The application feeds information from the company’s five-colour Speedmaster XL75 to a web browser to display the up to date status of the press and any job that is being printed. “It gives us all the information we need to know about running speed, if the press is stopped for plates, a blanket wash or other reason. It records how many sheets have been used to makeready, how many sheets have been printed on the job, in short exactly what is happening on press in real time,” he says.
The software come from the same developer as PressProfiler, a means of delivering ink profile data from prepress to a press. PressReporter takes this a step further through recording and reporting what has happened on the target press. The company can look up the history of any job, using that to adjust an estimate to more accurately reflect true costs for that customer or for a reprint.
“Our sales team especially have found it useful to be able to see job details on press – whether that is comparing actual performance data to the quote, or keeping a client informed on job progress,” Haddow says.
It does not offer the full functionality of Heidelberg’s own Pressroom Manager software, but not every printer needs this, one of those being Colt Press. The £4,500 tag for PressReporter is also more affordable for the smaller business. It does not need to link to an MIS for example, though this may be added at a future date.
Colt Press installed the XL75 last year. It had previously been installed at Falkland Press and replaces two B2 Mitsubishis. “We are producing more with one press than we did with two. The XL75 is an excellent piece of equipment,” he says. “But we did not want the software offered.”
This is not uncommon. Prepress UK sales director Nic Chapman explains that the impetus for the development came from feedback from users of PressProfiler explaining that there was an untapped market for a tool able to extract and display data that the press generates. “And we are presenting that data of what is going on on press in a very visual way,” says Chapman. “We use to red to highlight if there is a problem for example, yellow if the press is in makeready, green when it is running. And users can dive below the hood to see exactly what is happening.”
In use press minders have moved from initial suspicion to realising that by recording exactly why the press has stopped or is running behind schedule, they have factual back up for any report. And the information is taken automatically so there is no need to press buttons to mark a change of status, or record what has happened in a log.
The data is not as rich as that provided through Heidelberg's own technology, but is substantially less expensive for the Essex commercial printer.