The Workflow allows you to create or transfer different Substrates (materials) according to preference and application in order to use them for your Articles, Orders, or Production Jobs. In this chapter, you will learn

  • How Substrates are defined in the Workflow
  • How Substrates are managed
  • How to import Substrates from the printer
  • How Substrates can be created in the Workflow

The first two points are described in this article, the other two points are described in subsequent articles.

1. What are Substrates?

Substrates, which are also often referred to as mediums or materials, are image carriers with a surface (paper, cardboard, textile, glass, foil, etc.) that can be printed on by a printing process. In order to utilise different substrates used in print production, you must first create a substrate in the Workflow or import them from existing substrate lists.

Substrates differ to such a degree in terms of surface structure and other properties that as a rule almost every substrate needs to be profiled depending on the resolution and printing mode used. In order to use a selected Substrate in the Workflow for an Article, Order or Production Job, they must first be linked to a Color Setup. After being linked with a Color Setup and categorised, substrates can finally be used. The following steps will differ slightly depending on how the substrate is used.

The profiling of a Substrate is more or less completed in five steps:

  1. Importing or creating a new substrate
  2. Creating or duplicating a Color Setup associated with the categorised substrate
  3. Carrying out a new Color Setup, using a duplicated Color Setup
  4. Set the completed Color Setup as default for the chosen substrate
  5. Link a substrate ID to the correct output device

2. How Substrates are organised

In the Workflow, substrates are stored hierarchically using a specific structure - (a) Substrate Categories, (b) Substrates, and (c) Substrates Definitions. You can locate these options under the menu Administration > Substrate [1]. You can use these substrate categories and substrate definitions when creating Articles, Orders, Production Jobs and when creating Color Setups.

Substrate Categories [2] – The term Substrate Categories refers to categories of particular types of substrates, (e.g. cardboard, foil, film, textiles, paper, etc.) Substrate Categories have no essential function in the Workflow, other than being used for grouping and organising as well as being pre-filtered in some dialogs.

Substrates [3] – Substrates are the available materials of different qualities, surface textures, and manufacturers.

For substrates, you must select a standard substrate (default), which is automatically applied or used as a fallback when using certain substrates categories, and a standard Color Policy, which is automatically applied when selecting a substrate.

Substrate Definitions [4] – Substrate Definitions are essentially a summary of specific substrate characteristics. You can define name, width, height, roll length, paper weight, material thickness, printable pages and distortion. Either the substrate number from your ERP system or the dimension of the given substrate can be used for the Substrate Definition.

Under Substrate Definitions the user must also define a default Definition for each substrate created in the Workflow as each substrate will more than likely have more than one Substrate Definition. This default Defintion will also be applied as a fallback concerning automated processes where no Substrate Definition has been pre-defined. The user can then assign a Substrate ID which is then used and written into the job ticket for each individual job, thus eliminating the need to select these settings on the printer side.

Figure 1: Substrate Overview with the Configure tab selected