Production Job Overview

In this Article we'll learn:

  • How we define a Production Job
  • The basic elements of a Production Job

1. Fundamentals

A Production Job typically consists of one or more Print Items and is essentially the final print job that is sent to the printer. While Articles and Orders can be created optionally, a Production Job must be created in order to output print data to an output device, i.e., a printer.

Production Jobs represent the typical production-based working method found in typical prepress departments. Whether a Production Job was created from individual Articles, a single Order, via Force Print or a Hotfolder is irrelevant for the prepress operator as the working method is the same when outputting Production Jobs.

Users can perform the following activities in a Production Job:

  • Combine print data in a single Production Job
  • Preflight, check and correct print data
  • Adjust Spot Colors
  • Approve print data for output
  • Imposing print data
  • Send individual Print Items or imposed Print Items to the printer

For more information on creating Production Jobs please read the article: Creating a Production Job

2. Production Job List

By selecting the menu item Job (Production Job) [5] a complete list of Production Jobs is displayed.

Figure 1: The Production Job list view.

The Production Job list consists of the following areas:

  • Header [1] – The header is designated using a darker turquoise color, unlike Articles or Orders.
  • Filter Bar [2] – Select either a filter or enter text in the search field [7] to constrain the Production Job list to the filtered/searched terms. In contrast to other lists in the Workflow, the Show Trash [6] option is also available, where the user can permanently delete or restore previously deleted Production Jobs.
  • Pagination [3] – Select the page you want to display and the amount of listed Production Jobs [8] to be displayed per page.
  • Production Job list [4] – The list consists of:
    • A header bar with the individual header labels to sort listed entries using arrows and a pop-up menu [9] to select/deselect specific columns.
    • Individual Production Jobs with corresponding values. Production Jobs can be open by clicking on the right facing arrow [10] which switches to a detailed view of the Production Job.

We recommend using a minimum of the following columns for Production Jobs:

  • Preview – If a single Print Item thumbnail is visible, no imposition exists for the Production Job.
  • Name – Used to identify the Production Job.
  • Output Settings – Use this to identify which printing system and substrate is assigned to the Production Job.
  • Print Item – This column displays the number of Print Items contain in the production Job. By hovering over the Print Item column, a list of all Print Items contained in the respective Production Job are listed.
  • Status – Indicates the status of the Production Job.

You will find more information on working with lists and filters in the article: Working with Filters & Lists

3. Production Job detail

By clicking the right arrow [10] (Figure 1) or by double-clicking on an entry in the Production Job list, you can switch to a detailed view of the Production Job. The detailed view of a Production Job is divided into three areas.

The turquoise header [11] shows general information about the Production Job. This includes:

  • Name – The name that is assigned to the Production Job.
  • Internal and External ID – While the Internal ID is automatically assigned by the Workflow, the External ID can be used to identify the Production Job by a leading ERP system. The Internal ID is always unique, in contrast, the External ID does not have to be unique. The leading ERP system must also support unique ID's to be effective.
  • Tags – Tags can be used to further identify Production Jobs. For example, they can be used to flag problematic Production Jobs for review in the prepress department or to assign Production Jobs to specific printers. In either case, Tags are used to locate Production Jobs efficiently.
  • Production Date and Time – The date set by the user or the leading ERP system is used to plan Production Jobs. By entering the time, planning can be distributed over the day or a specific shift.
  • Shipping Date – The shipping date can be set by the user or the leading ERP system and defines the final date in which the Production Job must be shipped.
  • Comment – A comment can be entered manually by a user or automatically by the leading ERP system.
  • Status – Displays the current status of the Production Job. The status is updated automatically when the printing system communicates with the Workflow. For printing systems that do not communicate with the Workflow, Production Job status can be changed manually by the user (this only works for all statuses that are not set automatically by the Workflow). Production Jobs can have the following status:
    • Created – This status indicates that the Production Job has only been created and contains no Print Items.
    • Ready for Print – The Production Job now contains Print items but no Output Settings have been assigned.
    • Output Config Assigned – The Production Job now has an Output Configuration assigned. Individual Print Items are ready to be produced.
    • Imposed – Print Items in the Production Job have imposed using the Impose Editor and the imposition can now be sent to the printer.
    • Sent to Printer – If the RIP process was successfully completed and the data was sent to the printer, this status appears automatically.
    • Printed – If the printing system is capable of sending feedback to the Workflow after the printing process is complete, the system automatically switches to this status. Production Jobs are also labeled as printed, even if the required quantity has not yet been reached.
    • Quantity Reached – If the required number of copies has been printed, the system switches to this status.
    • Closed – Production Jobs are marked as closed when they have been produced and delivered.

Figure 2: The detailed view of a Production Job.

3.2. Production Parameters

In the grey area [12] (Figure 2), production parameters for Production Jobs are grouped in corresponding tabs and values/metadata from the Production Job are displayed. Production Jobs contain the following tabs:

  • Print Item [14] – All Print Items in a Production Job are available for processing in this tab. A Production Job must contain at least one Print Item so that information can be sent to the printer.
  • Output Settings [15] – Here you can define the printer, resolution and color setup (color policy), Ink Save Profile and Color Management should be used when rendering. In addition to the minimum requirement of one Print Item, the Output Settings must be also be correctly assigned to ensure that the Print Items can be ripped and sent to the printer.
  • Impose [16] – The user can impose Print Items contained in the Production Job here. The way in which Print Items are imposed, lies entirely on what the post processing requirements are and can be chosen accordingly. Production Jobs do not need to be imposed in order to be ripped or sent to the printer.

