A New Way to Manage All Your Digital Presses

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by Greg Cholmondeley, Workflow Practice Director, Caslon & Company

NavigatorI often write about solutions which automate production processes but it is important to also consider ways to efficiently manage manage printing operations as well. One common set of challenges in-plants and commercial printers face revolves around tracking and managing their presses and digital front ends. While that might sound mundane, ensuring that all software and patches are up-to-date, that media catalogs and color management profiles are consistent, and knowing when and where machines are performing or are having issues can be a huge time sink. It’s rough enough with just one facility but it becomes a nightmare if you manage multiple sites or are an in-plant managing a fleet of printers.

I recently reviewed a new solution from EFI called Fiery Navigator which addresses these challenges.

Here’s the overall concept:

  • Collect everything that can be known about a printer and securely save it in the cloud so a single administrator see and manage all devices, no matter where they are.
  • Provide a tool to aggregate printers by type, speed, manufacturer, location, or any other grouping desired allowing administrators to see job log reports as well as information such as all the software patches loaded and features enabled on each printer.
  • Provide a dashboard that can show, and compare, trends in equipment, sites, types of jobs and how operators are working.
  • Provide a way to save and restore a Fiery total configuration to the cloud for synchronizing media catalogs, profiles, virtual printers, and presets of same-model printers on Fiery servers across an entire operation.
  • Provide a centralized method to generate automated email alerts for production blocking events an all monitored devices and automatic daily, weekly or monthly operational reports.

While these tools don’t automate the production process they do automate many press management needs which is obviously something that is essential for many operations. It’s a concept structured in such a way that it can make sense for the smallest in-plant or quick printer to large, multi-site commercial operations or in-plants managing distributed fleets.

The product briefing can be viewed at www.podi.org/Fiery-Navigator-PODi-Product-Briefing.html and contains four videos covering:

  • A system overview
  • How Fiery Navigator manages devices
  • Fiery Navigators dashboard interface
  • How Fiery Navigator can synchronize device configurations

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