New Prinect version 2020 from Heidelberg

Backbone of digitization in print shops


Heidelberger is trying to make it even easier for Prinect users to run their print shop with the new and partially cloud-based functions in the Prinect production workflow.

A growing number of Prinect functions are gradually migrating to the Cloud. By taking out a subscription contract, customers can gain access to them as and when required and based on the benefits they offer,” says Jürgen Grimm, head of Software Solutions at Heidelberg. “The Prinect workflow thus forms the backbone of digitization in print shops.”

Push-to-Stop – Greater automation, lower costs

Substrates, special colors, folding layouts, and much more are taken into account in digital planning and transferred directly to the Prinect Press Center, thereby reducing the changeover procedures that have to be carried out on the press. Operators no longer have to select and adopt jobs from the machine queue, which also reduces the scope for errors.

According to Heidelberg, as of now, the Push-to-Stop concept is also supported in postpress.

Gang form creation with automatic optimization

According to Heidelberg, one major contribution that Prinect makes to lowering costs and driving up productivity relates to the creation of gang forms, with the gang server picking out jobs from a pool according to pre-set filter criteria and then using these criteria to optimize the compilation of appropriate gang forms on a fully automated basis. Any gang forms produced this way that do not satisfy these criteria are not forwarded to production, and are instead cancelled and then combined with other jobs later on, provided an optimum gang form can be created, Heidelberg says.

Plate Pilot supplies plates right on time as printing commences

The new Prinect Plate Pilot works with the further improved Prinect Scheduler to automatically output plates so they can be placed on trolleys in the correct sequence and made available at the press in time for the planned printing slot. Operators can monitor this process via the Plate Pilot Widget of the Prinect Portal, which also allows them to intervene in the process as necessary, Heidelberg adds. This solution puts an end to the tedious process of sorting printing plates and also avoids the damage and scratches that can otherwise occur.

Prinect supports hardcover book production

The new version of Prinect supports the special workflow-specific features of book production in both production and MIS operations. With immediate effect, Prinect offers the option of factoring these steps into the fully automated costing of the book in Business Manager and then handing over to the Prinect production system for automatic processing, Heidelberg says.

SmartBi – Cloud-based software provides key lever for improving overall efficiency

The Cloud-based software Prinect SmartBi supports the analysis and use of data generated in print shops. According to Heidelberg, Prinect SmartBI helps print shops unlock and utilize this corporate and production data quickly and with ease, assisting Prinect users with the generation, filtering, preparation, and visualization of their data.

New Prinect Portal becomes an efficient collaboration platform

Prinect Portal has been launched to meet the demand for a wide-ranging collaboration platform and can be used by print shop staff to establish efficient online communications both within their own company and with customers and suppliers.

New functions for the packaging sector

To support Push-to-Stop in the packaging sector, Prinect is offering a new function that allows customers to use the cutting tool as a criterion for optimizing production planning. This ensures the same tool is not refitted several times over, thus significantly improving productivity and machine availability.

The cost savings and productivity gains achieved by using gang forms are also available to packaging print shops working from an existing die-cutting tool and filter criteria; gang forms are first created and then either kept or rejected depending on whether they satisfy pre-set criteria, says Heidelberg. Prinect also offers a whole series of new functions for CAD.

Having the option to set out all the parts of a packaging design in one drawing ensures the interdependencies between the individual parts can be taken into account accurately. Heidelberg says this makes the design process easier and faster to complete.

When it comes to more complex packaging and displays, there is also the option of creating assembly instructions to make the items easier to build or set up. Also, Prinect supports pillow box packaging, which can now be simulated as a 3D model and exported as an animated 3D PDF.

Context-sensitive online support

The launch of HTML-based online support gives users direct access from within the application to the current library of Prinect software documentation at all times, plus a growing number of explanatory videos. All this makes Prinect even easier to use, according to Heidelberg.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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