Automation and the Smart Print Shop

A smart workflow system helps maximise automation and improves overall efficiency.

The digitisation of the print industry has been gaining momentum, specifically in the last decade. So too has the digitalisation of the print shop’s workflow, as printing companies look to maximise the efficiency of their operations and minimise running costs. The Covid pandemic’s dramatic effects on companies’ bottom line and staff retention, has pushed the digitalisation agenda even further, prompting print companies to examine every element of their business in an effort to streamline operations.

Out of necessity, many printing companies are automating processes and utilising smart workflow systems in order to remain operational in a highly competitive market. The adoption of smart technologies can reduce machine downtime, increase adaptability and reduce the manpower needed to maintain daily operations. These changes can lower operating costs and are an attractive option for companies dealing with cost constraints and labour issues.

The smart factory has typically been seen as something either reserved for specific industries, or a thing of the future. But thanks to technological advances, cloud-based services and interoperability, the print industry is adapting and benefiting from these resources.

With cloud-based services, print shops have the ability to communicate in real-time with connected machines from smartphones and PCs, remotely controlling all aspects of the print job. Live updates are easy to monitor and print jobs can be easily managed at the touch of a digital button. Jobs can be received, pre-flighted, approved and scheduled before being sent to the relevant equipment to be automatically run without manual input. Automated updates with pre-defined process points mean that the operator is constantly in control of the job and aware of its progress.
The simplicity of the digital interfaces of these automation and workflow tools also means that jobs can be run by operators of varying skill levels.

The use of smart solutions and streamlined operations results in overall performance improvements and the optimisation of operational costs.
At a time when many printing companies are struggling to regain market share, digitalisation may present a viable solution to business longevity.

Muller Martini’s Connex workflow solution offers printing companies the tools to transform operations with modules that connect production equipment with main control systems. With networked systems and integrated solutions, production details are always clear and easily managed.

To find out more about Connex workflow solution from Muller Martini contact Dane on 082 498 3241 or email dane@thunderbolt.co.za.

You can also read more about the solution here.

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