Spanning the JDF Generation Gap

Through RIT and my experiences interning at three commercial printing companies, I have had the opportunity to work in almost every department within a print shop. What I took away from each experience was an understanding of how each company is run and the unique workflow that took place.

In this blog, I will discuss my prediction for the future of the print production workflow powered by JDF (Job Definition Format) and how this will reshape the way companies structure their workflows—from start to finish—in the near future.

The power of automation is something that has driven essentially every industry to higher efficiency and further development. Within printing, JDF presents the opportunity for increased efficiency throughout an entirely automated workflow.

It’s one thing for a company to use JDF for just ink-key presetting, but by implementing the same underlying technology from estimating to delivery, that same company is able to operate at a much higher level of efficiency and thus support a much better print operation.

JDF is nothing new to the industry and was in development even before Drupa 2000. The CIP4 organization manages JDF with the mission of promoting the adoption of process automation. The goal of encompassing the entire life cycle of a print job is something that CIP4 fully supports, along with a wide variety of vendors.

However, I feel that a large majority of the top 100 printers in the United States don’t yet take advantage of the technology to its fullest extent. It might take longer to catch on with people, but I believe that it’s extremely worthwhile for every company to review its current workflow with the intent of targeting areas that are completed manually to be replaced by automation. A quick search on Google will lead to a plethora of vendors available to offer a customized solution.

If we look at the digital shift in the industry, increasing amounts of offset companies are putting digital equipment on their floor. Offering combined print services requires integration of the two distinct processes. This leaves organizations in need of transforming their workflow processes to successfully implement a “hybrid workflow.”

Nick Gawreluk is product manager of integrated solutions at Mimeo. His passion for print has spanned across the globe to South America and Europe in addition to many unique work experiences inside the United States.

He enjoys sharing his insight and involvement within the industry and is always searching for new experiences. Nick’s goal is to lead his generation into the future of the printing industry.
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Comments
  • http://CorySawatzki Cory Sawatzki

    Excellent view Nick. I could not agree with you more.

    However, one of my big struggles is the “Standard” of JDF. There still seem to be many flavors of what JDF is out there. Not to mention, getting those formats into something that I can drive to the presses that understand some form of XML.

    I deal with over 70 print companies, all with different equipment. Some does JDF, some does not. If I could simply get standard JDF/XML, just to the DFE on the press that could be used, this would be a giant leap.

    I would love to speak with you sometime, and get extended thoughts from you on this topic.

  • http://MichaelJahn Michael Jahn

    I think JDF may not be as popular in the future as APIs and folks using SOAP and RESTful approaches.

    I fully embrace the mission of JDF, and more importantly – JMF, and while I read lots of press releases from vendors, what i see actually being used by print companies trying to automate is anything but JDF.

    I was asked to explain JDF recently here;

    http://printmediacentr.com/2010/08/11-interview-with-michael-jahn-application-support-specialist/

    A few people who read what I said there asked “Gee, that was nice, but I still do not get what this JDF and XML stuff really ‘is’.” … so I posted this on my blog:

    http://michaelejahn.blogspot.com/2010/08/i-was-interviewed-for-printmediacentr.html

    Hope this helps!