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Automated booklet ganging for continuous feed printing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000185021D
Publication Date: 2009-Jul-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Media waste is a concern when printing on roll media used in continuous feed print engines. To minimize waste, print jobs are typically arranged on the web surface so as to cover the highest possible percentage of the media surface. Optimizing media usage becomes problematic when inline finishing equipment (e.g. folder or saddle stitcher) necessitates placement of document images in a particular orientation on the web. This idea proposes a system for performing automated aggregation of documents, which require inline finishing, on the web surface to enable use of media that would otherwise go to waste. This process could be implemented upstream of the printer’s DFE (Digital Front End). A process or platform upstream of the DFE (i.e. PDF analyzer/imposer tool) would analyze jobs awaiting production and automatically match documents (of different sizes) that require the same inline finishing so that they can be printed concurrently (in "lanes") across the web thereby using normally waste areas of the paper. In addition, individual pages from groups of documents with different finishing requirements could be imposed and printed concurrently in unused areas of the web. Later, the web could be folded, cut, and some of the pages would already be in the desired output order, while others could be collected in batches and assembled into the desired output.

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Automated booklet ganging for continuous feed printing

Media waste is a concern when printing on roll media used in continuous feed print engines. To minimize waste, print jobs are typically arranged on the web surface so as to cover the highest possible percentage of the media surface. Optimizing media usage becomes problematic when inline finishing equipment (e.g. folder or saddle stitcher) necessitates placement of document images in a particular orientation on the web.  This idea proposes a system for performing automated aggregation of documents, which require inline finishing, on the web surface to enable use of media that would otherwise go to waste.  This process could be implemented upstream of the printer’s DFE (Digital Front End).  A process or platform upstream of the DFE (i.e. PDF analyzer/imposer tool) would analyze jobs awaiting production and automatically match documents (of different sizes) that require the same inline finishing so that they can be printed concurrently (in "lanes") across the web thereby using normally waste areas of the paper.   In addition, individual pages from groups of documents with different finishing requirements could be imposed and printed concurrently in unused areas of the web. Later, the web could be folded, cut, and some of the pages would already be in the desired output order, while others could be collected in batches and assembled into the desired output.

This idea is intended to reduce paper waste and increase cost savings by improving printing/finishing efficiency and includes:

·         automatic creation of ganged layouts with rules based job selection to support inline finishing and to optimize media consumption  

·         automatic creation of multi-page multi-up ganged layouts

·         automatic creation of a ganged output stacks  

·         printing a document in collated subsets

·         jobs could be broken into subsets to improve efficiency of placement on the web

This idea would work as follows:

Before production starts, the system would be configured with information about the printing and inline finishing constraints. For example, some continuous feed printers with a 22” wide web are only able to image on 19.2” of that web.  With typical margin, that means only 19.7” of the web is actually usable (the remainder contains device control and integrity marks which cannot be part of finished products).  If using a typical inline folder with one of two buckle plates, the spine must be perpendicular to the travel direction of the media.

Once the printing constraints are defined, the system will attempt to automatically create ganged layouts that use the largest possible percentage of the media. The goal is to print one or more documents in what would otherwise be waste paper.

The system would aggregate jobs to determine whether unrelated jobs could be ganged together.  In order to make this determination, the system would do the following:

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