Tip of the Week #121 – The PrintVis – JDF Workflow

Tip of the Week #121 – The PrintVis – JDF Workflow

PrintVis Marketing Coordinator Michael Bradley brings us this week’s tip – a quick tutorial on JDF. 

What is Job Definition Format?

JDF is an acronym for Job Definition Format, and is an XML-based open standard for the graphic arts industry.

Similar to ISO certification in concept, JDF (Job Description Format) certification offers cross-platform, common integration and process automation, answering the simple question, “What should one common job ticket for the print industry look like?” With JDF, we have a single common language to support the life cycle of a print job in all its stages, from estimation to prepress to production to post-production and everything in between.

JDF information is ideal for communication among the various pieces of equipment in your production facility. But with it you can also communicate with other print houses, vendors and customers.

The goal of JDF is to simplify and standardize the workflow of a print production, while eliminating as much manual work as possible, in order to reduce errors and time-consuming manual processes.

The term JDF is used both to designate the actual standard, and as a description of one of the actual files used in the flow. Sort of like PrintVis being both the name of our company and our print MIS product built on Dynamics NAV (ERP – so many acronyms!)

As the standard file format for the printing industry, JDF simplifies information exchange among various systems and provides detailed information, including design and workflow details, as well as Job Messaging Format (JMF) signaling, so you can track a project from start to finish.

Simple PrintVis - JDF Workflow

What are some advantages to implementing a JDF Workflow?

Electronic Job Ticket

The job ticket becomes an integrated part of the workflow, and is available multiple places at the same time. Information about any job – and any changes to that information – is immediately available to everyone involved. This saves time, and enables a higher flexibility in adapting to late changes to a job.

Presetting Information

Ink profiles, paper weights and all other technical specifications are automatically transmitted to the presses. This saves time and reduces the risk of errors, because manual setup is largely eliminated.

Job Tracking

Real-time information about a job is available in the MIS system to everyone in the company. This gives a substantially increased visibility into the efficiency and availability of the various production resources.

Job Costing

Job costs, hours, ink usage, paper usage, time and more are automatically recorded and transmitted from the production equipment to the MIS system. This gives a much more detailed and precise post-production calculation, more quickly and reliably than with a manual process.

Did You Know? Some Impressive Stats About JDF

  • 60% – Printers have highlighted investing in Workflow Automation
  • 277% – Average ROI for JDF-enabled automation
  • 480% – Average ROI for fully automated, end-to-end automation
  • 6979 – Average labor hours saved/year by printers who implement JDF

(Sources: InfoTrends’ Production Software Investment Outlook and CIP4 CIPPI Case Studies)

Here is a more detailed example of a JDF-enabled workflow that includes a web-to-print storefront.

Thank you Michael!