Substrate Management

In this article we'll learn,

  • How Substrates are structured in the Workflow
  • How to add Substrates in the Workflow

1. Substrate Overview

Print Data is always printed on a Substrate. Therefore Substrates are a key factor in print production. Production relevant parameters of the Workflow, such as grain and machine direction as well as the color profile (ICC profile), are linked to the Substrate. Changes in the composition of a Substrate can have a decisive influence on color reproduction and have a direct effect on the quality of a print.

Substrates are organized in the Workflow as follows:

  • Substrate Categories – Represents the superset of Substrates. Typical categories could be Paper, Cardboard, Corrugated Board, Textiles, PE white, and so on.
  • Substrates – This is the actual material on which the printout is made. Substrates such as Blueback Paper, Gardamatt, Avery Top Clear, etc. can be grouped into the aforementioned Substrate Categories.
  • Substrate Definitions – Describes production-specific parameters such as Length, Width, Thickness, Grain Direction, Printable Sides, Distortion Factor, etc. A Substrate can exist in various Substrate Definitions.

2. Create a new Substrate

Before you can start profiling, the Substrate to be profiled must be available in the Workflow. You can create a Substrate in three different ways:

  1. Creating Substrates by importing the Substrate list of a Printer
  2. Adding Substrates manually in the Workflow
  3. Create Substrates using the leading ERP system via a specific interface (XML, JDF or Rest API)

This means that essentially all variants of Substrates are  available in the Workflow. Important! Please make sure that only one leading system (a Printer or an ERP system) is responsible for creating Substrates. Doing so will minimize confusion when selecting Substrates in the future.

2.1. Importing Substrates

Depending on the printer selected, Substrates can be retrieved and imported from the Printer's media list. Please note: not all printing systems support access to the media list! To import Substrates, proceed as follows:

  1. Navigate to Administration> Substrate and select the Import and Manage tab. This tab is divided into two sections, Import Substrates [1] and Mapped Substrates [3].
  2. In the Import Substrate section, select the desired printer from the first drop-down menu [2]. By selecting the printer, all pre-made Substrates are displayed in the Mapped Substrates area.
  3. Select the desired Substrate in the second drop-down menu [4] ( Available Printing system Substrates will be visible here) and click on Import [5].
  4. The selected Substrate will be imported and integrated in the Workflow. You can now switch to the Configure tab to make additional adjustments. Please note that, making changes in configuration currently are not reflected in the printing system.

Figure 1: The Import and Manage tab visible under the Substrate Overview menu item.

2.2. Add a Substrate manually

If importing Substrates is not possible for your printing system, the Substrate can be created manually before profiling. To do this, select the Configure tab. The user is presented with three panels: Substrate Categories, Substrates and Substrate Definitions.

To view the Substrates [7] contained in a Substrate Category [6], you must first select a Substrate Category. To see all Substrate Definitions [8] of a Substrate, you must select the required Substrate.

Figure 2: The Configure tab displays three panels which list the Substrate Categories, Substrates and Substrate Definitions.

2.2.1. Add a Substrate Category

To create a Substrate Category, proceed as follows:

  1. Click on + New [9] in the footer of the Substrate Categories [6] panel. The Add Substrate Category dialog opens.
  2. In the dialog, enter a Name for the category and an optional Comment.
  3. To create the Substrate Category, click on Save.

Figure 3: The Add Substrate Category dialog.

PMS WebGui :: Configure

2.2.2. Add a Substrate

To create a Substrate, proceed as follows:

  1. Select an existing Substrate Category or the previously created Substrate Category in the Substrate Category [6] panel.
  2. Click on + New [10] in the footer of the Substrate [7] panel. The Add Substrate dialog will open.
  3. Enter a Name [12] and the Manufacturer [14] for the Substrate. If you made a mistake when defining the Category, you can select the correct one under Category [13].
  4. Optionally, you can add the RGB Display Color, which is used to display the Substrate color in the Impose editor, and a Comment.
  5. To create the Substrate, click on Save.

Figure 5: The Add Substrate dialog.

PMS WebGui :: Configure

2.2.3. Add a Substrate Definition

Substrate Definitions must first be added and then configured for use with different printers in the second step. To create a Substrate Definition, proceed as follows:

  1. Select an existing Substrate or the previously created Substrate in the Substrate [8] panel.
  2. Click on + New [11] in the footer of the Substrate [7] panel. The Add Substrate Definition dialog will open.
  3. Enter a Name [15] as well as the Width [16] and Height [17] for the Substrate Definition in the inputs. If the Substrate is a Roll Media, activate the checkbox Roll Media [19] and then enter the length for the roll and adjust the height.
  4. Sometimes production-relevant distortion must be taken into account when rendering the print data. If it is a Substrate that should be distorted in width or height due to water, heat etc., enter the distortion value in the X or Y Distortion [18] inputs.
  5. Additional options include: an External ID, the Weight, Thickness and the Printable Sides.
  6. To create the Substrate Definition click on Save.

Figure 6: The Add Substrate Definition dialog.

PMS WebGui :: Configure

2.3. Linking Substrates to multiple Printers

To inform the Workflow which Substrate can be used for which Printer or which Substrate ID in the printer is used for the Substrate, the Substrate Definition must be linked to each appropriate Printer. If Substrates were imported from a Printer, the Substrate ID should already be selected. For manually created Substrates with Substrate Definitions, this must be done manually. Proceed as follows:

  1. Select the Configure tab via Administration > Substrates.
  2. Select a Substrate Definition in the Substrate Definitions panel [20].
  3. Click on the Link to Printer [21] button in the footer of the Substrate Definitions panel. The Add Link to Printer dialog will open.

Figure 7: The Substrate Definitions panel with the Link to Printer button visible in the footer.

PMS WebGui :: Configure
  1. In the Add Link to Printer dialog, first select the Printer [22].
  2. Then select the option Custom under Source [23], which will enable you to enter an ID in the Substrate ID input field [24].
  3. To create the link between the Substrate ID and the Printer, click on Save.
  4. Repeat these steps for all Printers that need access to this Substrate Definition.

Figure 8: The Add Link to Printer dialog.

PMS WebGui :: Configure