Production Module : Creating a Job Template for use as an Artwork Generation Batch

Production Module : Creating a Job Template for use as an Artwork Generation Batch


Overview

The Production and Floor modules have the tools to allow Fulfillers to batch process order items in multiples in order to improve production efficiency.

There are two types of batch available for processing order items:
1. Consolidation Batch
2. Artwork Generation Batch
There are eight standard Floor workflows available, some utilise Consolidated batches and others Artwork Generation batches.

Each of the different workflows lend themselves to different use cases, products and scales of operations.

This article summarises each of the workflows available using our Floor module:

The following matrix can be used to help you identify which workflows may be suitable to your production environment

What is an Artwork generation batch and who are they for?

Artwork generation batches are designed to speed up production for Fulfillers by providing them with a means of combining and producing orders in bulk to suit their production operation.

An Artwork generation batch can be used to group single order items together to create larger print runs.  The best example of this is to take multiple print jobs or pieces of external artwork and arrange them into a print sheet for printing together.

A side benefit of artwork generation batches is the ability to add secondary information such as barcodes, addresses, quantity identifiers and other attributes to assist in the production and dispatch processes.

What do I need in order to create an Artwork generation batch?

  1. An active Subscription for the Production Workflow Platform Module
  2. The Product SKUs you wish to be batched using the job template
  3. The Dropship names or references for the Sales channel orders that will be batched using the job template
  4. A Job Template at the size you need to produce the batch
  5. An Image editing program (recommended)

How do I create one?

This article will go over the basic steps required to create a functioning artwork generation batch.  There are a lot of settings available on a job template but some are only required for certain use cases.
A summary of all available options and their function for both Consolidation and Artwork Generation job templates can be found here:
Step 1: Creating a template and entering the Basic Information

1. Go to the Settings Menu and select the 'Job Templates' option

2. Click on the New Template button


3. Name the Job Template for easy identification (eg: perhaps it relates to a specific location or machine in the production facility)

5. Select a Production Centre for the batch from those available to your Organisation

6. Add the SKUs for the products you wish to batch using the job template

Important Note: Each SKU should be added on its own line, do not comma separate.
Step 2: Adding the Dropships
Go to the Dropships page and add the Dropships that you wish to use the batch by either 'Adding all dropships' or searching for them using the Name/Reference field and selecting the tickbox beside those you wish to enable.



Step 3: Setting the Output Type
Go to the Printing page and from theOutput type drop down, select whether the output should be Raster or Vector.


Vector output may require specific product configuration to work correctly.  For more information please consult the following article: https://support.custom-gateway.com/portal/en/kb/articles/artwork-understanding-output-types-vector
Batches will fail and error if there is a mis-match between the print job output type and the Job template output type
Step 4: Defining the dimensions of the batch
The Artwork and Layout page is where the dimensions of the batch are defined (the pixel dimensions of the file that will be generated).
Once the dimensions are defined, Items can be added to the batch (see Steps 5 & 6)


It's possible to define the dimensions of the layout in two places: Background and Page Size

For Page Size you can simply enter the values in mm for the dimensions of the layout.  These will then be interpreted in pixels at 300dpi.
If an image file is uploaded to the Background slot, the job template will use the pixel dimensions of the uploaded file to set the overall size of the batch
The Background image must be in .png format
Whilst entering values for Page size is the quickest and easiest way to define the layout of the batch, the advantage of uploading an image to the Background is that it's possible to include additional information in the file that is generated such as branding, colour bars or registration marks.
Be mindful that if both a Page Size is defined and a Background is uploaded, the Page Size will be ignored.
Step 5: Adding an Image Item to the Layout
Click on the Add Positions button to add an Item to the layout, the Item Type will default to Image.

The Image item type on a Job template refers to a Print Job or a piece of External Artwork
Specify the position of the first Image on the layout (see image below).
Important note regarding co-ordinates

All positions and any crop sizes are given in pixels and the X,Y origin is the top-left corner of the batch. 


