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Driving movable data in the right direction
By Ed Boogard
It is eight years after Heidelberg CEO Bernhard Schreier, described the industry’s transformation as “Printing using movable type” turning into “printing using movable data”. Since then data has been moving ever faster, in more directions.
Last year, the now appointed president of drupa 2012, also said: “Everything that can go online, will go online”. Visitors to the forthcoming show will see that, not least with a proliferation of apps allowing remote checking of a job’s status, machine reports and even production analysis during shifts.
Forced by the global recession to find new ways to innovate and improve their business without capital investment, printers have turned to software and data and information handling for ways to enhance productivity, efficiency and margin. Also new services and products can be added that not only personalize print, but enable it to interact with e-mail, personal websites and mobile messaging.
Creating connected workflows allows the production process to become highly automated and standardized, from start to finish, resulting in faster, more efficient, flexible and effective print.
‘Web-to-print’ provides new ways to request and deliver quotes, exchange job information, upload files, proof and track jobs and it can strengthen relationships as printers become solution providers.
An important trend at drupa 2008 was the effort that all companies - in prepress, press and postpress - put in developing IT solutions that now guarantee output consistency and allow for true hybrid workflows. Workflow solutions have also grown from separate systems controlling some of the production process, to managing all business related information allowing data to be available throughout the complete process. Customers can become connected to the workflow as well helping reduces costs and time related to miscommunication and technical errors.
As well as continued adoption of web-to-print solutions, digital workflows are about to take a new turn through ‘the Cloud’. As more software solutions will be available in ‘the Cloud’, more data will run through cyberspace in many directions.
drupa 2012 will offer the opportunity for visitors to plan their own clear route to growth.