Hybrid Software will use Ipex 2014 for the worldwide launch of a host of products under the umbrella of its new Cloudflow suite, which signals a major shift in philosophy and product mix for the company. Cloudflow presents a new workspace concept for the web-enabled production environment and with its introduction Hybrid Software is positioning itself firmly as 'The Alternative' software vendor for the worldwide graphic arts market.
New Cloudflow Workspace
"The majority of existing workflow systems are constricted by being modelled on outdated core technology or architecture," says chairman Guido Van der Schueren. "Cloudflow is a web-based portal solution that has been built from the ground up with none of these inherent limitations in functionality or flexibility. It meets perfectly the needs of businesses that have to link multiple locations via a highly efficient interface."
Cloudflow enables companies to easily create local and private cloud-based environments in which to operate with safety. Supported on Windows and Mac OSX, it interacts with external systems such as MIS/ERP and custom designed web pages, and can submit files to workflows via HTTP. Features include sophisticated routing based on database entries, metadata, form input etc, file management, approvals and communication facilities plus the ability to run scripts within workflows. Cloudflow is designed for businesses of all sizes, whether they operate in brand service, packaging, digital printing or labels.
Hybrid Software's new Packzflow provides sophisticated automation of pre-press functions based on native PDF files. Features include backend processing for the PACKZ engine, plus the ability to trap on the server and add job information panels, slug-lines, bearer bars etc. Packzflow includes advanced step and repeat functionality, as well as comprehensive flattening technology and the ability to modify page boxes. The lack of conversion steps simplifies the workflow and improves productivity further.
"Even those with limited design or production skills have the ability to easily and quickly manipulate native PDF content using Packzflow," says Guido Van der Schueren. "The software results in significant reductions in cost, time and errors, while Cloudflow's open architecture gives access to data stored in remote MIS/ERP systems. This enables data for parameters such as step and repeat marks to be downloaded quickly."
New PACKZ Editing Software
The functionality of Packzflow can be expanded greatly by integrating it with PACKZ, the professional PDF editor for packaging and label workflows. PACKZ, available on OSX and Windows platforms, offers 64-bit multiprocessing as well as multi-threading. The software can be used to import CF2 diecut files and can define separation files. It has a built-in barcode scanner with support for all packaging barcodes.
New Production Data Management Software
At Ipex Hybrid Software will be showing a new production data management system specifically aimed at the label and packaging markets. Functions include multi-file server indexing plus the ability to search for assets based on names and metadata, as well as PDF files incorporating the same images. Assets can be tagged and metadata added. The operator can generate low resolution files and share these via direct invitation links or user spaces. The PDM system supports various file formats including XMP.
New RIP Module
Visitors to the stand will be able to find out how Hybrid Software has integrated a RIP into its Cloudflow workspace. The high speed native PDF 1.6 and PostScript RIP is based on proven Harlequin technology. Providing 1-bit and multi-level AM, FM and hybrid screens the new PDF/VT compliant RIP is compatible with a range of PDF creation tools.
New Printplanner Module
The new layout module Cloudflow Printplanner lets the operator utilise a web user-interface to position and annotate artwork on a sheet, in order to obtain the most efficient use of stock when handling, for instance, a label job that is to be printed digitally. Other features include the ability to merge different ripped files, allowing optimum use of plates, and to handle variable data.
Proofscope & Proofscope Live
ProofScope is extremely fast and easy to use, providing comprehensive viewing, comparing and annotation functionality to enable seamless online approval. Proofscope Live provides the ability to make last-minute corrections to PDF files from an internal or remote location using any web browser, without having to contact the designer, upload new artwork, reproof the updated job, etc.
Hybrid Software's Order Lifecycle Management products also fit neatly within the Cloudflow workspace. The main product within the OLM portfolio is FaceLift, which allows seamless integration between production workflows, MIS/ERP systems, third-party websites, external databases plus other sources of digitally held information. By treating 'as a product' the integration of online ordering, production, pre-press, MIS, databases, financial systems etc, OLM reduces significantly the cost to the end user, making automation across these platforms viable for the first time to many companies.