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Automation of the file preparation process prior to printing makes it possible to shorten the time needed to complete any given instruction

Michał Wojciechowski, Manager, Technology Department

en

Prepress, i.e. the file preparation process prior to printing, plays an important role in the book production process. Michał Wojciechowski, an experienced specialist that has been with Totem for more than 16 years now, is the person responsible for management of those processes at Totem. He is additionally supported by a team of highly qualified technologists.

At our printing house we strive to provide a comprehensive service to each of our clients in respect of each instruction given to us and accepted. To that end, we use the latest technological and IT solutions, as a result of which the printing preparation processes run smoothly and flawlessly, where the full automation thereof makes it possible to shorten the time needed to complete any given instruction.

The file preparation process prior to printing comprises several closely interrelated phases. The detailed information as to the technological requirements for publishers can be found in the GUIDELINES.

We use the Pitstop Pro software by Enfocus during one of the first stages of the process, i.e. the so-called pre-flight. The system checks the files submitted for any standard errors in the materials prepared by our customers. The software generates detailed  error reports that are sent off to publishers. At our customers’ request we make tools available to them thanks to which they are able to check their prepared files by themselves.

Subsequently all printing jobs are forwarded to an MIS (Management Information System) by Profis. The system enables the effective management of production processes from the moment of carrying out a cost calculation and issuance of an instruction through to the final product. The MIS makes it possible to implement full automation, integration and optimization of all production processes, while at the same time it collates information on all instructions currently being processed and completed in the past.
The next stage in the file preparation process prior to printing is imposition. Imposition output layouts are prepared based on the data generated by the MIS and the files checked by the operator and the files in their final shape are subsequently forwarded to the relevant digital printing system.
The imposition process is carried out using three collaborating programs: FileTrain – uploads the data and identifies the procedure to be followed depending on the content of the files; FreeFlow Core by Xerox – responsible for correct imposition; and the already mentioned Pitstop Pro.

The tools used by us have the capacity to automatically prepare for printing any materials, irrespective of the size of the planned book, its cover, thickness, or even the type of machine on which it is to be produced.

Having in mind our customers’ comfort, we can produce a sample copy of any work designed and prepared for printing. Sample copies are particularly desired by publishers when the planned printing volume is of a considerable size, when the book contains colour images and when non-standard production processes are involved (e.g. rare type of binding or refinement).