimate Impostrip configurator for Enfocus Switch, developed in collaboration with software distributor and system integrator Impressed Germany.
Kodak says its new InSite Prepress Portal 9.0 (IPP) features a new user interface that delivers a “simplified, intuitive and real-time proofing experience”. Designed to reduce cycle time, IPP offers 24/7 access to communication and job status, which Kodak says minimizes traditional proofing requirements while decreasing costs.
Avanti has announced the integration of its Slingshot’s Print MIS software to BCC Software’s BCC Mail Manager postal software, a USPS CASS/PAVE certified platform.
In April, OneVision announced it will soon release version 18.1 of its workflow management software Workspace, the prepress suite Asura, the PDF editing software Solvero and the automated image enhancement software Amendo.

Through the extended statistics section in the new version, explains the company, detailed reports can now be inspected and created. In the new statistics users can not only recognize exactly how many jobs were processed by Workspace per day, week or month, but also how many jobs were handled by the individual assembly lines and modules, such as Preflight or Flatten Transparencies. In doing so production peaks and possible bottlenecks can be identified at an early stage and countermeasures taken. Workspace now automatically monitors free storage space for production-relevant directories, giving early active warnings to prevent production downtime.

In addition to Microsoft Office connectors, the new version adds Adobe connectors to Workspace Pro X that now also processes InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator files. Thanks to the new “Database Connections”, Workspace can not only accept orders from third-party systems, but can also report back to them. One of the highlights of the new Amendo version 18.1 is the reduction of artifacts in JPG files. Artifacts created when saving images with high JPG compression are reduced; the image quality is considerably improved. In addition, the scaling module has been extended by several options.
In April, Aleyant introduced its tFLOW 9 software for digital workflow automation and customer service for commercial, large format, label, and specialty graphics. Version 9 of tFLOW now includes the ability to send customizable welcome emails for new user creation to enable them to  view and approve jobs within tFLOW.

In addition, Version 9 features tab-managed links that give users access with public and private login links. tFLOW automatically recognizes which users have private and public access and allows them to use tFLOW accordingly.

The new version also includes Approval Reminders with a “send reminder” option for users in the job screen to more easily follow up on required job tasks. It has a more flexible API, according to Aleyant, and its user-defined SmartPrep variables can be sent directly through an API to other applications with no development needed.

In addition to the  number of standard variables included in tFLOW, users can also create their own custom variables. With the tBOT auto file downloader, tFLOW now has the ability to separate cutpaths from artwork and send them to different systems for further processing. tBOT is the tFLOW downloading application that connects to RIPs, cutters and imposition systems.
DALIM SOFTWARE in January 2017 released DALIM ES 5.5 as a significant update to a major version released just within the past year. DALIM ES (Enterprise Solution) is a media production platform for marketing partners and media services companies to store, manage, locate, and drive omnichannel projects, from print to Web to video.

DALIM ES 5.5 features a completely redesigned and more sophisticated workflow editor, rewritten with a new user-friendly interface to create, edit and organize workflows. Users can drag and drop tasks into place, and to make – and undo –changes. Administrators can scale the workflow diagrams, zooming in and out to locate specific tasks. Groups of tasks can be copied and placed wherever needed.

DALIM SOFTWARE has implemented an artificial intelligence framework into ES based on similarity, embedding libraries based on deep learning. When the deep learning is active, DALIM ES is automatically tagging metadata when a document is uploaded. The metadata is then used in the search field. Thus, DALIM SOFTWARE is building a machine learning model that works on any type of data, of any size, for more successful searches—for example, based on their color.

DALIM LATITUDE is a free application to provide better interaction between the company’s web applications and the operating system. With DALIM ES and DALIM LATITUDE, a checked-out document from DALIM ES can be stored on the user’s machine in a LATITUDE directory. Users can also add new files to an ES project by dropping them in the LATITUDE directory, storing the checked-out files of the project, and checking them in the project.
During its annual Connect conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, EFI debuted its new MarketDirect platform as software to help printing companies and marketing service providers drive integrated customer engagement.

