Written by Joel Basa, e-Marketing Manager at Xerox Corporation

In part one of this series, we spoke about operational prints per hour and the basic concept of how do you measure productivity of your digital press. In part two, let’s talk about one aspect of productivity for you and your business: predictability.

Predictability is a major aspect of productivity. Think about it, with just about anything, if you could accurately and consistently make predictions, aren’t you almost guaranteed to be more successful? For example, football (American) season is on the horizon again, and if your team could predict the strategy and plays of its opponent, wouldn’t your team increase its chances of winning significantly?

The same applies to the printing process. If we again look at printing as a manufacturing process, predictability is one of the ultimate goals. Your ultimate goal, as an owner or as an operator, is to be able to start a shift and for 8 hours be able to know you’re going to stay productive and produce output that meets your customer’s requirements. You want your process to be predictable.

In our industry, predictability applies most to the area of color management. Your color management requirements may be one of the following:

  1. Match colors between an original printed page
  2. Match colors between different devices in the workflow
  3. Match colors on the same machine over time
  4. Match colors among multiple printers of the same type in one location or remote locations
  5. Select colors during the design phase that can be matched to the final output
  6. Make fast and inexpensive color modifications

If you have the tools to make one or more of these requirements predictable, wouldn’t you be more productive? Not being able to quickly meet one or more of these requirements results in “waste” or in other words a re-work that is downtime now that you or your operator are performing non-value added steps that is taking time away from getting to your next job. “Whack a mole printing” or taking time to identify a problem, implement a potential solution and then re-try the job results in a process that is not lean in nature.

Adding predictability to the color management process needs to be fully comprehended and part of your digital technology. In addition to providing you the capabilities to meet your customer’s requirements, it’s equally important that the tools in place make it straightforward for any operator (experienced or not) to know what to do, when to do it, how to do it or better yet…automate the entire process for them.

Think about color management for your press, do you have the automated tools in place to make it predictable and productive?

If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in: