Tilia Labs, which mainly develops planning, imposition, and automation software, has partnered with MIS company Cerm in order to offer integrated prepress capabilities to the label sector.
The first fruit of this collaboration is a new, seamless 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. The Cerm MIS 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, based upon the calculation of total production costs. The preferred ‘option’ can be stored during estimation and re-used for repeat production runs, even allowing individual elements within the template to be swapped for identically shaped labels. If significant changes are called for, the gang-sheet can be opened, elements can be replaced or added and then re-ganged. When a final option has been selected, Phoenix generates print-ready ganged layouts and imposition JDF instructions.
Geert Van Damme, Managing Director of Cerm, says that customers were asking for an intelligent ganging system to combine labels of various sizes and colours on print sheets, leading the company to test several systems before settling on Tilia Phoenix. He added: “Its speed was the first thing to impress everyone. 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.”
Van Damme says 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.
The Phoenix imposition system uses artificial intelligence, or AI, in automating planning and imposition for all types of devices and print applications. The core 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 1000 orders at a time. It takes account of various parameters, including job specifications (quantity, dimensions, colors, substrates), presses/print devices, postpress requirements, and delivery considerations, to deliver optimal layout options.
Sagen de Jonge, CEO of Tilia Labs, commented: “Tilia and Cerm customers can now tap into a wealth of combined knowhow via a single source to gain a very powerful management system. 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.”