A JDF Success Story — Waldman
According to Novak, UpFront is currently used to plan jobs at Williamson and much more—it can send data all the way to the bindery. Remember: the story starts with reducing cutter makeready time to almost nothing. Well, the imposition not only results in plates for a specific press, but instructs bindery equipment.
Novak continued by relating how Holt formed a new company in Australia called LithoTechnics. Its flagship product is called Metrix, which takes up where UpFront leaves off. Williamson is using both products, but this
column isn’t meant to be a product review. (For more information on Metrix, contact the U.S. marketing team of Lisa and Brian Alterio at www.alterioassociates.com. For UpFront, see your Kodak rep.)
Aside from automating production, JDF also enables users to put together solutions of their choice by matching suppliers that, in the past, couldn’t communicate with each other. Novak carefully researched specific solutions and, through the magic of JDF, designed a working system. For example, he also uses Esko’s Scope workflow environment, specifically BackStage, which Novak says really boosts productivity.
Apparently, capitalizing on the strengths of different JDF-enabled solutions is working for Williamson. Novak reveals that, as of now, they have cut 25 minutes out of an average job moving through prepress. This is significant since they have about eight jobs moving through their system at any given time.
However, Williamson has moved beyond prepress and the bindery, and has made real progress in the pressroom with much more to come. Some of their current equipment is PPF (or CIP3) enabled, which is the forerunner of JDF and can be made to work with JDF. Williamson has committed to buying the latest state-of-the-art presses. So, although much of the pressroom is automated now, just wait.
Critical Steps to Success
In order to really get sophisticated about JDF automation, a JDF-enabled MIS system is critical. This is particularly true for a company the size of Williamson. However, although most of the popular MIS systems are JDF-compliant, there is still more work to be done. According to Novak, Williamson uses PRISM and good progress is being made toward capitalizing on the benefits of JDF for total plant information and customer relationship automation.