Imp Imp

Imp, developed by InSoft, is a one-click planning automation solution that creates and imposes layouts for book work, ganging and packaging jobs on sheet-fed as well as web-fed presses. InSoft has been developing innovative software solutions for the graphic arts and e-publishing businesses worldwide since 1996.

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Product information

Imp Flow automates the power of imposition, ganging and nesting found in Imp through easy to set up hot folders. Imp Flow is also key for the integration of Imp’s power in larger workflows as it fully supports being XML driven and can provide detailed XML information about the plans it created.

Pricing

If you are interested in Imp Flow, let us know and we'll make you a quote.

Benefits

  • Full, lights-out automation: Being able to set up hot folders means that imposition and ganging of nesting are handled completely automatically, without the need of an operator.
  • Semi-automatic workflows: Because Imp Flow can also save Imp product files, the results of an automated workflow can still easily be opened in Imp for validation.
  • Integration in MIS or ERP systems: Imp Flow hot folders can accept XML files written by an MIS or ERP system. This allows the MIS system to fully control not only the jobs that will be imposed or ganged, but also how they will be handled.

Key features

Central processing of imposition jobs

Install Imp Flow on a central server and allow anyone in the network to drop PDF files, CSV files or XML files into a hot folder shared over the network. Imp Flow will process the files as set-up in the workflow serving that hot folder and provide output files in the output folder.

Unlimited number of hot folders

Different types of jobs or files from different clients may have to be handled differently. Imp Flow allows setting up as many different workflows as necessary, each with their own hot folder.

Being driven by XML

Imp Flow reads PPXML files: those are a special XML 'dialect' that allow specifying which jobs need to be handled, and optionally what needs to happen to these jobs. This provides for very easy integration into an MIS (or similar) system or into a workflow application, such as FileTrain, Switch, Prinergy ...

When the imposition or ganging is done, Imp Flow can write out a Plan XML to be picked up by the MIS or workflow system. A Plan XML contains all details about the calculated layouts and can be used to feed information back into the MIS system.

Release notes

8.0 16 August 2016

Imp 8.0, a fully automatic layout planning and imposition software, is now available for download. It is a major release. 

Support for Large Format Presses 

Ground-up support for large format presses is the callout feature in version 8. From this version on, there would be no hesitation is claiming that Imp software is a rapid print layout creation software for large format presses (also!).

Large Format Presses are now a New Machine Category 

With the new version of Imp, you can create efficient layouts for large format presses. Both roll-to-roll and flat-bed format presses are supported. The costing function for these presses try to capture the realities of large format printing with better accuracy. 

Ganging Algorithm Fine-tuned for Large Format Printing 

When planning on a large format press, the ganging algorithm of Imp works differently. With less emphasis on reducing number of layouts and more on saving substrate and ink, the software will find the most cost effective ganged layouts. The software is also capable of considering and placing the same job on multiple layouts. 

New Digital Cutting Machine Category 

Again with the goal of making cost effective layouts for large format scenarios, Imp introduces a new machine category: Digital Cutting Machine. The cost function of this machine can calculate the cost of digitally cutting a layout (with knife or laser). 

Improvements to Die Export 

In version 8, there is considerable focus on handling of CAD data. This section highlights those enhancements. 

CAD like Editor to Make Corrections to Geometry of a Job 

Until now, geometry of an unbound component could be set only by importing CAD files (DXF, CF2 or PDF). No changes could be done to the CAD data within Imp. This has changed; you can now make changes from within Imp by choosing the  "Edit Geometry" option. Currently this CAD editor has only some basic functionality. But, going forward you can expect considerable development adding more and more features to this CAD Editor. Currently, this editor can come in handy in the following situations. 

  • Make corrections to a badly drawn outline so that Imp can find the closed outer geometry.
  • Add holes or other special layers from within Imp.
  • You can even draw the entire outline directly in Imp. However, please note that it is a non-parametric editor. 

Edit Die Export Data before Exporting

The same CAD Editor mentioned above comes in handy when you want to add some new lines or layers to the die data, just before exporting it. The editor also has a smart tool called "Auto Repeat Selection", which can automatically repeat any geometry you add over one or more stations. This tool is very handy when you want to add stripping rules to the die. 

NOTE: You cannot delete existing geometry of the layout. 

Preview of Die when Exporting 

The Die Export window now shows dynamic preview of the die to the right as shown in the window below. Preview is shown as per the layers settings you have configured on the left. 

More Control on Other Geometry 

For other geometry layers, you can now control two more things other than its color:

  1. The line style (dash/dot etc.) 
  2. Whether the geometry in this layer will require some rules to be made when making the die. 

