HomeApplicationsLarge format print shops

Large format print shops

Production specifics

Large format means production of posters, banners, billboards, bitmaps, city-lights, back-lights, signboards, tables, photograph wallpapers, roll-ups. Production may take place on large format digital machines – plotters, either sheetfed or web-fed, on different substrates, both paper and synthetic. Some of the products may be made using the traditional offset technique on large format sheetfed printing presses using the especially prepared paper.

The largest format products often consist of many elements connected at the production place or assembled at the exposition location.

Problems and Challenges

Large format printing first of all requires appropriate machine facilities supporting  the required formats. Image generating techniques generally do not differ from those used in other areas of printing, however, the products scale requires some skill and experience in handling the problems arising e.g. from the necessity of permanent and damage resistant connection of large-sized elements in accordance with the product weight and weather conditions at the exhibition location. Other problem stems from the necessity of proper completion of elements sets necessary for production of a finished product at the exhibition location as well as proper management of products mutations (e.g. exchange of singular panels in billboards). In the case of production using traditional offset technique another problem is the extensive use of waste paper for machine preparation which in the case of small editions may even exceed the number of production sheets; proper accounting of these amounts is of large importance as the prices of printing paper constantly grow. After production it is also necessary to properly save and forward information on a number of receivers to whom the product is submitted for its installation at the exhibition location.

Solution 

PrintManager (CRM - Client Relations Management module, PLM - Product Lifecycle Management, PP - Preplanning, JA - working time registering module, WMS - Warehouse Management System, SA - sales, BI - strategic analysis) + WebClient - www order and storage processes support module. The whole set can be completed by the order acquisition system – WebToPrint.

Support of the basic areas of company operation

WebClient and the WebToPrint systems are able to support the enquiries receiving process from the print shop customers. The WebToPrint can automatically generate offers for customers based on norms defined by the users, the WebClient and the PrintManger users are able to prepare precise quotations based on the particular production technology path for particular products with its possible adjustment depending on the individual expectations of the customer. The proposed systems can accept automatic order and inform about performance of the particular production stages on further stage of cooperation with the customer.

WMS, the warehouse module of the PrintManger system enables print shop employees to make calculation of many physical and logical warehouses in one or in many locations of the company. It supports maintaining substrates register in two measurement units. It allows for proper material flows management necessary for production as well as their ordering process. The WarehouseManager module provides for warehouse management directly related to the production order.

SalesAssistant module is a tool for management of financial documents in a company. It enables automated generating of invoices based on the clients orders and on data from the warehouse management module. Thanks to the full use of data contained in the system a detailed list of goods for invoicing is available at all times and the document issuing process is extremely simple. Ongoing monitoring of the liabilities and receivables status as well as effective recovery of receivables is possible using the module. It helps in having the financial aspects of business always under control. Fast and credible information allows for immediate reaction to any risk of failure to observe payment dates and integration with the other modules minimises the possibility of errors in the invoicing system.

Technical preparation of production

Thanks to the ability of considering the detailed technology path already at the calculation stage the preparation of competitive quotations is easy and at the moment of the order acceptance the earlier approved path is forwarded to production with possible changes, if necessary.

Production Planning

The necessary deadlines for production can be met due to the possibility of flexible changes in technology at the planning stage – transfer of works to other production units with automatic application of technological norms of the new unit and recalculation of the planned work performance time.

PrePress

The PrintManager system automates the ordering process of graphic preflight and processing on the stage of order acceptance from the customer. From the moment of production launch an order for preparation of printing forms is issued, information on the required time of production completion of these tools is forwarded to the prepress section automatically based on the works planned for the offset presses.

Press

The PrintManager system shows the press section employees on the screens of their production terminals not only the basic information on printing substrates and inks with which the work is due to be performed but also offers them an option of browsing of singular currently printed elements on the preview screen as well as previews of work combining many elements.

PostPress

The technology path saved in the PrintManager system precisely sets out the order of performed processes, technical information is transferred to production employees using the Job Acquistor module equipped terminals with which they save the ongoing work to enable constant supervision on the production process.

Management Board

All the modules of the PrintManager system collect ongoing data regarding work of the particular employees and sections then added into the central data warehouse which apart from MRP system may aggregate information from other information solutions working in the company enabling for creation of precise multilayer strategic analyses. The BI module enables precise calculation and checking the profitability of even such specific works as billboards with exchangeable panels or complex bitmaps.

Solution Advantages

  • Support for many print technologies
  • Support for  many types of substrates counted in various measuring units (kg, sq. metres, other)
  • Multi-element product support
  • Ability of panels mutation calculation in the case of billboards production
  • Ability of generating orders for the subcontractors – both for cooperation within production and for assembly, exposition of the finished product
  • Ability of automatic offer generation for customers based on flexibly modified offer templates
  • Ability of automatic acceptance of enquiries from WWW network and of presenting the prepared quotations on the print shop website

Implementation Benefits

  • Automation and speeding up of the customers’ enquiries acceptance, preparation of quotations and offers based on technological templates
  • Fast preparation of offers taking into account exchange of finished product elements
  • Ability of predicting at the calculation stage the production technology connecting production of many products using common elements with cost cutting
  • Automation of substrates and finished goods warehouse management
  • Ability of coordinating works ordered simultaneously from many cooperating parties using the ProdcutionPlanner module.
  • Ability of specifying technological path based on digital or offset devices chosen depending on the required edition
  • Precise and multidimensional strategic analyses generated on the basis of data gathered at the data warehouse