Digital web based workflows for Print
Over the years, we've built up a library of tools, including 'socs' and 'Doctk' which can be deployed to make custom solutions.
For example we recently built a business card workflow for a customer which includes the following stages.
1. Accept emails from allowed addresses. These contain the order spec. in xml and the pre-built pdf for the order.
2. Parse and reject if faulty. Otherwise, accept into workflow. The job is immediately available via a website which can be seen both by the originating orderer and the workflow manager.
3. Add the job to an appropriate imposition 'service'. Imposition services are configured by the workflow manager and result in jobs which require the same media, colour set etc being imposed together. There may be many services configured, and each one can accept jobs of different sizes if required.
4. The imposition services, running on a web server, automatically scan the incoming jobs and when an acceptable imposition is possible, will automatically produce a correct imposition, together (if configured) with a top sheet, which may contain barcodes etc. for the manual workflow.
5. The new imposition is then transfered to the input of a digital press. As you might expect, this can be anywhere in the world as appropriate to the delivery and/or print requirements.
6. Once printed, barcodes from the top sheet can be used to automatically generate despatch documents and manifests etc.
This system currently (2008) puts through some 6000 orders per month. Operator intervention is only necessary when configuration changes are needed, and of course to do the actual physical checking and despatching of the finished orders.