The New Cloud-Based Workflow “PrintDirect” from Heidelberg

Fully automating printing processes with a user-friendly interface will soon be possible at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. Therefore, the manufacturer is relying on a cloud-based workflow system.

Digitization in the printing industry is advancing continuously. The printing manufacturer Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG is working to fully unleash automation potential and relying on apps in the cloud. This is intended to ensure greater cost-effectiveness for print shops.

Cloud-Based Workflow Suite “Print Direct”

The first Printec app, “Print Shop Analytics” only came to the cloud in the fall of 2021 and was designed to monitor a print shop’s key performance indicators in real time. But that’s not enough for the company, now aiming to offer print shops their Prinect workflow suite completely cloud-based as “Printec Direct”. In this service, all functions of the new workflow will be made available to customers successively as cloud-based apps. This makes most of the manual steps in a print shop’s production process largely dispensable as Christopher Berti, Head of Software Solutions at Heidelberg, explains:

“The new Prinect Apps eliminate most of the manual steps in a print shop’s entire production process, from job creation to delivery of the finished print product.”.

Automation with the “Smart Product App”

In addition to “Print Shop Analytics”, the “Smart Product App” will become part of the workflow portfolio. This application allowing to increase prepress efficiency without limiting creativity in design or the possibilities of print production is set to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2022. Among its features are the automatic quality control of the resulting PDF files and the alignment of all additional job data. This happens in a particularly user-friendly way, because the operability of the app does not require any special background knowledge. As a result, an error-free and unambiguous print job is achieved, with the desired properties of the print product being created automatically.

Advantages of the New Workflow System

The extensive automation eliminates the need for manual decisions by print shop staff. This is because “Prinect Direct” decides independently on the most economic production process based on the framework data stored in the job system. As the software is updated “over the air”, there is no disruption of printing operations either. By gradually introducing further Printect apps, Heidelberg intends to support print shop  on their way to becoming a smart factory.

“With the new cloud-based workflow ‘Prinect Direct’, HEIDELBERG is a big step closer to autonomous production in print shops in line with our Smart Print Shop concept.”

said Christopher Berti.

In the long term, the separation between commercial and production processes that still exists today should also be dissolved.

Customers of the already existing Printec Production Manager inventory software do not need to worry, because both system worlds are compatible and will be further developed.

Would a switch to a cloud-based workflow system be attractive to you, or is the topic of “automation” not yet within reach?

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