In the beginning of year 2007, Metamation set of on its goal of creating world class imposition software. The project goal was simply: “Imposition in one click”. In a market that was considered to be mature and dominated by leading prepress equipment manufacturers, this was a rather ambitious goal. But, they took to it, believing in their abilities to achieve what the market has not dreamt off — beating the current state of affairs and achieving greater automation.

Six years later, Metamation has not only achieved this goal, but is constantly raising the benchmark set by itself. With the release of version 5.1 of Imp®, Metamation announced the hitherto unheard of die-database search feature. This new features allows packaging printers to dynamically search tens of thousands of existing dies to find geometrically matching dies for a new job. Apart from a metadata-based search, Imp. is capable of comparing geometry of the current job with thousands of jobs in the database to find close matches. A user can superimpose the geometries and graphically see how close the match is. Further, Imp is also capable of making the necessary cost calculations to see if the printer is better off using the existing die or making a new one. It is also important to mention here that one can seed this die-database with existing dies by importing the industry standard CF2 CAD files.

This feature, along with many others was showcased by Metamation this September at Print 13, McCormick Place, Chicago USA. Printers from across the Americas were impressed by Metamations’ offerings for the printing and packaging segments. One of the features that especially had a lot of resonance with customer needs at this exhibition was the ganging feature.

Ganging seems to be one of the answers to the challenges faced by offset printers today. The revenue and profit that this approach can give is vast. Combining different jobs and printing them together can drastically reduce make ready and boost productivity. The catch however, is the problem of figuring out how to combine multiple jobs efficiently and economically. It is a complex problem to solve and even with experienced personnel it is impossible to achieve consistent results. Metamations’ Imp is helping printers address this problem comprehensively. Imp is powered by a sophisticated ganging algorithm that can calculate how to combine hundreds of jobs in a profitable way, keeping in mind the print-specific requirements of each job and the printing & finishing capabilities of the printers’ print-shop. This intelligent software has answers for most of the challenges that a gang-printer could face.

At Print13 – Chicago, there were also many commercial printers who are stepping into the packaging segment to get a piece of the pie in the booming packaging industry. But, they are finding out that equipping their pre-press setup for processing packaging jobs is not trivial and often requires huge investments in new software product suites and training. Imp’s built-in intelligence and unique ability to handle both commercial and packaging jobs allows even a novice operator to be successful.