8 Ways to Get the Most From Your Inkjet with Rubika

This SolimarSecrets video discusses eight effective ways to maximize the benefits of inkjet technology using Rubika. Many inkjet printer owners initially invest in their devices with specific applications in mind. However, this presentation highlights various creative ways to further leverage inkjet technology for increased revenue generation, enhanced productivity, and cost savings. Essential points covered include:

Market Insights:
Earlier this year, IT Strategies and WhatTheyThink reviewed the inkjet market, which shows growth potential, particularly in graphic arts, offset replacement, and on-demand book production.

Changing Landscape:
Inkjet technology has transformed the digital print landscape, offering higher productivity, consistent quality, and cost-effective color printing.

Workflow Challenges:
As inkjet volumes increase, managing prepress and post-press workflows becomes crucial. Automation becomes a necessity.

Rubika’s Role on the Way to Successful Inkjet Adoption

1. Document Re-engineering:
Rubika is a modular production solution to re-engineer print-ready files, optimizing them for specific workflows. It enables merging, adding/removing pages, barcodes, messages, and other content, and address cleansing for printing and mailing.

2. Diversifying Applications:
Rubika enables users to onboard a wide range of applications into their workflows, expanding beyond core business offerings and tapping into new, profitable markets.

3. Facelifting Legacy Documents:
With Rubika, pre-printed shells and forms can be replaced with digital color and even personalized overlays. This reduces costs by eliminating storage and managing inventory. Documents can be printed on cut-sheet or continuous-feed devices, benefitting both businesses and recipients.

4. Automation and Efficiency:
Rubika operates seamlessly in an automated pre-press environment and can be integrated into the overall workflow for increased efficiency and error reduction.

5. Optimizing for Post-Press:
Rubika helps optimize how pages are presented for post-press processes, reducing manual intervention and improving overall workflow efficiency.

6. Batch Processing:
Combining similar work into batches optimized for post-processing and distribution can save time and enhance efficiency, especially in digital presort mailings.

7. Reprints and Paper Management:
Rubika simplifies the process of reprinting defective pieces and allows for optimal paper management by batch processing and imposition.

8. Postal Optimization:
Rubika, along with electronic presort software, can improve mailings through NCOA, CASS/PAVE validation, and postal discounts, ultimately reducing postage costs. In conclusion, Rubika is presented as a powerful tool for inkjet operations, offering various ways to increase revenue, productivity, efficiencies, and savings across print facilities.

Many inkjet owners buy their devices using specific enabling applications to justify the purchase. Once those applications are up and running, there may still be ways to further maximize your investment. This presentation discusses a number of ways you can creatively use Rubika to generate more revenue, enhance productivity, and to save money.

Today, we’ll start with some research around inkjet delivered by IT Strategies and WhatTheyThink in a May 22nd webinar. Continuous feed inkjet has finally turned around after the pandemic. Placements and install base keep growing. However, print volume growth is still lower after the rebound. The continuous feed market peaked in 2017 and the market is mature now. Future growth will be driven by graphic arts usage, offset replacement for commercial print and on demand book production. Cut sheet inkjet placement is still growing and will continue to grow. I suspect this is just cannibalizing of the toner, electro-photographic market. The inkjet economics are so much better that it becomes easy to justify replacement of toner devices. On the positive side, overall volume is growing. This growth is coming at the expense of toner devices, but also increasingly from offset commercial printing applications moving to digital. The combination of decreased volumes for offset print work, the lower costs of printing inkjet and the flexibility of variable data and print on demand workflows has digital making sense for many more commercial print applications. This growth will only continue in the future. This slide is probably the most interesting of the bunch. I think it shows the flexibility of inkjet as it serves a number of different application types. It also shows the growth and decline of these applications over time. If you’re a transactional printer, you should be looking at the red bars showing the reduction in transactional print volume for both sheet and continuous feed. Direct mail and books are hanging in there with commercial print, which I assume is offset replacement, leading in growth.

Inkjet has completely changed the landscape of digital print. They offer high-productivity, high-volumes and consistent quality. The lower cost per color impression allows you to replace preprinted shell workflows, along with all of the warehouse management involved, as well as disposal of obsolete materials in a purely print on demand white paper factory workflow.

