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Prepress Robotics

(October 2011) posted on Tue Sep 27, 2011

Find out how making an automated assembly line in your prepress department can help boost quality, productivity, and morale.


By Mike Ruff

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This is not the stopping place for a good robotics-based workflow. Every redundant mechanical function should be looked at as an opportunity to increase productivity with fewer humans 24 hours a day. If we leave the file the client sent to us in a box overnight or all afternoon, it may be growing moss on the north side of the file before we have time to preflight it. Therefore, the file movement to preflight must be automated (Figures 2A and 2B).

The file moves to inspection and preflighting. Preflighting software is now better than what any human can do. Rule-based parameters for what passes and what fails are predetermined by the humans in prepress. The file that just hit the inbox immediately moves to preflight. It is evaluated quickly and accurately based on what we wanted to inspect. If the file passes, it moves on to the next stage and the client is e-mailed that the file has been inspected and is ready for output. The client doesn’t need to waste your time by calling to see if you received the file and are working on it. If the file were failed, it would automatically go to a box to be inspected and either fixed or set aside to be replaced. This means that all files that are ready to roll get a front seat at the next stage of the process: file preparation and standardization.

Standardizing file preparation and standardization through robotics Rules-based preferences set up properly in a preflight software is the key part of file preparation and standardization. In other words, you can choose the wrong settings and cause inconsistency and failure downstream. Invest in a certified process-control consultant to help you with making decisions about how files should be standardized and prepared.


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