In this month’s blog, I want to send some love Prinect Signa Stations way. We’re going to cover something people forget Prinect can do, which often leads to a customer achieving the result they wanted, but with way more work than necessary. We want the automation of Prinect Signa Station to work for us, so let’s look at a simple trick that can make using it even easier and to truly tap into its powerful potential.

When we are imposing books or magazines, very rarely do we have an even number of forms and often the cover is printed on a different stock. To take this to the extreme, the job could be an artistic book consisting of many different stocks on many different forms. Signa can easily handle these jobs with a few little tricks using the very clean and understandable task-based interface.  Click Image To Enlarge

 

Under Product Part we are we are going to define the number of pages and choose the Mode – Imposition. The mode defines what kind of layout we will be working with and allows the operator the flexibility to produce a commercial job and packaging job layout with one piece of software. Signa Station is definitely the swiss army knife of layout software. For our example, we will create a 52 pager which will be good for mixing presses, if the cover is on its own stock and there is a work and turn form.

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In Master Pages we define our trim or trim sizes. You can have as many trim sizes as you like if you are optimizing ganged jobs. For this example, we will stick with 1 size: 8.5 x 11 inches.

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I am from Canada and a funny thing about printing in Canada is that the measurements are still in Imperial, or in the United States US Standard Units, while the official measurement system is Metric. In many places you can order in either unit, especially things like food that must be weighed. A small tip – in Signa anywhere you type in measurements you can get Signa to do the math.

 
If you’re like me and have to work with both measurement systems, you can keep Signa Station in Inches and type your adjustment in the units as you need. It will convert and do the math for you.

 
In Binding, we will pick Saddlestitch for this example, but what I am showing will work for any form of binding.

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Automatic creep also works when there are different stock thicknesses, or we can tell it not to work on the first form because it is a cover. Please see my past blog covering this subject.

Now the most important areas for what I want to discuss will be Plating and Schemes. In Plating we can define more than one printing style, press, or sheet size by adding the plate templates more than once. By adding two XL106 plate templates, I can define that I want a sheetwork printing style and a work and turn printing style like in the below example.

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There can be as many of these as are needed if, for instance, you have a job with many different stock thicknesses. The below example illustrates how I can choose two different presses for 1 job. It could be the cover is being printed on one press and the body on another. Print styles and stock setting are set by each plate template that is loaded independently.

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Next in Schemes we load the two different pagination schemes we want to use. Signa Station will figure out how many it needs. It will only display the schemes it can use from the page count that was defined earlier. It will also only let the operator pick which of the schemes will fit on the sheet based on the trim size, sheet size, and printing style. This greatly reduces the chances of making a mistake. You also don’t have to number each form. Signa Station will look at the low and high folio of a scheme and, according to the binding mode, will number the job correctly every time.

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In this current job the work and turn form is press sheet 4. How can I easily change this?

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If I go to the All Folding Sheets tab in Signa Station I can change the order of the forms. Signa will automatically renumber the layout for me. Now it is form 1. Most settings in Signa can be changed on the fly so there is usually no need to restart a job even if there are major imposition changes – the program is very flexible about this.

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My goal with this blog was to highlight some important but often overlooked details our software offers. There are lots of these wonderful touches throughout Prinect Production Manager. For me, they are what makes it such a special piece of software from Heidelberg. I truly enjoy using Signa Station and I hope I can help others experience it also.


 
If you have any questions about this article or would like more information regarding Prinect Signa Station, contact your local Prinect Representative or fill out the form below.

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    Joe Banich
    Prinect Product Specialist
    Heidelberg Canada