Described as a Customer Engagement Platform, MarketDirect gives users the ability to develop, distribute and track customer communications for loyalty programs, offers, newsletters, surveys and communications. The software includes the next-generation of cross-media/multi-channel technologies available from EFI, building on the company’s DirectSmile platform for lead generation, new customer acquisition, prospecting and more.

The software is available as a standalone application or alongside EFI’s Web-to-print software employed in the technology company’s Productivity Suites. It provides users visibility, data tracking and management capabilities for marketing campaign and customer engagement activities within the Suites’ MIS/ERP frameworks.

MarketDirect includes EFI SmartCampaign, a new HTML5-based cross-media design tool. With a new storyboards automated campaign-creation feature, EFI explains, customers can build and visualize a campaign in a matter of minutes using simple drag-and-drop tools.

Theme templates introduced with MarketDirect, explains EFI, give users the ability to personalize and launch campaigns with minimal training. New tools in the software also allow users to build and execute personalized communication and marketing programs for Web, email, print, mobile or social media.

“This next-generation Customer Engagement Platform in MarketDirect significantly expands what our customers can offer in marketing and communication services,” said Charlotte Tueckmantel, VP and GM, Value Added Products, EFI Productivity Software. “From storyboarding and campaign design to visual automation, this is an elegantly simple tool for businesses looking to drive greater customer loyalty and deliver higher-value services to their client base”
Tilia Labs of Ottawa, a developer of planning, imposition, and automation software reached a new technology partnership with Aleyant, which also serves as a software developer for the printing industry. Their joint development aims deliver simplicity, efficient end-to-end quality control for printing companies that provide commercial and large-format services via online storefronts.
 
The partnership has already resulted in two new integrations that connect Tilia Labs’ flagship imposition system, tilia Phoenix, with Aleyant’s Web-to-print and workflow solutions Pressero and tFlow. The integrations, explains Tilia, mean that customers can leverage automated imposition capabilities for calculation of the most cost-optimal production layouts direct from order input through to completion. The company explains this end-to-end cross-platform automation covers virtually any printing, cutting, and finishing combination.
 
“We’re very excited by this partnership with Aleyant because Web-to-print imposition is an area where we feel tilia Phoenix can make a massive difference to print service providers,” Sagen de Jonge, CEO of Tilia Labs explains. “Phoenix was purpose-designed to automate impositions that deliver the best scenario for the printer, in terms of equipment utilization, materials and consumables, turnaround times, and overall cost.

“By its nature, web-to-print involves the greatest range of variables: thousands of individual files, each specified differently, submitted in every available format and via a variety of protocols,” continued de Jonge. “It calls for unprecedented speed, flexibility, and accuracy. The combination of Aleyant and Tilia will be hard to beat.”
 
tilia Phoenix, explains the company, draws on new developments in Artificial Intelligence in automating planning and imposition for all types of devices and print applications using nesting, die cutting, guillotine optimization, and planning algorithms. The system factors in parameters like job specifications (quantity, dimensions, colours, substrates), presses/print devices, postpress requirements, and delivery considerations, to deliver optimal layout options.
 
Pressero’s use of XML open architecture enables it to automatically hand off orders and files to a hot folder designated for Phoenix software. First, Pressero will generate a csv file that can be saved locally or in FTP. Once the file is received via Aleyant's Automatic Workflow Integrator (AWI), it is sent to the Phoenix hot folder where is has automatic access to Phoenix tools and protocols that, explains the company, search across millions of possibilities in calculating the most cost-effective ganging and nesting combinations. The Phoenix Plan identifier helps control which incoming jobs are considered to be in the same group in identifying layouts for up to 1,000 orders at a time.
 
Integration with Aleyant tFLOW links tilia Phoenix into a digital and large format workflow specifically designed to control difficult file management tasks and processes. Aleyant tFLOW can automatically check and fix jobs and forward them for approvals or production. With tilia Phoenix as partner technology, imposition plans, production options and cost implications can be calculated simultaneously on-the-fly.
 
