PerfectPattern’s sPrint One solution for automatic and dynamic planning of print production is now available with a new interface. The new console makes the artificial intelligence based application even easier to use and significantly faster. In addition, new functions create greater efficiency and flexibility in print planning and the calculation of print, copy or gang forms within seconds. The use of sPrint One leads to significant savings in production time and costs in both offset and digital printing. Worldwide distribution is currently handled via Kodak’s partner network.
The increasing number of orders, coupled with decreasing print runs per order and increasing individualisation mean that print production planning has become more complex than ever.
The sophisticated mathematical algorithms and artificial intelligence of PerfectPattern's sPrint One, deployed via the software as a service (SaaS) model, allow printers to plan their jobs more effectively. This approach balances the need to match customer specifications with time and cost efficient production.
The console is sPrint One’s user interface. It enables the specification of all basic information required for planning, such as the products to be printed, the available printing presses, and papers and other substrates, as well as a large number of other parameters – data describing the concrete working methods of the printing operation. According to Fabian Rüchardt, managing director of PerfectPattern, this creates a digital image of the respective print production, which is the basis for the automatic, dynamic print planning up to the optimal calculation of the printing forms.
The central element of the sPrint One console is the planning board, which provides a comprehensive real time overview of the planning and status of print production.
With version 2 of the console, PerfectPattern has now introduced a comprehensively revised version of the interface, incorporating customer feedback on version 1.
The new sPrint One console improves ease of use and includes additional features such as the customisable level of detail in an even more comprehensive presentation of the planning process. The printing forms calculation now includes an integrated history of earlier calculations.
Specifying the substrates is now more comprehensive and efficient. The subdivision by type and surface provides a better overview and information about the manufacturer can also be stored. In addition, whereas version 1 of the console required manual entry of paper pricing information, pricing in version 2 can be based on price lists, which makes updating pricing information considerably easier.
The assignment of substrates (mounted medias) to specific printing presses has also been completely revised. A strict distinction is made for automatically and manually specified mounted medias. The latter can be adjusted either entirely manually or it can be partially automated. Mass processing of these substrates is now possible, which is a major time advantage. Another innovation in this area is the automatic specification of sheet brakes.
The look of the application now follows the flat design principles of simplicity, functionality and speed. The deliberate renunciation of optical trim saves loading times – an important criterion for a SaaS application. The application is thus more logical and intuitive to use, and mouse paths have been shortened.
‘With the new version 2 of the sPrint One console we have taken the fully automatic and dynamic print planning that has always been possible with sPrint One to a new level,’ said Robert Meissner, managing director product management at PerfectPattern. ‘Not only does the new console provide more features and margins, it is also more fun to work with.’
Advantages of sPrint One in the daily work of printshops
With sPrint One, the calculation of print forms of unfiltered job pools in any volume is a matter of seconds or minutes. sPrint One considers the production dates, the current utilization of printing systems, the availability of substrates, shift times and more.
The software looks at both, current pending orders and those with later deadlines. While traditional print planning takes only the currently pending jobs into account, printing will be more time and cost effective if print orders with same specifications but deadlines within a wider time frame are printed at the same time. With sPrint One, printers can combine the current and future jobs to achieve significant savings in time and cost.
sPrint One can also make life easier at printing houses when a machine fails or an employee is unavailable. Up until now, adapting the latest planning to new requirements has been a time consuming task. Now printers can simply update the basic data and click to update the planning. They can also react quickly to unexpected high priority orders and changes in the priority of orders.
For printing on an industrial level such as online printing, gang forms are an important option in planning. Combining various types of print forms allows the algorithm to dramatically reduce production costs.
As an example, in a pool of 171 print jobs – in this case offset – production time was reduced by 36.5 percent and paper utilisation was improved by 13%. The number of moulds could be reduced by eight, that of the printing plates by 32. All of this led to a 22.8% reduction in production costs.