Tharstern has added a new Layout Library feature to its eponymous MIS, which should help printers improve the imposition that’s sent down from the MIS, removing any need for manual corrections.
Keith McMurtrie, Tharstern’s MD, says that one of the main challenges to having an MIS send the imposition to the prepress department was the difficulty in handling changes, explaining: “When prepress make changes to an imposition, the integrity of the workflow is broken and feedback about job status and costing is nearly impossible. Some prepress systems have gone a long way in trying to communicate this information back to the MIS but honestly, it’s typically too late or too difficult to flush that information into the relevant areas for each job. There are just too many implications.”
He added: “The problem with automatic impositions created by an MIS solution, is that they follow industry standards and best practice, but each and every company we work with has so many variables and personal preferences that affect how they want to lay down their impositions, that we’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t an automatic one-size-fits-all way to do this. What people seem to want in an automatic production route is for the MIS to come up with the layout that they would have selected manually.”
Tharstern’s solution has been to create a library of layout profiles so that printers can define how they want the different products and different parts laid out and can control all the flipping and rotating of their signatures and sheets to fit in with their equipment and workflow. The printers define their own profiles so they can make allowances for non-printable regions for slow-down wheels, flex signature and sheet sizes automatically and also support variable cut-off cut-star type equipment, depending on the equipment they are using.
These Layout Profiles are then assigned product types and criteria such as substrate, run length, orientation and grain direction so the estimating engine within the Tharstern MIS knows which imposition to select for that product type and situation. The layouts can be associated with different equipment so that printers can set up one imposition for digital and one for litho, and for different processes, with one imposition for a booklet maker and one for conventional binding, for example and with different impositions for other post-press processes such as die-cutting.
There’s a webinar to explain this on Wednesday this week on 13th June at 3pm BST. You can sign up for the session here https://www.tharstern.com/layout-library-webinar