“When a label printer moves to digital print, they typically process more short-run orders. In many cases, each order may contain a number of SKUs, or variants of the same product, and the customer may order varying quantities of each SKU," says Tailored Solutions President Ken Meinhardt. “Typically, prepress operators must spend a great deal of time calculating the most efficient way to gang those labels across the web into files or plates, to minimize splicing and the number of overs produced. In many cases, prepress can become a severe bottleneck in the digital workflow.
“At the click of the button, the Label Traxx Digital File Planner automatically organizes the order into files according to the order quantity. The prepress operator then has the flexibility to fine-tune the file format even further by hand. When the file planner is used in combination with the Label Traxx JDF module and EskoArtwork Automation Engine 10 (formerly BackStage), the prepress operator can then click one button to send the file plan automatically to the EskoArtwork software, which create the stepped files that will be sent to press. Because Label Traxx creates the file plan so quickly and effortlessly, last-minute changes from one press to another – for example, from an HP ws4500 to a WS6000 – are no problem. Reformatting the file takes mere seconds.”
Label Traxx recently conducted a series of tests to determine the actual time savings digital press owners could realize using the new workflow. Sales Manager Dorothy Asboth observes, “Our tests indicate that printers using digital presses such as the HP Indigo WS6000 can reduce by more than 90 percent the time required to enter a complex order, complete job planning, and transfer the job to the press. The Label Traxx Digital File Planner is currently installed at beta sites, was debuted at the Digital Label Summit in Barcelona in late June, and will be demonstrated at Labelexpo Americas in Chicago in September.”
Tailored Solutions, Milwaukee, WI, USA, provides automated job management software for the printing industry. The company was formed in 1993 by Ken Meinhardt and David Porter, both of whom remain active in the business. Tailored Solutions offers two versions of its job tracking software – Label Traxx for flexographic narrow web converters and printers, and Litho Traxx for sheetfed lithographic printers and prepress trade shops. All Tailored Solutions software is designed for use on both Macintosh and Windows platforms.