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FLEXO Magazine : February 2008
30 FLEXO FEBRUARY 2008 www.flexography.org TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES JDF in MIS A New Dimension of Productivity By Patrick Bolan Reducing human error---the goal is an ever-present one in flexographic printing/converting. Any time data already entered into the system must be re-entered there is po- tential for error. The re-entry of data is known as a breakpoint in your workflow. An example of a breakpoint would be the need to re-enter job specs, captured at the time of estimating, in order to put together the job ticket. Wherever there is a breakpoint, there are additional costs associated with the workflow, and the overall process is not as efficient as it could be. With more and more tools and technologies helping move the trade from an art to sci- ence, new dimensions in productivity and consistency are being achieved. One such technology is job definition format (JDF). JDF offers a common language that all devices and software in the business and production workflows can use to communicate. Typically a JDF-enabled workflow is part of a company-wide management information system (MIS). In this scenario, the MIS is a central hub that moves the JDF-based information around the shop. The workflow starts with a job ticket. From there, the MIS system will transfer the job information to prepress. Prepress JDF information is then captured and sent back to the MIS. That information can then pass to the press, and subsequently on to finishing. So the MIS becomes the central hub of information for the printing facility. If you are a customer service representative looking for certain information, or a production manager looking to see where a job is, it can all be seen in one location. WHY IS JDF IMPORTANT? Every time someone touches a job, profit is lost. JDF elimi- nates human intervention. If someone has to setup the job from scratch, that takes time and leaves a lot of room for mistakes. A JDF-integrated MIS system can take all of that information, send it down and automatically setup the press. JDF can gener- ate information for the flexo press to set it up, such as paper and ink information, job and client name and run length. It can also retrieve information from the press as its running. This data