22 May 2016 Digital Printing Technologies

Drupa: HP builds the PrintOS application store

HP has promised a wide range of applications will be available for PrintOS users. By Drupa it plans to fulfil this commitment.

HP has disclosed the next batch of applications that are joining the PrintOS community, ranging from MIS and personalisation to book production and finishing.

When announcing PrintOS in March with its own PrintBeat tool and Box and OneFlow as third party tool, it promised that by Drupa it would have a line up of 50 tools to choose from. These are starting to include finishing applications as well as workflow, with Duplo the first to announce an integration with PrintOS and will link its DC-646i to the Direct2Finiah workflow and to PrintOS on the Drupa stand.

Horizon is also integrating with HP Indigo with a SmartStacker, HT-10000V three-knife trimmer and CRF creaser and folder as part of the Direct2Finish workflow, though not PrintOS.

Direct2Finish takes job intent instructions via a SmartStream server in JDF format to automate the set up of the finishing equipment.

While the first PrintOS applications are centred on Indigo users, the intention is to spread PrintOS across PageWide web presses, latex wide format and Scitex flatbed inkjet printing. This is starting to happen.

One of the key additions to PrintOS is Bronte, an end to end management and workflow application for book production, developed in Italy by Rotomail . The company has been the beta site for HP’s PageWide HDNA print head, which becomes fully available at Drupa. Now it is reciprocating by enabling other book printers to take advantage of an application it has been working on since 2008.

Bronte is an end to end system to automate book ordering and production aimed at publishers and distributors. At Rotomail it ties in with the ability to bind book of one using a Tecnau Libra system, also under development for the last eight years.

There are three components beginning with a portal to enable publishers or book distributors, even shops, to place orders online. For a publisher, this can include the upload of contents and artwork into the content management archive.

A distributor will be able to order a selection of titles from those available, not only from a single publisher. If a publisher has its own reader facing website, this can accept orders from the end purchaser. On placing an order from the website, a job ticket is raised and JDF file created.

The separate orders are collated and processed for production, either in batches of the same title, according to delivery, to paper type and so on to optimise production. Cover and text sections are directed to the relevant print platform using barcodes to match and track these. Users of the order portal are able to monitor progress of their books.

The job ticket is also used to connect to the relevant couriers or postal delivery services to be used, sorting the orders accordingly. At Rotomail , a CMC carton wrapper is used to wrap each order and automatically direct it to the relevant collection bag.

While this will be among the most sophisticated of the apps in the cloud hosted store, it is far from alone. Among the others that are making their applications available through PrintOS include Avanti for its Slingshot MIS, the locr personalised mapping software, Pressero, Pageflex Pando for localised marketing campaigns and handwriting.io which creates a handwritten typeface for either print or digital display. UK web to print provider Infigo is partner to SmartStream, a prelude to availability via PrintOS.

The first PrintOS tool released is PrintBeat, which has been with beta customers since October last year. One of these is ProCo. The application gathers data about press performance, the differences between operators and jobs, delivering set up information for different materials and where to source them. It will also alert users to the need for maintenance and relay details to Indigo.

This is also how Duplo will be integrating to PrintOS, taking its e-Tandem remote monitoring and data collection tools to improve support for the equipment and also to provide printers with real time information about job status and costing, feeding data to MIS. Like PrintBeat, this will be through a single dashboard view, though availability will need to wait until final testing after Drupa.

Much of this data has been available for press users that have wanted to look for it. The PrintOS PrintBeat instead presents this to users, while lists of substrate certification have also been available previously. “It has always been there, but never before in a single resource,” says ProCo.

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Rotomail's Bronte book supply chain and production application will be joining PrintOS at Drupa, one of a number of tools that are building PrintOS into a source for software across different applications for print providers.

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Rotomail expands horizons with HDNA

PrintOS will be key for future Indigo

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Oded Eylon and Duplo's Pete Dyson in Israel.

Oded Eylon and Duplo's Pete Dyson in Israel.

Duplo has become the supplier of finishing equipment to join the PrintOS programme, linking its e-tandem remote monitoring and maintenance tool to the cloud environment. Duplo development manager Peter Dyson built the link with HP and says: "We believe our customers we see great value in the efficiency savings and of doing things smarter, faster and better that these developments will deliver."

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Combinations will deliver for Duplo

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