Software
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.”
There are now expanded capabilities between Electronics For Imaging’s Fiery digital front ends and Kodak’s Prinergy Workflow 8.1 that allows printers to better integrate their digital and conventional presses. The new di-directional integration for hybrid digital and conventional printing is designed to make decisions in real time for the most cost-efficient production scenarios.

The new bidirectional communication between Prinergy and Fiery-driven presses specifically allows users to check job progress and device status for efficient production with the browser-based Prinergy Track.

The new Fiery DFE integration with Prinergy Workflow 8.1 provides the flexibility to add equipment from different digital toner-based or high-speed inkjet press manufacturers without changing workflows. EFI also points to Fiery DFE printer capabilities to dynamically submit jobs with specified media, colour, layout and finishing settings.

“Prinergy Workflow 8.1 will provide our customers with the widest choice when connecting to a digital device,” said Allan Brown, VP and GM of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions. “By fully leveraging their digital equipment, printers will be able to increase efficiency and open the door for additional growth opportunities.”
 
The integration also allows user to make last-minute production scenario changes for cost optimization by rerouting jobs to a different digital press even after submission, with capability to modify job settings. Users can also define mixed media, mixed colour mode, and more with page range, inserts, and covers straight from Prinergy Workflow.

EFI explains users can leverage its proprietary HyperRIP technology to, on average, process files up to 55 percent faster when compared with a Fiery DFE without the HyperRIP feature.
Quark Software Inc. introduced what it describes as significant new updates to its content automation platform. The new release, the second major update in 2017, adds enhancements to content management and Web-based content review, including the ability to assemble and manage PowerPoint slides at a component level.
 
Quark explains its content automation platform enables business users and editorial teams to collaborate throughout the multi-channel content life cycle – from creation and management to publishing and delivery. By creating and reusing content components – rather than traditional static documents and files – teams can share, search, track, and reuse content, which translates into greater cost savings, more valuable content, and ultimately better content experiences.
 
“With the new updates to our content automation platform, we are especially proud to announce the first release of component-based PowerPoint slide assembly. Keeping PowerPoint presentations up-to date through manual processes is unsustainable and unmanageable for most large organizations. One update to a single slide could require manual changes to tens or hundreds of copies of the original deck including slides that are translated to multiple languages,” said Dave White, Chief Technology Officer at Quark Software.

White continues to explains that now subject-matter experts and business users working directly in PowerPoint can reuse entire slide decks, individual slides, or components within slides such as multimedia, tables, and charts – all from within a centralized content hub. “With one-click synchronization of slides, this effectively eliminates the need to copy, paste, recreate, or manually update content, which allows our clients to communicate in a more accurate, timely, and compliant manner,” said White.
 
The Quark Content Automation Platform consists of modules, including the following ones affected by the new update: Quark Publishing Platform, QuarkXPress Server, Quark Author Web Edition and Quark XML Author.

QuarkXPress Server leverages the graphic capabilities of QuarkXPress with server-based automation. New updates to this module include the ability to directly access new productivity and design enhancements to QuarkXPress 2017, such as responsive HTML5 output and native image manipulation. It also now includes automated item styles to produce infographics using the new automation features for styling boxes, frames, corners, drop shadows, and more. The new features also include transaction-based font management, which can include licensed fonts as part of a rendering request.
Kodak has added digital capabilities in Prinergy Workflow 8.1, which includes new bi-directional connectivity to a range of digital presses and what the company describes as a unique new Preset functionality.

“Prinergy Workflow 8.1 will provide our customers with the widest choice when connecting to a digital device,” said Allan Brown, VP and GM of Kodak’s Unified Workflow Solutions.

Version 8.1 now offers bi-directional communication with EFI Fiery and HP Digital Front Ends allowing an operator to make digital document decisions within Prinergy Workflow. This adds to existing press connectivity with Ricoh, Konica Minolta, Landa and Komori machines.

Kodak’s updated software version includes the Prinergy Workflow 8 universal Digital Job Ticket Editor, which uses real-time information to make production decisions.

Version 8.1’s new Preset feature, explains Kodak, streamlines production by removing multiple touch points. Customers will be able to define, save and re-use print product specifications that will result in the ability to customize jobs for specific Digital Front Ends.
Toronto-based Messagepoint Inc., which develops software and services within the Customer Communications Management (CCM) market, has had its cloud-based content management platform, Messagepoint, named as a 2017 SIIA CODiE Awards finalist in the Best Multi-Channel Publishing Platform or Service category.

More than 30 years old, the CODiE Awards are recognized as a top program for the software and information industries. The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. This marks the second consecutive year Messagepoint has been recognized by the program, having won the award in 2016.
 
“We are honored that Messagepoint is once again recognized by this prestigious organization,” said Steve Biancaniello, CEO, Messagepoint Inc. “It reflects the innovation and commitment of our dedicated Messagepoint team to continue to disrupt the status quo with solutions that make it easier for enterprises to communicate effectively with their customers.”
 
