What kind of jobs did you make money on last year, and in which ones did you lose money? Price pressure is enormous in the highly competitive graphic design sector. That makes it even more important for graphic design businesses to know exactly where their value added comes from. Connex offers a complete solution from pre-press through digital printing to print finishing, thereby providing the necessary automation as well as important figures that are needed for company management.
With the increasing importance of digital printing, intelligent process and data management have become unavoidable. That's because it's only possible to produce products directly and cost-effectively in one operation if the entire process is totally automated and integrated. It's exactly here where Muller Martini serves as your reliable partner to ensure the security of your investments: whether offset or digital, every business determines the corresponding degree of automation and networking that is required. “Decisive factors in a production system include guaranteed high quality of the end product as well as flexibility, scalability and economy,” says Bruno Müller, CEO of Muller Martini. “All our solutions necessary to optimally automate the workflow among various machines are bundled into the Connex process and data management system. We offer industrial solutions that optimally equip our customers for both offset and digital printing.”
Reducing Manual Process Steps
Smaller print runs mean frequent job changes. Two things are crucial when it comes to continuing to keep production costs down: reducing redundant data entry by consistently using existing data for a job through the entire work process, as well as reducing manual process steps through automation. With Connex, it is possible to optimally automate all Muller Martini systems, from a stand-alone machine to complex production lines. Thanks to this standardization, all machines can communicate with each other and, using Connex, can also be connected to a management information system (MIS). A prerequisite for this consists of JDF (job definition format) and JMF (job messaging format) data that is compatible with the CIP4 standard. Muller Martini offers a wide range of machines that are ready for integration, in other words they are “digital ready” and have already proven this ability in rugged real-world applications. Connex can also integrate machines that do not support this standard.
Lower Production Costs, Fewer Errors
As the key technologies, JDF and JMF ensure efficient production in graphic design companies. If a job has already been set up in MIS by creating a JDF and transferring it to Connex, key data from calculations, job planning, pre-press, printing and finishing can move along with the job through every process step efficiently and without redundant data entry. Integrating Connex into an MIS facilitates the media conversion and significantly reduces the manual planning steps.
At the same time, the necessary production settings for each job are created directly at the machines from the JDF data. During production, Connex provides JMF data with information in real time about machine status, materials consumption and production quantities. With it, jobs can be scheduled more simply, provide an excellent overview and, if necessary, be rescheduled. Faster job changeovers and a high level of process automation with Connex lead to considerably lower production costs, and input errors are reduced to ensure lean production. The printing press is controlled by Connex and makes up part of the Connex production planning process.
Also Fully Functional as Stand-alone Version
Connex has a modular design which enables it to be expanded to meet customers' needs, but it can also be installed as a fully functional stand-alone solution (without MIS). This is particularly significant for purely post-press operations or companies that are looking for a gradual entry into digital workflows. The highly automated system keeps personnel costs at a minimum, thereby providing a maximum return on investment.
At the drupa, Muller Martini will present the revamped Connex.Info for the first time. In addition to automated data collection from operational data, Connex.Info is also capable of providing long-term evaluations. This enables several advantages: secure data sources, no manipulation possible, automatic data collection, and no personnel costs. The collected data forms the basis for a subsequent evaluation of the various production runs. The resulting key performance indicators (KPI) are the basis for management by numbers that is becoming increasingly important.