“Our principal mission is to help customers become more available, efficient and profitable by unifying production processes,” said Darrian Young, tFLOW Product Manager at Aleyant. “This partnership creates a very powerful capability to do exactly that without adding any complexity for the user. Printers of everything from custom packaging, labels, decals, cases, sign and display, to more traditional commercial jobs, can now benefit from ultimate process efficiency and cost-optimization.”
Crawford Technologies of Toronto released an upgrade of its software based on the CrawfordTech Digital Transform Engine (DTE) 4.6, which is the company’s core engine used in products for print stream transforms, document reengineering and accessible document creation.

New capabilities in CrawfordTech DTE 4.6 include enhancements and product extensions like support for Auto Tagger for Accessibility, so users can convert documents in all print formats and PDFs into Section 508 compliant accessible documents.

The upgrade also includes new capabilities in the MasterONE Architecture for handling multiple languages in one pass, as well as enhancements to PRO Concatenator that now allow it to pass all PDF outline objects through when concatenating PDF files.

Enhancements to PRO Designer are designed to support greater usability when designating rules for creating accessible documents. The upgrade also includes an Enterprise license server that enables customers to manage their own licensing and, according to the company, makes it easier for them to make changes in their environment.

In total, the new software release includes more than 200 enhancements, fixes and performance improvements. “Crawford Technologies remains committed to its aggressive semi-annual schedule for new software releases that further enhances our ability to provide a platform-independent approach, leading system performance and superior innovation with all our solutions,” said Ernie Crawford, President and CEO of Crawford Technologies.
Tilia Labs of Ottawa, Ontario, a developer of planning, imposition and automation software for the graphic arts, entered a new partnership aimed at label printers. In a development with Cerm, a MIS provider to this sector, the two companies will combine their strengths to offer integrated prepress capabilities for label print production.
 
The initial result of the collaboration between the two companies is new integration between Cerm MIS and tilia Phoenix ganging capabilities to deliver a plug-and-play solution for optimizing sheetfed label production workflow, from design through to distribution.
 
According to Geert Van Damme, Managing Director of Cerm, increasing demand from customers for an “intelligent ganging system” acted as the catalyst for Cerm to explore options for a dedicated imposition solution. “Cut & Stack sheetfed label producers were asking for a sophisticated capability that would allow them to combine a variety of labels with different sizes, colours and quantities on print sheets,” said Van Damme.
 
“[Phoenix’] speed was the first thing to impress everyone,” continued Van Damme, describing the testing phase of available partner software. “It also offers an extensive set of preferences, allowing the print shop to align the system with its routine production habits. The user can make any number of changes to the chosen option and even save it as a template for the future. On top of this, the system is very intuitive – for usability it couldn’t be matched.”
 
Tilia Labs’ flagship imposition software, tilia Phoenix, draws on new developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) in automating planning and imposition for all types of devices and print applications. At its hub is Imposition AI, a set of tools and protocols designed to search across millions of possibilities to calculate the most cost-effective ganging and nesting combinations for up to 1,000 orders at a time. The system factors in parameters like job specifications (quantity, dimensions, colors, substrates), presses/print devices, postpress requirements, and delivery considerations, to deliver optimal layout options.
 
The Cerm MIS now interfaces directly to Phoenix as to an intelligent ‘black box’, without the need to switch back and forth between applications. A group of individual orders can be ganged in the most competitive way, explain the companies, based upon the calculation of total production costs. The preferred option can be stored during estimation and re-used for repeat production runs, allowing individual elements within the template to be swapped for identically shaped labels.

The companies explain if significant changes are called for then the gang-sheet can be opened, elements can be replaced or added and then re-ganged. When a final option has been selected, tilia Phoenix generates print-ready ganged layouts and imposition JDF instructions. Van Damme explains that, due to Cerm’s existing integration with Esko Automation Engine, the Phoenix JDFs will automatically drive Esko’s platemaking, offering additional time and cost savings to the print shop.
 
“Tilia and Cerm customers can now tap into a wealth of combined knowhow via a single source to gain a very powerful management system,” Sagen de Jonge, CEO of Tilia Labs. “The ongoing development opportunities are also promising - Cerm are already looking at our die-cut capabilities to explore the potential of developing a joint offering. This is not simply a technical interface between the two systems, it’s about complete solutions that will evolve with new developments from both sides over time.”
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