How Will Pre-Press Look in 2016?

PrintVis Consultant Dennis André Thomsen attended Kodak’s GUA 2015 Conference last week, and has some thoughts to share with us on the future of pre-press.

How Will Pre-Press Look in 2016? by Dennis André Thomsen

This was asked during the Opening Panel discussion of the recently-concluded Kodak GUA 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Replies from the panel, on which I participated, were actually quite surprising.

Far from the immediate focus of an ERP vendor such as myself, the question is actually not one I thought I would have any response to, given its actual wording. But I expected that the trend would be towards further atomization – bringing even more emphasis to Web-2-Print and JDF Integration. Hence I was eager to hear the answers, as such functionality is of course highly in focus on our side with PrintVis.

What was so surprising then? Well, a unanimous panel actually concluded that “pre-press won’t exist in 2016 – but will be replaced with intelligent RBA’s (Rules-Based Automation).” Rules-Based Automation is the latest development in workflow automation, a background process which uses rules to trigger specified actions when specified events occur (read more here). Thus the expectation is to move/edu­cate today’s pre-press employees into becoming automation engineers – for most of what is now considered pre-press work.

This is indeed very exciting and will certainly put even greater demand on your MIS/ERP system to be an essential component of such automation.   In my humble view this basically means that you will either need to have a well-functioning Web-2-Print Front-end, combined with an automated system to handle the incoming orders unmanned (in fact all the way through to the printing presses) – or prepare for added pricing pressure from order entry to print.

Personally I doubt the timeframe of 2016 for such a complete degree of automation. But certainly I – as well as should you – see it as a bona fide upcoming demand. So you need to start considering whether your MIS/ERP system is equipped to handle such challenges – as well as having some kind of customer-facing Web-2-Print setup. Are your employees ready to make the move towards becoming automation engineers? This and many other considerations are on the horizon.

Check out some photos from the conference here.

Finally, a little commercial: PrintVis already offers full support to utilize whichever level of automation you have as set RBAs. PrintVis offers a full backbone to handle your Web Front-end, and to receive orders directly from your customers. And PrintVis offers full JDF Integration to your pre-press workflow system!

PrintVis is ready for the future, are you?

 

 

Dennis André Thomsen is a Senior Consultant with PrintVis, as well as an excellent tenor.