Messagepoint explains its hybrid-cloud platform provides tools for common problems companies face when managing different types of customer communications, making it possible for business users to directly own and control touchpoint messaging content and business rules for customer-facing, omnichannel communications.

Messagepoint is one of 205 finalists across 59 business technology categories in the peer-recognized awards program. Winners will be announced during the CODiE Award Business Technology Winner Announcement & Celebration on July 25 in San Francisco.
Infigo Software has entered an OEM partnership with Enfocus, with the goal of allowing customers of Infigo’s Catfish e-commerce platform to add PDF quality control for print ready files.

Enfocus PitStop software analyses artwork automatically for errors, flags items to be addressed and can also auto-correct for output that requires PDF. The OEM partnership with Enfocus means that Infigo Catfish customers can license the Enfocus preflight and correction functionality as an add-on option in Catfish that Infigo will support as part of a workflow.

“We’ve been focused on creating new and exciting automation partnerships because we recognize that automation is key for businesses to future-proof their operations,” said Douglas Gibson, Managing Director, Infigo. “This latest integration with the brilliant Enfocus PitStop software streamlines artwork management and preflighting, creating genuine cost and process efficiencies.”

The newly integrated software aims to allow customers to submit error-free, print-ready files automatically through the cloud-based Catfish e-commerce platform. By integrating Enfocus PitStop with Catfish, Infigo explains it’s possible to automate every aspect of artwork management into a workflow, from design and proofing to preflighting, printing and archiving, reducing the risk for human error. Users can update artwork within Infigo’s design tool, MegaEdit, once it’s been verified by Enfocus PitStop, so there’s no need to go back to a designer to update the PDF.    

“We’re delighted to welcome Infigo Software as an OEM Partner,” said Angelo Manno, Global OEM and Strategic Accounts Manager at Enfocus. “PitStop is the ideal PDF preflight and correction solution for businesses in a vast array of verticals, and this is true for Infigo's Catfish e-commerce solution too, so it was a natural fit to bring these two powerful solutions together.”
Onyx Graphics Inc. released ONYX 12.2 software, the latest version of the company’s wide format print workflow and RIP products. The company explains ONYX 12.2 features improved RIP and data transfer processing speeds, new multi-roll functionality, job scaling and rotation, and cut workflow enhancements.

ONYX 12.2 software is available for the full ONYX software product line including ONYX Thrive workflow software; and ONYX ProductionHouse, ONYX PosterShop and ONYX RIPCenter RIP software.

The company explains the new multi-roll user interface delivers an interactive workflow showing a live view of loaded media with automated roll selection between jobs in the RIP-queue. ONYX 12.2 also features a new user-interface showing device specific information based on bi-directional data including, easily visible ink levels, printer status and media information.

The new software version also includes enhanced media and page-size handling to streamline printer configurations and job setup. Cutting workflow updates include the ability to handle multiple cut-path prefixes and duplication of cutter device settings enabling greater automation. ONYX 12.2 also allows for job scaling and rotation directly from the file-open dialogue before sending jobs to the RIP-queue.
 
The software provides full support for the Konica Minolta Autoscan Spectrophotometer FD-9 colour device, with fully automated chart reading to improve print workflow and productivity. The new software version’s faster RIP and data transfer speeds are based on optimized colour calculations across all applications.
Canon and EFI have launched the new imagePRESS Server H300 from Canon, powered by EFI Fiery technology, and designed specifically for the imagePRESS C850 and C750 digital presses for commercial printing and in-plant production, as well as the imagePRESS C65 digital press aimed at creative design production operations.

The imagePRESS Server H300 is based on the new Fiery NX Pro hardware platform and Fiery FS200 Pro system software. The new Fiery QuickTouch software on the H300 server’s LCD colour touchscreen display, according to the companies, offers faster views of job status information and easier device management. The touchscreen display gives operators access to intuitive system installation, backup and restore functions, plus system diagnostics information.

The NX Pro server can be housed in the new, optional EFI Fiery NX Station LS, which holds a 20 percent smaller footprint than previous Fiery workstations. It also features an adjustable-height work space, proximity sensor, and sliding server shelf for maintenance.

The imagePRESS Server H300 is designed to provide image quality, colour management and image-processing performance. Its Fiery DFE technology can process the new Ghent PDF Output Suite version 5.0.

Users can also leverage the latest version of EFI’s JDF-certified Fiery technology, which can connect users' imagePRESS operations into plant-wide workflows. It provides integration to EFI MIS/ERP and web-to-print products, Canon’s PRISMA software suite of workflow for production print, and other prepress workflow solutions – including Kodak Prinergy, Heidelberg Prinect and Agfa Apogee.

This server supports the Adobe PDF Print Engine rendering platform and a variety of variable-data formats and standards, including PDF/VT 2 and PPML 3.0, giving users added flexibility to create higher-value, personalized documents.
After making its debut at drupa 2016, Enfocus has released a new PDF approval technology for its Switch automation software. Based on PitStop, Enfocus’ other technology for the preflight, correction and editing of PDF files, the PDF Review Module allows users to review and approve or reject native PDF files. The tool has been pilot tested by 50 customers and 40 partners since Drupa, some using it in full production.

