Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS 2003 Proceedings), 24-26 september 2003., Varaždin – Croatia; ISBN 953-6071-22-3; Published by Faculty of Organization and Informatics Varaždin, University of Zagreb

Modelling and Simulation as a Planning Method for Printing Houses Modernization with Job Definition Format

Vilko Žiljak
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Graphics Art, Zagreb

Antun Koren
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Graphics Art, Zagreb

Modelling and Simulation as a Planning Method for Printing Houses Modernization with Job Definition Format

Abstract: Professional graphic production today uses network system as the basis of data transmission business platform, among departments such as prepress, typographic, print and other steps in realization of a graphic product. The basis for all new solutions od printing and IT integration in the graphic industry systematically includes XML technology development trends, trends of digital print, computing and the Internet. Application of such intergration in Croatia has initiated numerous issues. Consulting experts has a purpose of accelerating the exploatation of new equipment whose software includes intern solutions in programmes and languages of the XML family. The suggestion is to process the investment by simulation in order to create basis for reviewing several possible solutions.

Keywords: JDF, XML, Simulation


Application of telecommunication systems began in prepress when speeds exceeding 1 Mbit/s were ensured. In order to direct data that arrived to the printhouse towards the printing machine they have to be amended, analysed or even changedbecause there are still no standards including printing forms and management of electronic part of printing. Therefore, developments in communication systems in printing introduce the JDF (Job Definition Format *1) whose goal is to crealte a range of protocols and automations to define printing jobs. They use network transmission, printing machines management and processes including commercial industrial software. The purpose of the JDF is to create an environment suitable for online printing comprising technical, functional, structural and business aspect. Discussions on definitions and content of the JDF also include final users who add a touch of practicality to this development.

The JDF, together with CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) in printing industry, aims at total integration and automation of all production processes. The JDF itself, is not a generally applied solution today. It is only a system to be built and adjusted to every single situation. Softwer development includes individual adjusting to the production specific for each production facility. The entire software has been prepared for XML databeses that overtake instrumental and program data. Today, in Croatia (*2), there are solutions of Prepress and Pres Departments integration successfully installed through CTP (Computer to Print). This unifies activities of seven subprocesses. These are graphic design, typographic modelling, reprophotographic photographs processing, creation of a print form, adjustments of the printing machine, print control and print management. All mentioned parametres are to be aforehead defined in the Department of graphic preparation and are transmitted via media (disk) from one department and device to another.


A good and stable characteristic of the JDF is its complete basis in the XML (*3) (www.w30rg/TR/REC-xml), which ensures full flexibility of future development. The XML most efficiently supports all Internet and Intranet applications. This is the true basis of communication between the exterior and the interior if the printing house. Integration of Processes in Prepres and Postpress = CIP4, thus opens new departments according to the topics, interests, levels of menagement influence but also to evaluation of new print technologies. A comprehensive cooperation of everybody included in creation of standardization and integrated print manufacturing. In a short time the JDF has become an internationally recognized topic. Although standardization has only reached its conceptual level, the names of CIP4 consortium members (*4) guarantee the imminence of joining internation programmes. The CIP4 consortium has engaged almost all institutes and development centres, especially in Europe, for training in each issue of the graphic industry. The most aggressive companies include: Fujifilm Electronic Imaging, Agfa, Printcafe Software, Inc., Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Best GmbH, Wohlenberg, Graphics Microsystems, Fraunhofer IGD, Eltromat Polygraph, Koenig & Bauer AG. The current top issues offered comprise the following: Improvment of Work in the Preparation Phase, Trial Samples and Standardization of Color Management in Printing remote Control, Binding Control and Management, Kepping IS Documentation in Printing Industry, Systematic Work in Graphic Preparation, Automated Network Control of Colour for Large Editions, Automation of e-network in Newpapers, Software Translators for PPF, Colour in Print and Final Processes. This example shows that the consortium takes care of organizing transfer of knowledge by permanenet organization of seminars on certain topics which may last two to three weeks at a single price of approximately € 1,000. Studying standardization and application of the JDF exists only in its beginning phase but it seems essential to realize that printing can only survive by accepting it in the struggle against the more and more prevailing web design and e-books.


Before accepting the JDF system it was necessary to define all details of the production nots. A detailed description of the procedure, as a hierarchycal sequence of steps with diversified structure was necessary. Estimation of work planning and processing possibilities had to be executed in cooperation with partners, users through temporary distribution of parts of work in different locations and different working points. The JDF relies on a complete database on the printing house capacity, which can only be applied in the future, because the existing machines do not allow access to computers working under XML protocol.
Introduction of the JDF in printing houses depends on the future investment plans and the market. The first step is production of design documentation with precisely defined level of the existing automatization od each machine. The printmen accept the option of keeping the existing machines and organization. The first information on business define that production management should be changed considerably necause some workin places are not necessary any more. The JDF through XML enables full transmissioon of data status on final and continued processes of neighbouring operations by using a programme. Suggestion have appeared that some operation should cease to exist. This should be defined in a programme task by recording every event. We have used the project documentation to support the accuracy of the decision more relieably. If the machine is retained, with no possibilities of connecting to the XML protocol (in our case the paper cutting machine) the issue remains wether a new JDF procedure may be organized following the phase that was skipped.
Besides the possibility of keeping the existing machine the manufacturer's suggestion is to buy entirely new machine. There are several different possibilities. How to increase the printing house business success if a major investment has to be performed?


