Making the most out of your investment, deciding if traditional offset printing or digital printing would be more efficient, and making the transition to digital as easy as possible, are just some of the challenges you have to deal with in today's changing world of production printing.
So how do you achieve all that?
Konica Minolta offers hybrid workflow connectivity combined with the ultimate in production flexibility, maximising the ways you can use both your digital and offset equipment – and all within a single interface. Over the years, commercial offset printers developed their workflows exclusively with offset printing in mind. When digital printing devices were introduced to the production mix, however, the offset firms found workflow requirements were different, and handled the flows separately as a result.
As customers' demands and needs changed, the need to print the same work in both offset and digital began to grow. That wasn't all, however: print providers needed a solution that would reduce costs, errors, and re-runs, and – most importantly of all – come up with a strategy capable of meeting the ever-changing demands of the market. This is when the hybrid workflow emerged.
The first thing to remember is that while digital and offset print workflows are distinct, they can be made to complement one another. Today's hybrid workflows give you the best of both worlds – at your fingertips.
A hybrid workflow is a single workflow management system that supports both offset and digital printing. It lets you process, print and track jobs using a common interface. A hybrid workflow can route jobs to offset or digital printing equipment, based on a range of considerations including run length, turnaround time, page size, substrate and finishing. It lets your print service maintain its integrity, print quality, colour consistency and faster production times, as well as reducing errors with the help of automation.
Implementing hybrid workflows will show remarkable results in a wide range of production scenarios. The most noticeable of these will be those involving changed job requirements, such as run length, mixing static and variable components, and submitting jobs online. The production process lets you achieve higher flexibility, better job tracking and enhanced automation. If you want to achieve the ultimate in flexibility, however, the key is to implement richer workflow integration options, and adapt open standards such as Job Definition Format (JDF).
Here’s how a hybrid workflow can help with your print production:
Overnight job pre-prints give users the chance to review jobs before mass production is approved. Print-ready files make it possible for jobs to be re-used at a later date by both digital printers and offset presses.
To put your existing offset workflow solutions to good use, just add digital print modules to create a hybrid workflow. You can also integrate a print Management Information System (MIS); this will show you all your job statuses, in real time. Konica Minolta’s full line-up of production printing devices and wide range of available controllers can be used to maximise your existing investments. These can be seamlessly integrated into existing offset workflows, such as Agfa Apogee, Screen Equios and Kodak Prinergy.
These systems are automated PDF-based workflows, providing a fully centralised, JDF-enabled, pre-press production hub. This advanced level of automation helps you achieve higher productivity, encounter fewer errors, and reduce your turnaround times. Integrating offset and digital presses lets you create a more efficient, easier way of managing production on all your devices, and the delivery of jobs.
A hybrid workflow allows a single pre-press operator to manage and control different devices from a single station. You use a single workflow process supporting both offset and digital output options, providing greater colour consistency, content reliability and faster production time, and reducing errors with the help of automated workflows.
Since jobs are being processed by the same RIP, you will maintain output integrity across different devices. The pre-flight engine on offset workflow also eliminates issues, and potential problems with PDF files. Imposition can be managed and automated for both digital and offset, thereby optimising pre-press and make-ready time. For quick proofing or job production, AccurioPress offers automated output of double-page spreads.
Hybrid Workflow allows operation of different devices from a single station
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To find out more, just click on Contact us, and our team of specialists will be happy to guide you through the whole process – from picking the best solution through to implementing the latest technology Konica Minolta has to offer.
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