“The project actually started as something completely different,” said Andrew Bailes-Collins, Senior Product Manager responsible for the PitStop product family, “We had a completely different product idea initially, but when we discussed our plans with customers to obtain their feedback, it became apparent that there was another need.

Customers were looking for a very simple prepress-based PDF review and approval solution. One that could be used by a wide range of customers, from the average man-in-the-street, up to a prepress professional, without cumbersome job setup requirements or the need for training. That is how the PDF Review Module was born.”

The goal of the solution, explains Enfocus, is to replace manual email soft proofing and to overcome the problems and inadequacies with that process. Bailes-Collins explained, “We found when talking to customers, even those who have sophisticated portal solutions within their workflows, that email proofs were still a part of their daily production process. They use their portals for customers with whom they do regular business with, but for ad hoc jobs, or customers who they do one or two jobs a year for, they instead send email proofs.”

The PDF Review Module is provided as an app for Switch and as an external web server application. The app is installed in Switch and can be added to any Switch flow. The Web server can be installed either locally or externally in a customer’s DMZ, in a data centre or on a cloud server.

The PDF Review Module sends an email to a single customer, which can be designed in HTML and branded, and which will include a link. When the link is clicked, the customer’s default browser opens and the high resolution PDF file is loaded. Crucial for the customer is that nothing else needs to be downloaded or installed, nor is a user name or password required. The interface is dynamic supporting different designs for tablet and desktop viewing.

With PDF Review Module, users have the ability to look at the individual colour separations, check for ink coverage, add annotations, a densitometer tool is available, as is a wireframe view. Document information can be seen, and when an object in the PDF is selected, then they can see the attributes of that object just as they can in the PitStop Pro Inspector.

The approval options for the PDF Review Module are also completely customizable. They are based on the Switch flow. The number of approval options and the approval terminology and language used can vary from Switch flow to Switch flow.

The PDF Review Module requires the Switch Core Engine 13 update 1 and above. For maximum automation and efficiency it is recommended to include the Switch Metadata Module to the Switch configuration.

The PDF Review module is currently available in 17 languages, including: Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish, Swedish and Russian, other languages will follow.

The PDF Review Module includes 5 concurrent clients and costs $3,600 for the license plus mandatory first year maintenance of $720. Additional client packs are also available.
QuarkXPress 2017 is the newest release of Quark’s fully-integrated design and layout software for print and digital production.

With this new software, users can now edit images in QuarkXPress with features such as non-destructive image editing, transparency blend modes, new shape tools, item format painters and enhancements to multicolour gradients.

Users will also find new typography features such as text stroking and shading, column spanning and splitting and smart quotes. And when it’s time to output, users can take advantage of unlimited free iOS single apps creation, responsive HTML publications and adaptive layout conversion for digital and print.

Quark has also implemented the following user-requested features into QuarkXPress 2017, including:
  • Merge text boxes;
  • Proportional leading;
  • The most recent fonts;
  • Line between columns;
  • Enhanced word import;
  • Non-breaking text attribute;
  • Cursor key increments/decrements;
  • UI enhancements on Mac and Windows;
  • Enhancements to convert to native images.
QuarkXPress 2017 supports the three most recent operating systems from both MacOS (10.10, 10.11 and 10.12) and Windows (7, 8.1 and 10).
Agfa Graphics has released the next generation of its StoreFront, version 4.0, which now features what Agfa describes as responsive stores for optimal ease of use, a ‘save for quote’ functionality for pricing information, and new packaging algorithms for cost-effective shipping.

The new StoreFront version is optimized to be viewed on smaller screens and large desktop monitors, as store pages automatically adapt to any device. “StoreFront’s responsive design minimizes scrolling and zooming, and maximizes the print buyer’s comfort,” said Andy Grant, Global Head of Software, Agfa Graphics. “Even in the B2B market that StoreFront focuses on we’re seeing a marked increase in the number of visitors accessing private stores using a phone or tablet.”

Another addition to StoreFront 4.0 is the ‘save for quote’ functionality. It allows resellers and agencies to get instant pricing information for an entire product bundle, including shipping costs. “Let’s say a print buyer needs a quote for priority shipping a large quantity of posters for a concert, or several different products for a promotional campaign – StoreFront swiftly displays the total cost for the entire project,” said Grant. “White label shipping is a growing market in which such a feature allow printers to compete more efficiently.”

In StoreFront 4.0, the shipping module is completely reworked with new packaging algorithms for the grouping of order items and for calculating the optimal number of boxes needed for shipping. Also a new packaging type has been introduced for posters, banners and similar types of signage. These products can now be combined on a single packaging roll.

“StoreFront 4.0 is designed to be versatile and relies on industry standard file formats like PDF and JDF,” said Grant. “Because support for open standards and easy integration remain key for Agfa Graphics.”
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