Step 6: Adding more Image Items
Repeat the process to add more Image item types to the batch, adjusting the co-ordinates as necessary to place the Images on the layout as needed.
Whilst there is no defined limit to batch sizes, if the memory requirement becomes too large during the artwork generation process the batch it will fail to generate and return an error in the platform.  In that situation, reduce either the dimensions of the batch or the number of Image items, or both, to reduce the memory overhead.

Using realistic batch sizes ensures that operators on the production floor are not waiting around for batches to fill and ensures a steady stream of operation.
Step 7: Add other Item types (optional)
There are various Item types besides Image including: Shipping Address, Product Name & SKU, Batch ID Barcode, plus many more.
Some Item Types need to be associated with an Image position which has already been defined on the job template since each Image will be a unique order item.
The table below summarises the Item types available, their dependancy and also the origin of that Item's position so that it can be placed in the correct spot on the layout.
Item Type
Dependancy
Origin of Item Position
Image

Centre
Shipping Address
Image
Top-Left Corner
Product Name & SKU
Image
Top-Left Corner
Attributes
Image
Top-Left Corner
Batch ID Barcode

Top-Left Corner
Shipping Method & Carrier
Image
Top-Left Corner
Item Quantity Identifier
Image
Top-Left Corner
Order Date
Image
Top-Left Corner
Company Name (primary)
Image
Top-Left Corner
Company Name (secondary)
Image
Top-Left Corner
Item ID Barcode
Image
Top-Left Corner
Add any other item types as needed, following the same general rules for position.
The size of some item types can be controlled using the crop (w x h) values which act as a bounding box where the text (for example) will be resized to fit the available space.
There are other settings available on the job template (such as cut off time) that can be used to tailor the batch exactly to your needs.
A summary of all available options and their function for both Consolidation and Artwork Generation job templates can be found here:
Step 8: Test the Batch
Place some test orders and check that the batch outputs as expected.
Summary of things to remember when configuring or reviewing your Job Template
  1. Make sure to add the Product SKUs and Dropships to the job template
  2. Remember to set the output type for the job template (eg: Raster) it should match the output type of the print jobs that will be batched using it
  3. An artwork generation batch must have either a background image or a page size specified to set the overall dimensions of the output file
  4. When setting the position of layout Items (eg: Images, Shipping address, Order date) all values are in pixels
  5. The origin (0,0) of the job template layout is the top-left corner
  6. The (X,Y) origin of the Image item type is the centre of the Image
  7. The (X,Y) origin of all other Item types is always the top-left corner of the item
  8. The crop field can be used to specify the size of certain Item types
What result should I expect?
The batch will be created once the first order is received and it will sit at the 'Filling' status whilst the remaining Image positions of the batch are filled.
Once the batch is filled the status will change to 'Pending Production' indicating that the batch is ready to be produced.
It's possible to specify a cut-off time if you wish to process the batch on a recurring schedule.
It's also possible to download the batch manually before it has finished filling if you wish to process the orders early (any subsequent orders will begin populating a new batch)
When you are ready to print the orders, download the picking labels and after that, download the artwork for the selected batch or if using the Floor module, use the scan points workflow.

The artwork file will be downloaded to the downloads folder specified in the browser on the computer or sent to a hot folder if a production integration exists on the Production Centre.

Updated Job Template Features

At KornitX we have continued to develop updates for variants and this is due to the fact we pride ourselves on constant evolution and the release of new features and enhancements every week. We have detailed each new variant enhancement below. If you are interested in knowing what features arrive, they will be continually updated within the "Core Platform Feature Updates" Article - CLICK HERE

This will continue to be updated below whenever a new enhancement is rolled out to improve variants, a time stamp will be labelled with each feature

Job Templates Can Now Also Batch By Machine Type
This was added on 29-11-2021
Job Templates have been updated to also batch by the machine type set against a product. To do so head to Production > Jobs and you can see the machine type is a search filter you can enter, this has been shown below. 

Batch History Added To Production Jobs
This was added on 26-10-2021
The Batch History has been added to all production jobs, meaning you can easily access the history of a batch from the same menu that you download your artwork. This is accessible by all users who have access to "Production" within the "Jobs" tab as shown below. 


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