One of the truly great aspects of the Prinect workflow is that it seamlessly brings together commercial, packaging, and even digital printing. This integration provides, among many things, the huge benefit of all operators being familiar with the same workflow interface. Additionally, jobs are run in a single workflow, and all engines are configured centrally including color, trapping, and preflight – all of which provides excellent predictability from job to job and machine to machine.
Today, we are going to explore Signa Station Packaging Pro (Signa Pack), a module of Prinect Production Manager and an easy-to-use tool for operators to prepare packaging jobs. The best part of Signa Pack is that it’s simple to understand for operators who are already using Signa Station in a commercial environment. After learning Signa Pack, operators will be easily able to switch between producing magazine signatures and folding carton impositions.
In Signa Station, you can effortlessly change between “Commercial” and “Packaging” modes as seen below: COMMERCIAL
Some features will remain the same between the different modes like “Marks” and “Plates” and help with Push-to-Stop production. “Marks” is a great way to automate the marks that are used on every sheet.
“Plates” ensures your job is imposed on the correct stock plate position. Marks, such as color bars, can be placed on plate templates. You can even place marks outside of the sheet to monitor plate quality. Signa Station is preloaded with many color bars for different Heidelberg presses and plate control marks for different kinds of plates to be imaged on the Suprasetter CtP.
Within “Packaging,” we can add our CFF2 that guides the “Step and Repeat.”
We can accept many other file formats including eps as shown below, but these need to be converted into proper die files.
Luckily, Signa Pack has all the tools you will need to fix these files. Even CFF2 files that have issues like open lines or broken lines can be resolved using “Fix Assistant,” which automates this process based on a set of rules you set.
Once the CFF2 is added, you can then specify how bleed should be created. This guides whether the 1-up gets bleed and will also affect bleed conflicts on the step and repeat, which can be easily resolved.
Station numbers can be easily added.
You can even generate a new “Step and Repeat” and export the drawing to have a new die made. You can try out different sheet sizes and presses to see which one is the most efficient to step and repeat on.
Once a layout is built, you can create a template so there is no need to repeatedly make common layouts. Additionally, templates can be used to save time building new layouts if they have similar elements.
Everything in Signa Station is “WYSWYG,” and you can see your plate and sheet in their entirety. It is even very simple to make take off bars on the fly. Signa Station is so powerful that it understands the ink zones of a press and can analyze the ink coverage in each ink zone and customize the take-off bar in each of these zones. This means less ink waste and a more focused take-off bar.
After the layout is brought back into Prinect Production Manager, you can use “Automatic Page Assignment” to automate the placement of 1-ups into the “Step and Repeat.” This can be further automated by using Hotfolders, which you can read more about in my first blog entry.
Proofs can be easily made with Prinect Production Manager with or without varnishes and dies in place. For more information, read my Coating Editor blog.
The 1-up can even be sent to the customer as a 3D pdf.
From there, you can decide if the job should be routed to the digital press or to the Suprasetter CtP.
Signa Pack is a powerful tool that allows you to automate tasks and create templates, which aids in repeatability and consistency between jobs. If you’re looking to create a packaging job from scratch, however, you will need to use a more advanced tool like Prinect Package Designer, which I will feature in a future blog.
Thank you for reading.
If you have any questions or would like more information on Signa Station Packaging Pro or Prinect Production Manager, contact your local Prinect Representative or fill out the form below.
Joe Banich Prinect Product Specialist Heidelberg Canada