In one of my first blogs I discussed basic Hotfolders in the Production Manger workflow.

https://news.heidelbergusa.com/2020/04/prinect-hotfolder/

In the next few blog posts, I will be going more into depth about how to build different levels of automated jobs. First, let’s start with the basics.

We’ll begin with a simple hotfolder job that I like to call “Job Creator”. Its purpose is to create a job using the name of the PDF. This is the very base of automation.

As I have said before, one thing to remember about Production Manager is once your base workflow is established, you should be able to expand on it without creating most parts from scratch. Usually differences are just small changes from your default so you can open something that already exists and Save As. What I am about to show you can be a base to create further automations in your workflow.

My Production Manager is connected to a Versafire EV, so I have created examples of a Job Creator for Digital and Commercial. Commercial can also do Digital jobs and vice versa illustrating how Heidelberg makes it easy to get your customer some copies of their artwork now followed by a large run on an offset press later that is easily matched with Heidelberg’s color management expertise.

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So, how do we achieve this? First, in Cockpit, we go to Administration – Sequence Templates – Qualify and we are going to look at the Sequence Qualify Job Creator. This will be the Qualify for both the Digital and Commercial Job Creator since we want the jobs created the same way. Sequences can be reused many times. I like starting with simple and building complexity from there.

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I give a full overview of the Qualify Sequence in a previous blog.

https://news.heidelbergusa.com/2021/05/did-you-know-qualify-and-prepare-part-1/

We are going to focus on the Hotfolder step of the sequence. This will guide what information can be extracted from the name of the PDF to make the job. Make sure you set what I have outlined in red in the screenshot below. This will ensure that anything dropped in the hotfolder will create a new job and if any PDFs are added that use the same job number and name, they will also be added to the already created job and not another new job.

We also tell it what the file name should contain since this is what it will use to create the job number and name of the job. We use delimiters to help the workflow find information in the PDF file name. Outlined in orange in the screenshot below, you see I am using “_” as the delimiter. This means the workflow will look at a PDFs name when it is dropped in the hotfolder and when it finds the first “_” everything before that becomes the job number. When it finds the second delimiter, everything before that but after the first “_” is the job name.

So, a PDF name could look like jobnumber_jobname_anything you want.pdf. A real-life example could be 1006_FoodPackaging_box1up102.pdf. If we dropped that PDF into this hotfolder, the system would create a job with job number 1006 and a job name FoodPackaging.

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Now that we have a new Qualify sequence for creating jobs, we can group it with other common sequences used every day to create consistency in how jobs are produced. When an operator opens a new job, no additional configuration is required, and everybody is using the same sequences to process jobs. Below are two examples. One for Digital and one for a hybrid Commercial/Digital workflow. There is no limit to how many of these can be made based on a customer or a specific output situation.

Digital Example:
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Commercial/Hybrid Example:
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As you can see in both examples, they are using the same QualifyJobCreator Qualify sequence. Both are linked to a Prepare. This means, under most circumstances, the production PDFs are ready for production once processing is completed. I explained the Prepare Sequence in a past blog:

Click to read the Prepare Sequence blog.

Once we have this workflow created, we can go back to Administration – Hotfolders. Here we create the actual Hotfolder where PDF files will be dropped. We can choose its name and most importantly we can choose, in red, what workflow this hotfolder should use.

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Once this is done anybody who is given network access can drag and drop PDFs into the share where the hotfolders are kept. All they must know is to name the file correctly (jobnumber_jobname_pdfname.pdf). In my example my PDF is named 60123_JoesExample_VANNJob.pdf. This process can be done from Mac or PC and does not require the person doing the dragging and dropping to understand the workflow.

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Here is the result.

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The job is ready to go into production by the operator. The pages are preflighted, color managed and trapped. In the next few blogs we will use this setup as a basis to create some interesting automated jobs. Heidelberg has expertise to help you take your workflow to the next level. There may be mundane tasks that can be automated so that your prepress people can focus on producing jobs. Contact us if you would like to create even some simple automations to make your production flow much faster. You can then easily build on these to make more specific or complex workflows to process your customers artwork.

 


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.

 

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Joe Banich
Prinect Product Specialist
Heidelberg Canada