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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