Esko has announced i-cut Automate, built on Esko's Automation Engine, the latest addition to i-cut Suite. i-cut Automate ties the pieces of the i-cut Suite together, and automates the entire production process, from design to print to cut. Users can build dynamic workflows that will automate repetitive prepress tasks, thereby enhancing productivity, reducing operator intervention and errors, and saving valuable time, money and materials in the production process.
"Sign and display graphics producers are constantly looking for ways to run more efficiently so that they can meet their customers' needs," said Isabelle Noppe, Esko Product Manager i-cut Suite. "Automating their prepress workflow with i-cut Automate will enable them to handle greater volumes of work more economically, and to shorten their cycle times. In turn, this will lead to greater profitability."
Major addition to an advanced suite of tools i-cut Automate is an addition to the i-cut Suite, part of the Esko Suite 10 - a set of integrated software tools for the packaging, printing and sign & display industry. i-cut Suite also includes i-cut Preflight, i-cut Layout and i-cut Vision Pro - tools.The i-cut Suite has been launched in 2010 and since then has seen rapid growing popularity at large format printing plants allover the world.
i-cut Preflight handles efficient preflighting and editing of incoming PDF files, ensuring that jobs will RIP and print correctly.
i-cut Layout is a module for interactively building and editing sheet layouts, ensuring that jobs are set up to make the optimum use of the substrate through intelligent true shape nesting and tiling. It also enables file preparation for printing, through adding grommet marks, and creating cut paths and bleeds.
With i-cut Automate, all of these functions are now possible in a single automated workflow, with less operator intervention required and fewer potential manual errors. Through Mac or PC based clients, operators can easily monitor the workflow and interact when necessary through a comprehensive checkpoint.
Repetitive tasks can be made far less time-consuming through setting up dynamic workflows that are easy to operate in a client-server environment. i-cut Automate can also be integrated with Management Information Systems, enabling automatic job creation and the submission of job parameters to the workflow via XML data.
Positive customer feedback
i-cut Automate is already being used by customers the world over to reap significant efficiency benefits. For instance, the professional photo laboratory APLUS, in Nanterre, Paris, uses it to satisfy the exacting requirements of its discerning customers, including professional photographers, portrait photographers and even websites specialising in imagery. Arnaud Le Nedelec, technical manager of the APLUS laboratory, explained: "In terms of printing on rigid materials (Plexiglas, Dibond aluminium, PVC, etc.) for high-end displays, i-cut Automate allows us to manage our web-to-print process in a completely automated workflow, from the acceptance of the order to the printing/cutting stage. Our customers' files are supported right from the order, grouped together by type of material, printed and cut out. In this workflow, the only manual intervention required is to position the sheets on the printing and cutting table. This saves precious time, which allows us to be more available for our customers. It also saves material because the sheets are perfectly optimised."
i-cut Automate will be officially launched at the SGIA Expo wide format tradeshow in New Orleans, USA from October 19-21, 2011, and will be released to customers in the weeks following the show.