Tip of the Week #86 – Supporting Variable Data Printing

Tip of the Week #86 – Using PrintVis to Support Variable Data Printing

This week we have a special “dual tip,” contributed by Developer Christian Mütze and Consultant Kit Tomshøj.

As you probably know, the advent of digital printing has allowed for far greater customization of mass-printed items; and when we use the term “variable data” we are talking about unique information applied to each individual piece of a print run.

A very common use would be a unique name and address printed on each item for a direct mail campaign. But let’s say the campaign is expanded to several geographical regions – variable data can also mean different graphics are used on versions of the printed piece, with imagery relevant to the different mail recipients.

Managing Variable Data

This tip explains that there is a methodology available with PrintVis to assist with the management of variable data. We would like to point out, however, that there is some customization involved with this one (whereas PrintVis prefers to emphasize standardization whenever possible, to minimize slow and costly upgrades).

When you deal with Variable Data Printing (VDP),  you commonly deal with multiple file formats and customer needs. Using PrintVis you can manage the workflow of the job and ensure that all jobs have been printed. The supported VDP files can be managed with PrintVis Folder Management.

We simply setup three fields: One covering the first records, one the total sum of all records to print,  and one for the final records.

You can easily fill these fields through a batch-controlled import job which reads your customer-supported files and only extracts this base set of information.

Then you can use this information through the UI of the Shop Floor clients, print it on reports – such the job ticket or a customer requested Service Level Agreement document for quality assurance.

For example, the customer gets an excel sheet, a SQL database or Access database, and there you find 1000 custom datasets.

This can be managed via PrintVis with some custom development of the import function, so that the system reads the first 10 customer names, the last 10 and the sum of 1000.

Then the press operator can do a quick check to see if the first and last 10 prints match the job ticket, and that the press has recorded a quantity of 1000 pieces.

Now using the Shop Floor app he can check and confirm that all prints were done. That’s all – plain and simple, easy to use and to implement.

We hope that gives you more ideas for smart solutions!

Thank you Christian and Kit!

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