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Digital Second Side

 

Posted: 17 Nov 2005 04:16 am

 

Hi Hal, have been exploring the options in this programme and like what I see - keep up the good work.

We are a fully digital site running a Konica 8050, plus several large format inkjets. I agree with Craig's earlier post re the second side of digital. We pay cost per copy, machine is fully maintained in our copy cost. We just pay x for 1/0 and around 8x for 4/0. Setting your programme for 4/0 is no problem, but 4/1 doubles the job price (because of run costs) where it is only typically 20% more here. To summarize, duplexing costs us only time and consumables, the main run cost is covered on the first 4-colour side. Is it possible to have a duplex button that removes the run costs for the second side or a duplex run cost? Thanks.
. . . . . automan
Joined: 17 Nov 2005  Posts: 8  Location: New Zealand

 

Hi automan, nice to see I have some back-up on this. It sounds like we both have a similar setup, except we have offset presses as well.

I have been using Morning Flight since the first beta was released, I am sure you will like it. I have found it to be very fast and accurate and Hal is very open to feedback.

So Hal, have you any ideas on how to solve this with MF? Oh, and when is the booklet plug-in and the manual coming ... geez, what have you been doing? (just kidding!)
. . . . . Craig Hofer
Loris Printing  Joined: 05 May 2005  Posts: 79  Location: Sandusky, Ohio

 

Automan and Craig,

The digital color/black/duplexing functions are being reworked. Expect a prototype in a couple of weeks or so. I'll post download instructions here, with a temporary program download available to insiders on the Club page.

Unfortunately, there is no way to change the digital part of the program without also changing the layout of the press file. What that means is that you would have to manually record your press data (max size, hourly rate etc.) for ALL your presses, then delete the existing PRSFile.TPS. The prototype will auto-generate a new (default) PRSFile, which you would edit to re-enter your press data. Elegant it's not, but while the new format is in flux, there's little point in writing a conversion utility.

In the meantime, there is a checkbox for duplexing, although in the digital world, that box may well be mislabeled. Morning Flight calls it "Perfecting." When you edit a digital press (from My Shop -> Presses), toggle Perfecting and watch the run cost change as you wave the magic wand cursor over the black panel in the upper right corner.

The other project I'm currently working on is the paper situation. Specifically, how to import XPEDX (and Kelly, etc.) paper files. As the program stands now, those files would either have to go into the One-Price file, or require yet another paper file. My feeling is that paper handling in Morning Flight is not as lucid as it could be, and adding an import function won't brighten the lights. Craig, if you thought the digital issue was a can of worms, it's a walk in the park compared to the paper thing. I know there is a nice, clean, simple solution out there somewhere, but I've yet to discover it. Stay tuned.

The help system and manual? Still in the works, of course, but because of the above, currently priority #2. Tough decision there, mainly because we can't sell many programs without a user manual (none, actually!).

Welcome aboard, automan. Thanks for joining the forum, and for your encouraging words.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel

 

Hi Hal, Thanks for the prompt reply - I can see you take this feedback seriously. The perfecter option is good but actual second side run cost tabs 4/1 & 4/4 would enable us to lock down the 2nd side costs accurately. Look forward to your reworking of the press file. Cheers.
. . . . . automan

 

Craig and Automan,

I've added click charges, along with a provision to increase those charges for sheet sizes greater than 8.5 x 11 / A4. The Consumables box now permits NULL entries.

Instead of a check box for "Perfector," the new entry screen adds hourly rates for printing on the back. If the hourly rate for the back is NULL, MF will charge only for setup and consumables (and/or clicks) for the second side. I'm assuming that if click charges do apply, on duplexed runs they'll apply to both sides. On a 4/1 job, for instance, you would charge 4-Color clicks for the front, plus black clicks for the back.

The only item that would be eliminated without there being a replacement for it would be "Startup Waste Sheets." Here, MF would use wrench-adjustable defaults. Please let me know whether the proposed changes are what you're looking for.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel

 

Hi Automan,

Thanks for your e-mail and the detailed description of your requirements. I'm fairly sure the proposed changes will cover all the bases, except for two: 1/1 runs and finishing. The way MF is designed, the program uses the concept of virtual presses for both offset and digital. In other words, it will automatically select a 4-color digital press for 4-color jobs, and a 1-color press (such as the Xerox DocuTech) for mono. The product specs decide which press will be used. You can quote either 4/0, 4/1, or 4/4 runs on the 4-color press, but not 1/0 or 1/1.

If you have a single digital press, that's probably not an issue. Simply enter the Konica 8050 specs for both the 1-color digital press and the 4-color unit. The 1-color would remain virtual. And if you are using a DocuTech or dedicated 1-color machine, you would most likely run your 1-color jobs on that machine anyway.

Finishing is another matter. As the Print-On-Demand market expands, more and more digital presses will be equipped with in-line folding, collating, and stapling attachments. Some machines will even offer booklet trimming. The Konica 8050 happens to be one of them.

In a dedicated, digital only shop, finishing can be accommodated with postpress. In mixed offset/digital environments, you would need both postpress finishing for offset and in-line finishing for digital. The costs wouldn't necessarily be the same. More food for thought, and more worms in Craig's can. Incidentally, I've reinstated setup sheets as a user-defined option.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel

 

Hal, did you get to have Thanksgiving off or did you work on MF the whole time?  I like the revised screen, I think it will work fine. Thanks Again!
. . . . . Craig Hofer

 

Yes, Craig, I did. A very enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday at that. Since then, I've reworked the code that does the digital pricing. See the sample screens for 4/0, 4/1, and 4/4 runs of 8.5 x 11 / A4 sheets.

You'll note one more change on the Press Edit screen: The Duplex check box is back again. When clicked ON, the back rate defaults to 20% of the front rate, something Automan suggested. When clicked OFF, the back rate becomes the same as the front. You can override the default back rate, but MF expects some kind of value with Duplex clicked OFF.

Incidentally, if you reconstruct the click charge pricing, you may not get the exact results shown in the sample drill-down screens. That's because MF adds click charges for setup/spoil sheets. I still need to redo the Press Zoom screen (the one that pops up when you click on the press name in the Estimate window), then alpha-test the revisions before I can post a new EXE file. I want to thank you and Automan again for your invaluable help with this. The digital module now has a much better feel to it - seems more complete without having lost any of its simplicity.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel

 

EXCELLENT!! I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on it! Awesome job Hal, UDAMAN!
. . . . . Craig Hofer

 

Hi Hal,

This digital press is looking really good now. Like Craig, we are keenly awaiting the update now. Cheers.
. . . . . automan

 

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