Infinity Digital - Intelligent Print Automation

Developing A Press Job Naming Convention


Can your Pressman hear your job?

Maybe it isn’t audible, but there should definitely be some non-verbal communication. When a press job arrives it shouldn’t just quietly go to the end of the queue. The job should find its correct place in line according to your priorities and it should communicate why it is here. What if by glancing at a job you knew it was a high priority remake job that was generated this morning and needs to be printed today on the same substrate you currently have loaded. Wouldn’t that be great!

Communication is key, especially in a multi-step digital workflow being performed by a team of people. The more information you can communicate to the next step of the process, the better. A well designed press job naming convention can communicate key information.

Let’s get started and build a press job naming convention for your operation

First, take inventory of what information you have available.

In our workflow automation software IPS , we encourage an integration with an order system that passes as much order information as possible so that data can be used to improve all aspects of the workflow. The pressman doesn’t need to know about the whole life of the job, but some relevant information will go along way towards an efficient workflow.

Second, decide what information is valuable to your pressman.

Every facility may have a different opinion on what information they would like to see. For this example, here is the data I’m interested in:

  • Product type

  • Product component

  • Priority

  • Due date

  • Customer

  • Batch type (Normal vs Remake)

  • Unique ID – (Batch id)

  • Batch release time (if the same batch is reprinted, this timestamp will be different)

  • Substrate

  • Quantity

I’m going to assume the following information is contained in the job ticket and presented in the press UI, therefore it doesn’t need to be in our job name:

  • Substrate

  • Quantity

Third, we are going to encode all that information into the press job name.

The delimiter, I will be using is the ‘-‘, you should pick a character that you don’t expect to see in your data. Here is my naming convention:

<order type 1=remake, 2=normal><priority H=high, L=low>-<Date Due MMDD>-<Batch ID>-<Customer Abbreviation>-<Product Abbreviation>-<Product Component Abbreviation>-<Time Released HHMM>.pdf

Other considerations:

  • Sorting jobs alphabetically in the press UI should put the most important jobs at the top

  • Most important is a relative term, for our example priority and due date are of interest

Here are two example press jobs from my naming convention:

  • 1H-0510-B1309423-JAB-SMPBBK-BODY-0740.pdf

  • 1H-0510-B1309423-JAB-SMPBBK-COVER-0740.pdf

Note they are for the same batch, but for different components (body and cover) of the product.

In our workflow automation software IPS , the naming convention can be specified at a global level or at the individual product level.

The IPS Syntax for adding a naming convention to a product’s batch definition is:

<batchcomponent destinationtype="KODAKNEXPRESS" imposition="NOIMPOSITION" name="Book" usepresscopycountoptimization="false" namingstrategy="%batchid%-%batchdefAbbrev%-%releaseHourMinute%">

Your press job naming convention goes in the namingstrategy attribute and will use the variables available to your product. This example would produce output of:


Finally, lets see what our press job has to say after applying our ideal press job naming strategy:


Using just 41 characters, I just heard that press job speak, it said:

  • I am a normal order with low priority

  • I am due May 10th

  • I am for batch B1309427

  • I am for company Acme Big Books (ABB)

  • I am a body of a Small Perfect Bound Book

  • I was generated at 1:14pm

This scheme should work for HP Indigo, Kodak Nexpress, Xeikon, Xerox, and other DFE’s and presses. The only special consideration is to see if either of the DFE’s and presses have filename length limitations. In which case you will need to shorten your naming convention until you work within their constraints.

Try this in your digital printing workflow and assassinate some inefficiency today!

Jeff Anderson

About Jeff Anderson

Jeff is one of the founders of Infinity Digital. He has been working on high volume digital workflows since 2005. Initially on HP's Strategic Accounts team working with companies world wide, then with our Infinity Digital customers. His opinions were formed through previous experience with 24x7 automated manufacturing and practical experience through designing and supporting many digital printing workflows for high volume photo peak seasons.