Automation Engine 10 is part of Suite 10, the EskoArtwork packaging and print pre-production software. As a further development on established workflow solutions, Automation Engine 10 sets a new standard for prepress workflow automation with its easy to set-up and easy to operate dynamic workflows. Automation Engine 10 enables unseen and extensive automation and rock-solid quality control. It further reduces manual operator interaction to a minimum, ultimately increasing throughput and efficiency.
With Automation Engine 10, EskoArtwork has built an enterprise-ready workflow by merging three well-known and proven server technologies into a single platform. BackStage serves as the architectural foundation of Automation Engine 10, with database driven job management, extensive JDF based MIS integration capabilities and excellent scalability. Odystar contributions include the conditional automation capabilities, the easy-to-use graphics user interface, the PDF native processing tools and the Shuttle technology. From Nexus, EskoArtwork has taken many of the workflow features, including the ability to re-run parts of a workflow with modified parameters and all of the ArtPro automation.
"As the backbone of Suite 10, Automation Engine 10 allows users to preset repetitive tasks and make automated decisions within the workflow. In addition, interfaces between order administrative systems (MIS or ERP) and prepress production further take the manual interaction out of the process. Automation Engine 10 data management improves transparency throughout the enterprise. More than a mere set of nice-to-have features, Automation Engine 10 ensures increased efficiency and throughput and will save customers time and money," explains Filip Carrein, Product Manager Server Platforms at EskoArtwork. "Automation Engine 10 provides an exceptional answer to the daily challenges of print professionals as it increases quality, reduces errors and drives cost out of the process."
New technology based on functional production requirements A series of new Automation Engine 10 components each focus on a vital portion of packaging and print production. They include:
The Shuttle technology, a brand-new link between Suite 10 editors and the automated Suite 10 workflow, is a straightforward user interface for the operator who only needs limited interaction with the Automation Engine 10 workflow. Shuttle simplifies overall operation by allowing the operator to launch an automation task directly from within the editor workstation. It minimizes the learning curve for operators and reduces errors through job specific parameters. The Shuttle is available either as a standalone application or as a plug-in for any of the Suite 10 editors: ArtPro, PackEdge, DeskPack, Neo, Plato or FastImpose.
The business automation technologies allow order administration systems to link with production through JDF/JMF. This significantly increases the transparency of the entire operation through centralized information data storage while avoiding double job entries and reducing operator intervention. Production functions that are influenced include more accurate cost accounting, saving money by measuring and billing consumables, proofs, plates, and reworks. Additionally, automated imposition or step-and-repeat reduces the need to prepare impositions manually, and JDF output to cutting tables and saddle stitchers maximizes uptime and available capacity for finishing equipment.
With the extensive quality control tools available in the Automation Engine 10 Viewer users will detect errors early in the workflow, and even fix them on the fly in most cases, increasing overall print quality and reducing costs caused by manual intervention.
The job organization and data management tools within Automation Engine 10 optimize data storage and allow for fast location of product status and data throughout the prepress workflow, improving transparency of data management.
"With Automation Engine 10, very flexible workflows are easily built within an intuitive graphical user interface. Many of the parameters are fixed settings in the workflow, not accessible to the operator, which prevents incorrect operator data entry. Automated decision and routing removes the need for a lot of operator intervention, a source of errors," said Carrein. "Tasks such as preflighting, trapping, generating proofs or 3D PDF files, generating reports, performing step and repeats, adding crop and color marks... all of these selections, decisions and checks can be automated in the workflow."
Automation Engine 10 will be available from May 2010 onwards and is demonstrated for the first time at Ipex 2010 on the EskoArtwork stand C150 in Hall 12. For EskoArtwork customers currently working with Nexus, Odystar or BackStage, there is a seamless migration path to Automation Engine 10.