The modelling of printing processes is suggested in the same way as it would be with the final JDF protocol. The production time is ascribed by the "industrial software" managed by the JDF. In this way the procurer and the end user will through the JDF have a realistic plan of the beginning and the end and the possibility of constant insight of the production status. Every work station can collect statistical data on calculation and price. Since format changes of different commercial industrial programmes present major problems of application it is necessary to create modules that would be ablt to, using dimulation, solve the stated application problems.
To increase productivity, the manufacturers of printing equipment, software and machines for final processing, focus on decreasing machine preparation time and pay less attention to accelerate machine operation. Simulations comprise the CIP4 principles where the whole process is regarded as a unit developing compatibility of all machines, including those of various manufacturers and vatious technical characteristics. Simulation expands to the MIS (Management Information System) and the JDF that become crucial in communication among the procurer, the manufacturer, and the supplier in productio process control.
Modelling and simulation has been introduced as a method because we would like to reach an optimal level of decisionmaking without major expenses. The variables may have different levels of complexity because. There are several reasons to it. Firstly, production processes with new machines are becoming more and more automated and the investment feasibility should be proved. Secondly, the average printing time is decreased, thus allowing more orders. Thirdly, a permanenet development of algorithm and decreasing computer pricesoffer new possibilities for an automated distribution of maniufacturing printing processes.
The JDF is ideal for simulation because it is developed outside the interior need at the printing house as a communication network of a printing company and its supporting activities, a supplier and an editor. The automation of each production process is covered and expanded to complete business transformation. There are several acpects of this issue. The first represents the goal to establish higher speeds of certain operations and decrease of routine functions. The second includes automated printing by using large quantities of paper and different processing. The third shows that since structures in the printing houses stay as they are, the software for optimalization of the process management should be adjusted in order to activate decisionmakin based on a database. The fourth includes creation of virtual printing organization to study international processes as one organization. Business improvement, may be substantial with completely new business abd market possibilities. This encourages changes in management structure because organizations cooperate in a different way due to new way of connecting. The fifth aspect of new automation in printing industry is based on the appearance of digital printing. The JDF simulation can find its widest area of work here. It is also the most diffiicult one because the technologies of conventional and digital printing have to be harmonized.
Simulation is applied in the management of printing operations flow. The chapters include: management of all work phases flow, digital trial printing, adjustment and colour management, computer construction of bending, cutting, computer editing, sorting of files on business procedures, creating reports as a basis for supporting future decisions on package printings. Thus, files including mastering of own MIS to be used inside the company, in a way protected from competition. This iterative process is ideal for complex simulations with the goal of improving production procedures through larger use of equipment, people and automation development.


The CIP4 consortium has set a task to integrate the whole graphics , not only separate areas. Print used on packagings has its specific characteristics and within this task there exist a need of considering printing techniques horizontally, in order ot increase efficiency through automation. Almost all printing techniques have been present here and it is considered to be the most complex technique in graphic application. This is where a virtual printing house shall be especially important as the basis of all planning. It is necessary to raise the issue of packaging print to an international level because there is no unique drive that may meet the modern requirements set by end users and their techology conditions on one hand and designers with their alway new suggestions.
Digital printing is best shown in the area of packaging print as a novelty that has least endangered the existing technologies. It has done nothing but improved and supplemented some of the existing gaps. On the other hand, digital printing presents the focal activity of successful automation and is the centre of initiating activities implemented by the CIP consortium. By itself, it comprises modern computers, so it has been rather simple to create the development of the newly arriving JDF. The important data provided for the management through digital print software have initiated discussions on such MIS ideas considering other, almost entire, graphic systems.
No integration of production and applicationof the JDF is possible if, for example we would like to connect modern digital print and large editions without implementing computer management in these other techniques. Such offer is up to the old equipment manufacturers with the purpose of not having to develop unique hardware or software. The packaging print will still be using machines where the most various technologies have been integrated for a long time, including steel print and silkscreen print. These same products offer new equipment fully matching the system of connection to the JDF technology and digital printing. italni tisak.
This has been realized by the largest equipment manufacturers who have united their ideas on graphic system integration and established a CIP4 consortium placed on the JDF as a basis of management IS. In this way, the MIS, image and text processing, trial impressing, printing, finalization and dispatch become integrated.


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*2 (tiskara Kratis)
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