HP has announced the worldwide availability of HP SmartStream Production Center and HP Indigo Print Care 2.0. Both offerings are designed to help increase the productivity and efficiency for printer service providers across entire print production operations.
First seen as a prototype at drupa 2012, HP SmartStream Production Center is a software-based production management system that is designed to address the challenges of efficiently receiving, producing and delivering high volumes of short-run print jobs. The system helps PSPs meet aggressive customer deadlines by improving job status visibility, identifying and eliminating bottlenecks, and monitoring production, enabling more effective use of the PSPs' capital equipment.
HP SmartStream Production Center is a versatile system that can fit into any production environment. It manages a high number of jobs received from multiple sources, including web portals, MIS systems, and prepress tools. It then automatically routes them to multiple production platforms, regardless of whether they are HP Indigo Digital Presses or non-HP digital presses, offset presses and finishing equipment.
HP SmartStream Production Center tracks print jobs from start to finish in real time using job definition and job messaging formats (JDF/JMF), barcode scans or manually entered data. Customisable dashboards then display a comprehensive view of the print production status and highlight urgent requests or errors to production managers and press operators. The system batches print jobs together and balances loads between devices to optimise production.
"PSPs today manage a high volume of short run jobs that incorporate multiple web-to-print storefronts, various presses and finishing equipment," said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. "HP SmartStream Production Center streamlines and automates these increasingly complicated workflows to open the management bottleneck, reduce print production times and make PSPs more profitable."
Seamless workflows with HP SmartStream Production Center
Marketing agency DME installed HP SmartStream Production Center as a beta user in January of 2013. Before adding the system, DME would track production by manually comparing job and shipping reports. After implementing HP SmartStream Production Center, DME's press operators now track individual jobs as they move through production and quickly identify any errors that may occur in real time.
"Implementing HP SmartStream Production Center has helped us engage with our customers better as well as save time and money," said Kathy Wise, president, DME. "We are now producing between one hundred to three thousand jobs in one day and as volumes increased, production became chaotic. Production Center has allowed us to understand what jobs are in the building, tracking each through all the different equipment and processes we have."
On-press support with HP Indigo Print Care 2.0
Another tool designed to increase efficiency and productivity on the production floor is HP Indigo Print Care 2.0, a comprehensive toolset that provides fast, accurate diagnostics, troubleshooting and maintenance tools to maintain effective operations.
HP Indigo Print Care offers on-press diagnostic and remote support tools to keep press operations on track and assist PSPs in any technical issue they may face. Press operators working independently are guided through automated or manual processes, and can also access live support from HP's remote support centres.
Communicorp, a leading marketing company producing solutions for email, social, mobile and direct mail, operates HP Indigo digital presses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. HP Indigo Print Care 2.0 helps Communicorp pinpoint issues and complete tasks efficiently.
"HP Indigo Print Care is like having a permanent, on-site instructor and engineer," said Greg Weaver, digital print bindery supervisor, Communicorp, Inc. "It helps us identify and fix problems to keep the presses running around the clock."
[Image shows Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP]