In this month’s blog I would like to look under the hood of Prinect Production Manager and discuss the Qualify sequence.
Read the Qualify and Prepare – Part 2 blog post
Heidelberg has broken down the prepress workflow into various stages or steps. These are called Sequences. The Sequences send commands to the Prinect Engines within the workflow to tell them what to do. This could be how to trap or proof a job and even how and when a job should be archived. This communication is done via JDF which is at the core of Heidelberg’s workflow. Sequences can be accessed by users that have the right to administer them in Administration – Templates.
When we first go to Resources – Templates we are presented with 3 folders. Group Templates is where Sequences that are grouped together for common workflows are stored. Smart Templates is where special dynamic templates used for automation are created and saved. Sequence Templates is where we find all the different steps of the prepress and press workflow in Prinect Production Manager. Broadly speaking they are broken into two main categories: sequences that effect pages and those that effect impositions. There are also miscellaneous ones that do things like archiving. In this blog we are going to focus on the Qualify and in the next blog we will cover the Prepare sequence.
Qualify is really the most important sequence in our workflow. You cannot add PDFs to a job without a Qualify sequence. A newly created job could be loaded with other types of sequences, but without a Qualify, that job is useless. This goes for whether you use Prinect Production Manager for Commercial, Packaging or as a DFE or all 3 combined! Qualify can use Hotfolders which we looked at specifically in a past blog.
Let’s look at some of the other steps. To answer everybody’s first question – what is CEPS Conversion? For us somewhat older, but not that old, prepress folks who remember Tiff/IT, it was a competitor to PDF as a prepress production file format. This sequence is used to convert these to PDF. Like all the other past prepress formats it was just too rigid compared to PDF. If you are an obscure information buff like me, there is more info in the link below.
Normalizing is the term used for industrial strength PDF creation. Most people today export directly to PDF from an application like InDesign. An interesting and useful setting for problem PDFs is the “Refry”. This converts the PDF to postscript and back. It’s not something you want to do all the time but can help with a pdf that is causing errors – always check the results!
Split Document can split a multiple page pdf into separate single page pdfs. This can be very convenient if there are a lot of page changes and you want to make sure that pages that are replaced are permanently deleted out of the job instead of remaining in the pdf that was initially added.
Preflight is a gigantic subject. In this blog I will just focus on some interesting settings. Preflight can also alter the pdf under the Advanced tab. Rotating and scaling are possible and the changing of the pdfs trim box. This is nice if a large group of pdfs need to be altered.
Reporting within Preflight has a great feature called Notification. This is really convenient in an automated “lights out” workflow. If a job fails to pass the preflight setting somebody in the shop can be informed and then react.
Images can have more then one level of severity guaranteeing that truly unusable images are caught.
Font Name at the bottom of the Font Type tab is an often overlooked setting. I find a lot of custom-made fonts like corporate specific fonts can be built incorrectly. This lets you flag specific fonts by name and optionally try to convert it to graphics.
Under Colors tab you can flag when an images Ink Limit is too high. You can fix this with the Prepare sequence but that is for next blog. There are a lot of content creators today who do not understand how to produce a CMYK image that will run properly on a press. It can also be that you are doing ink
reductions to save on ink consumption and want to catch which images are higher than your house standard. This can also be fixed in Prepare and this ability is included with every Production Manager. Watch for part 2 on Prepare!
Setting Line Art Flatness is very important if you deal with a lot of outlined type and vector artwork. If your flatness is too high, then curved outlines may look like hexagons. Setting it to the lowest setting forces the RIP to process it at the highest quality it can. This gives the smoothest curve in your vector artwork.
What Prinect can do is vast and comprehensive, even for an expert like me. What I hope to do is open a current user’s eyes to what is in their midst and for those curious about Prinect to see some of the powerful things it can do.
If you have any questions about this article or would like more information regarding Prinect Pressroom Manager or Prinect Prepress Manager, contact your local Prinect Representative or fill out the form below.
Prinect Product Specialist