Procedes prints around 500 PDF files a day during peak periods. Until 2013, the company used action lists to do this manually, which was time-consuming. To reduce this, the print service provider decided to increase the level of automation in the prepress area. The aim was to check print data more quickly, safeguard processes and avoid manual errors. Impressed implemented a few solutions for this purpose:
- A web-based tool developed in-house maps production jobs on the basis of Microsoft's SQL server. This allows Procedes employees to view the current order status at any time using a traffic light system.
- callas pdfToolbox, as a complete solution for the automated processing of PDF files, checks and corrects the incoming PDF files for the resulting largely automated production.
Procedes also relies on Microsoft Dynamics Nav.
says Jörn Kleinekathöfer from the IT department at Procedes. The data is then visually inspected. If no abnormalities are detected, the automated process starts with pdfToolbox. The software checks the incoming print data for resolution, color spaces, fonts, and dimensions. Any errors detected are corrected as automatically as possible. In addition, pdfToolbox takes care of integrating the output intent, adding print allowances and replacing any spot colors. It also converts the customer data into a standardized ICC profile via an integrated DeviceLink profile, which enables color transformation directly from the source to the target in one profile - allowing better results to be achieved. The data supplied by the customer is thus made suitable for the specific production conditions at Procedes.
Hardly any manual intervention
explains Carsten Uebermuth, Head of Prepress at Procedes. To save time, his employees already fill the system at the end of the working day so that they can print the processed data immediately the next morning. They only have to intervene manually in the event of error messages.
says Carsten Uebermuth. In principle, however, the quality of the print files supplied has also improved. A few years ago, for example, font problems were commonplace. Procedes has also benefited from the fact that customers and agencies have now built up expertise and are already supplying higher-quality files.
Looking to the future
Procedes intends to further expand the level of automation in the prepress area and is working on a way for customers to upload print data directly on an order-by-order basis. This would eliminate the need for manual input into Microsoft Dynamics Nav of jobs currently received by e-mail. The company also plans to pass on the expertise it has built up at its headquarters to other sites so that they too can automate their prepress operations.