CIM In Action -- Awaiting the Big Payoff
For Worcester, MA-based LaVigne Inc., the road to CIM is a dual highway. The company incorporates a JDF workflow (since August 2003) on the digital side and a PPF/CIP3 configuration (which bowed in 2002) on the conventional offset printing side, according to Chris Wells, president and CEO. Both take integration through the press, but stop before finishing, and the digital side resumes with shipping.
The results thus far have been outstanding, according to Wells. Using PPF files on the conventional side, LaVigne has sliced makeready time by between 50 and 60 percent, a major coupe for the short- to medium-run printer. Information being sent includes ink key data, gripper settings, stock info, color settings for the final approved document and job-specific information.
Its digital printing workflow has enjoyed an even greater impact, Wells says, with JDF having been integrated into all of its Web-to-print solutions. When customers order a job over the Web, a JDF file is delivered to LaVigne's HP Indigo press.
"We're using Production Flow to read the JDF file and process it," Wells says. "It's eliminated setup, so we don't need to do anything to the file. It just lands on the press imposed and ready to print. It's been pretty fantastic."
Right Out of the Cart
LaVigne worked with Printable Technologies to develop a JDF export function out of the shopping cart function of the latter's online print procurement system. Then in came HP's Production Flow system to consume the JDF on LaVigne's end.
"We had to create a bunch of little hooks and links on our own," Wells explains. "It wasn't an out of the box connection, for sure."
Wells has been more than happy to take his integration approach on a piecemeal basis, for at least two reasons. One, the company has reaped significant ROI on the prepress job entry side of the equation. Two, Wells hasn't found a "great JDF-compliant finishing suite of equipment for us to integrate."