Agfa to release new version of Arkitex for newspapers

Arkitex Production v4.0 takes the next step in streamlining and automating newspaper print production workflows to save newspaper printers time and money. The latest version focuses on a tighter integration with press management systems for just-in-time plate delivery, and incorporates multi-tenant capabilities as well as improved planning and tracking. Deployment in the cloud guarantees smooth business continuity.

26 Jun 2020 | By Rahul Kumar

Arkitex Production 4.0 supports multiple tenants on a single server, enabling them to access and benefit from the same software modules (such as RIPs, imposition, ink presets, etc). Each tenant has its own users and permissions, plate layouts, products, and can only see their publications and templates. This becomes important in view of both local centralisation and cloud workflow solutions where multiple sites can share hardware and resources while maintaining data security and workflow control.

As a result of worldwide declining run lengths, consolidating of print sites, and increases in outside jobs, the number of press runs and the frequency of plate exchanges are increasing.

Arkitex Production 4.0 can be integrated more tightly with printer’s press management and plate stacking systems, enabling a just-in-time delivery of plates to press. This way, plates can be produced in a shorter timeframe and arrive at the right moment at the right press tower.

The press operator — who in many cases is responsible for both pre-press and press — can manage the entire workflow from one place. This includes automatic optional release of plates as soon as stacker bins for the next press run become available. This increases press efficiency and reduces press idle time.

At Media group MainPost (Würzburg, Germany), the purchase of new presses put new requirements to their plate workflow process. The company connected not only its platesetter from Agfa, but also its punch & benders, and its plate sorting unit to Arkitex and moved all of them close to the press console. “Plates are delivered just in time to the press towers now. This saves us time and costs, while production stability has increased,” Thomas Gabel, production manager from the Mainpost site in Würzburg, Germany, said. “With this investment, we are prepared for the future.”

The updated Arkitex Production GUI contains many improvements in planning, status communication, and workflow tracking.

With a single mouse click the new Edition Planning Wizard now enables operators to use an existing product template to instantly create a new edition plan. Plan automation can automatically create a template-based plan a defined number of days before production. These templates differ by day of week and, once a plan is created, users can modify the specific plan to adjust for specific differences.

In addition, production monitoring and tracking functionality from a single view has been enhanced. New visual indicators notify an operator of an action that may need to be taken, such as a plate approval. The ability to easily filter various queues by criteria such as page count, page version, job status or time range is another benefit allowing users to more easily focus on critical work.

Finally, to accommodate for web growth, the fan-out functionality that shifts and scales separations per press position also got an upgrade allowing for more precise image adjustment.

Arkitex Production is available both on premise and as cloud-based solution. “Cloud-based services offer huge benefits,” said Jeff Cord, product manager, newspaper software. “Newspaper printers do not need to spend time or money on IT infrastructure, server maintenance, or software updates. Systems are monitored and optimised 24/7 by experienced IT people and Agfa newspaper workflow experts. Uniform and standardised operations lead to better print quality, higher process efficiency with less downtime, guaranteed system stability and business continuity. By the way, Agfa’s cloud infrastructure is also used to host all of our hospital software solutions worldwide.”

“More than ever, a streamlined, reliable and automated workflow is absolutely crucial for newspaper print sites to deal with the daily challenges and keep their competitive position,” said Rainer Kirschke, market manager, Newspapers at Agfa. “We are committed to supporting the newspaper printing industry. Arkitex Production v4.0 contains numerous features that will increase operational efficiency and reduce costs.”