The following tabs display production relevant information:

  • User-defined Fields [17] – Additional values and lists can be added and displayed using User-defined Fields. These values can also be transferred to the Workflow via the leading ERP system. User-defined Fields can also be manually entered and administered.
  • Files [18] – This tab displays all files that are used by the Workflow that are specific to the Production Job, but can also act as a data storage component where the user can upload additional files.
  • Protocol [19] – Lists all processes that have been applied to the Production Job and individual Print Items in the Workflow.
  • Print Statistics [20] Displays Ink Costs, production times and substrate consumption for the Production Job.

3.3. Detailed Information

In the white area [21] further information and functions are provided, depending on the tab selected in the production parameters area. The Print Item tab is the exception, as it offers additional subordinate tabs. All other tabs only show information or functions without further subdivisions. The Print Item tab is divided into two areas:

The grey area [22] displays Print Item thumbnails. The user can select a specific Print Item or all Print Items [23] and perform functions for the selected Print Item(s) [24]. The user can also additional Print Items to the Production Job [25] and check the current status [26] or change the status manually. The following statuses are available for Print Items:

  • Created – The Print Item has been created in the Workflow but has not yet been fully preflighted and/or important files are still missing to display the information completely.
  • Normalized – The Print Item has been successfully preflighted and corrected according to the settings applied under Administration > Settings. The Print Item now exists in the first modified version.
  • Data Check – Errors or warnings were found when the Print Item was preflighted and may need to be manually corrected or controlled.
  • Final Artwork – All errors and warnings have been corrected and is now marked as OK.
  • Waiting for Approval – An approval report has been sent to the customer, but the customer has not yet given final approval.
  • Approved – The approval report has been confirmed by the customer.
  • Imposed – The Print Items have been imposed and are ready to be sent to the printer.
  • Sent to Printer – The Production Job has been ripped and sent to the printer.
  • Printed – The Production Job has been successfully printed.
  • Quantity Reached – The Production Job has reached the required amount of copies per Print Item.
  • Locked - The Print Item may no longer be edited by the user (this status is only available when the Production Job contains Print Items that were created from Articles).

Figure 3: The Print Item tab with additional sublevel tabs.

3.3.2. Detailed information for individual tabs

In the white area [21], detailed information and functions are provided according to the tab selected. The following tabs are available:

  • Print Data [27] – This tab contains information such as: a preview thumbnail which shows the visual and production format, Document and Production Information, information on fonts used, Process Colors, Spot Colors and Technical Colors for the selected Print Item. In addition, a PDF report listing all errors and warnings found by the preflight is available for download [35]. Additional functions include:
    • Set ImageBox [39] – The user can choose which PDF Page Geometry box should be used as the viewing format.
    • Advanced Bleed Settings – The user can select in the Production Information settings area which Bleed is expected for the view format, i.e. the production format.
    • Download PDF [37] – The user can download the current Print Item or the original PDF.
    • Replace Print Item [36] – The user can replace the current Print Item with a new Print Item.
    • Show Article or Order [34] – If the Production Job was created from either Articles or Print Items from an Order, you can switch to the Article or Print Item in an Order by clicking on this button.
    • Adjust [38] – Some warnings, which are indicated by shaded yellow bars, can be corrected directly by clicking on the command. Other warnings adjust the expected size to the current size, split a multi-page pdf into individual documents and convert registration black to pure black for example.
    • Apply Fixups – The most frequently used Fixups (data corrections) are available in their respective drop-down menus in the footer. Additional Fixups are available in the Data Preparation tab.
    • Lightbox – Double-clicking on the preview thumbnail image or on a separation will open the lightbox where you can inspect the Print Item in more detail.

Further information on this view is available in the article User Interface.

  • Data Preparation [28] – This tab contains well over 120 Fixups as well as custom Fixups which you can use to prepare print files from the customer for output. Generally speaking Fixups address the following areas of prepress:
    • Fixups for changing the dimensions and adding Bleed.
    • Fixups for rotating, mirroring and deleting pages.
    • Fixups for creating and deleting layers or for creating processing steps according to ISO 19593-1.
    • Fixups for compressing and recalculating image resolution.
    • Fixups for converting, renaming, deleting or creating Spot Colors.
    • Fixups for creating, deleting and moving Dielines and for adding additional Dielines.
    • Fixups for creating, deleting, reducing and changing the tonal value of White and Varnish separations.
    • Fixups to convert objects using black to deep black and vice versa.
    • Fixups for masking enclosing or outside areas based on a Spot Color.
    • Fixups for the creation of Grommets, Edge Reinforcement, Dielines as well as Bleed.
    • Fixups for extracting specific print data from finished print files.
    • Fixups for flattening transparencies and creating printable notes.
    • Fixups for setting overprint or omitting objects.
    • Fixups for setting the scale factor.
  • Variable Data [29] – If a Production Job contains variable data, the user can upload and delete CSV control files and display the current data records being used.
  • Before/After [30] – Displays a preview of the original document compared to the current version.
  • Additional Data [31] – Displays all files used by the system, and any additional documents ( any file format can be uploaded).
  • Statistics [32] – Displays the Ink Consumption for the selected Color Policy. The user can also use it to calculate in advance, the best case scenario in terms of ink consumption with and without Ink Save profiles.
  • Protocol [33] – Describes the data preparation process for the selected Print Item.