For many users, inkjet truly does live up to the hype. There are some new struggles for owners of these devices. For a continuous feed, in particular, higher volumes and massive productivity create new problems for your workflow. Prepress workflows require managing more and larger files. Automation is no longer nice to have its required. Post-press workflow can also create new challenges. Finishing, material management through the plant, and distribution processes need to be scaled and automated as well. The good news is that Solimar has a lot of tools to help you with inkjet workflows. We have SPDE, which can transform inputs to any format, then output it to print and electronic destinations. SOLitrack can oversee the entire process, providing visibility, tracking and automation from when files are received to when they’re delivered to the end user.

But, the area we’re focusing on today is Rubika. Rubika allows you to engineer print ready files so that they’re optimized for your workflows. Merge files, add or remove pages, add or remove content from any page, prepare addresses for mailing, split output and present it perfectly for your post processes. Instead of being stuck with the files you receive, you have the freedom to shape them to create workflows that work best for you. Let’s take a look at some ways Rubika can help.

We all have a core business, but most operations are constantly looking for new ways to extend their platform to be able to take on new application types. This is especially true with high-speed continuous feed inkjet devices that support very high-volumes. Transactional printers are adding direct marketing. Commercial printers are taking on digital books and other products to feed the beast. Rubika enables this by allowing you to onboard just about any kind of application into your workflows. This not only keeps the printers running, but allows you to go after higher margin work outside of your traditional markets.

There are a lot of transactional documents out there that have been running for many years. Many of them pretty plain and in black and white. Expectations on the part of consumers have gone way up yet these old tired apps are still out there. With Rubika, you can facelift these applications without the need of going upstream to the composition system, which is sometimes not even an option. With the mark step, you can add or replace content in the job to improve its appearance or replace old logos with new ones. Move black and white work to color and add value to legacy documents. Everyone wins here. The business gets a pretty statement without a lot of work or change in the workflow, The end user recipients get a better looking communication and you get to better leverage the capabilities of your platform while making it more sticky with your customers.

Automation is the key to maintaining and enhancing profitability of any operations. Rubika is designed to run in a fully-automated prepress environment. With SOLfusion, you can not only automate Rubika, but your entire workflow. Rubika allows you to optimize the way that pages are presented to post-press processes. Create the exact page order, slip sheets, splitting and segmenting needed to reduce manual processes post-press. Rubika can be used to implement automated reprint workflows and can be used to optimize PDF files by reducing their size and RIP times.

White paper factory workflows can greatly improve efficiency and reduce costs. Rubika is a really powerful tool for making new and existing work fit into these workflows. With Rubika, you can replace preprinted shells with underlays. You can tweak existing job formats to fit the standard job formats that are necessary when implementing white paper factory workflows. You can move address blocks to fit into those standard envelopes. You can add barcodes and control marks to support post print workflows and much, much more. There’s definitely an optimal print job size. The size will vary depending on the print finishing and distribution processes required for the job.

Rubika allows you to combine like work and then segment it into work units optimized for your post-processing and distribution. One area where batching can really help is when processing mailings using digital presort. Combining work in the digital press or process to maximize postal discounts, reduce undeliverable mail and reduce delivery times. Reprinting defective pieces can be a time consuming high touch process, whether doing manual or automated scanning. Rubika can make this a lot easier by extracting specific pieces from a print run and creating a reprint file. Rubika can even re-engineer reprints so that they can be printed on smaller printers. Leaving your big iron available for production.

As I said before, there’s definitely an optimal print job size. One factor is managing your paper, combining work into batches and segments that are optimized for the paper that you have available can save a lot of time and help you optimize paper usage. Rubika’s imposition also allows you to maximize the use of the stock while placing multiple logical pages onto a single sheet. Rubika can easily output N to 1 or otherwise manipulate the order of output to support various finishing operations. Rubika can also support complex finishing plans with tray pulls, subset stapling and more. Postage is likely the most expensive part of producing a mailing. Rubika, along with electronic presort software, can improve your mailings in a number of ways. Use NCOA and CASS/PAVE to improve deliverability and higher presort levels to achieve higher discounts and faster delivery. For using batching to combine like work, you can achieve even higher postal discounts. With householding, multiple pieces headed for the same address can be combined saving on paper, envelopes and postage.

Rubika has a lot to offer to every inkjet operation. There are many ways it can help you add revenue, increase productivity and efficiency and savings in your operation. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your Solimar sales representative or Solimar support. Thank you for your time.

Mary Ann Rowan

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