The software will remember these settings and automatically apply them in the future for layers with matching names. 

More Control on Line Styles 

You can now control how different line styles are rendered inside Imp's user interface. These settings also affect the line styles exported to DXF or PDF die. 

You can also add new line types. 

Below you can see the popup that allows you to define and control the different line styles. You must enter a series of values in millimeters. These values alternately define the stroke and space length. 

While you can delete custom line types, predefined line types cannot be deleted. 

Option to Draw All Layers in Layout Report 

Before version 8, Imp would only draw the cut-outline of the jobs in reports. By choosing the new option "Show all die lines", you can now make Imp draw a to-the-scale die drawing in the same place. 

When this option is checked, Imp will also draw a line legend in the report for the reader to identify which lines belong to which layer. 

More Attributes on Material for Intelligent Automation 

Couple of new attributes have been added to a material (substrate) entry in the configuration data. 

Requires UV drying: Identifies if the substrate’s surface is adsorbent or not. Nonadsorbing surfaces will be planned only on UV printing machines. 

Different finish on back: Identifies if the two surfaces (front & back) have the same finish. If they have different finish, Imp will not use work & turn/tumble workstyles for such sheets. It will also raise a warning if the user creates such a layout manually. 

New Rectangular Ganging Option 

For simplifying cutting process, a common request was to have only one job per column when ganging multiple jobs together. This feature is now available. This option is applicable only when "Stack jobs only vertically" option is also selected. 

Geometry Marks for Die 

It is now possible create geometry marks which are never printed but only exported to the die CAD file. Moreover, user can control the name of the layer to which the mark is written into. Previously, this layer was always called “Registration” layer. 

Enhancements to Rectangle Mark 

The stroke of the rectangle mark can be selectively turned on/off on any of the sides. It is now possible to create corner angle marks. Another new option for rectangle mark is the "corner radius". 

Custom Properties

  • Custom properties can now be defined on a layout too, just like it is possible to define them on a product or its component. These custom properties can be accessed as a variable in text mark. 
  • Default custom properties can now be defined in the Preferences dialog for components and layouts also. So, if there is any additional data that you want every job to carry, you can define such a field in preferences and every new job will have this field. 
  • Custom properties of the component can now be selected to be shown as a column inside the Product sheet interface. 
  • Custom properties can also be selected to be displayed on the job in the Job pallet of the plan interface. 

Specify Sheet & Roll Size Manually 

It is now possible to manually enter the sheet sizes and roll widths that the software must consider while planning. This gives more control to planners who would like to try out different options. 

Offcut Values for Covers 

Offcut values for covers can be parametric.

Other new features

  • It is now possible to define a soft and hard limit to the die rule length that your die equipment can handle. When auto planning, Imp software will take this limit into consideration and generate layout solutions which do not exceed the hard limit. It will raise a warning when the soft limit is crossed. 
  • Improved Push & Pop planning efficiency. 
  • It is now possible to select multiple .lyt files when planning with layout template file(s) option. 
  • The software can now expand gutters of signatures at the time of auto planning bound component. It is no longer necessary to manually click the Expand gutters menu to expand the gutters. 
  • Number of lines/points in the exported CAD data can be reduced by approximating series of small line segments with arcs. In some cases, this can drastically reduce the file size of the exported die/CAD data. 
  • Additional columns in the CSV files will now be imported as custom properties of the component. Such a CSV file must have header row at the beginning. 
  • Better error reports are generated when a CSV file or few lines of a CSV file fail to import. 
  • It is now possible to include and print manually filled data in layout reports. 
  • It is now possible to define custom properties for layouts just the same way as it is possible to define for a product or component. 
  • New option to save Imp reports as .xps file while generating them through ImpFlow. 
  • Plan information can be exported in a CSV format. 
  • By setting an option in impui.ini file, it is now possible to align jobs on the outside in a ganged layout. This can simplify guillotine cutting. 
  • PDF and job-size mismatch warning is now shown in the Product Sheet UI. 
  • Maximum folding depth value can now be imported through the material CSV file. 
  • You can now precisely control the quiet zone around a barcode mark. 
  • Creep compensation can now be applied by scaling of the content. 
  • The software now supports Offcut margins for unbound components. You can use this margin to enforce additional space around the job on the layout. Like bleed margin, offcut margin is also measured from the trim edge of the job and hence will have effect only when its value is greater than the bleed margin value on a given edge. 
  • Where numbers are entered, the software will show digit grouping. Ex: 100,000 instead of 100000. 
  • It is now possible to batch import multiple DXF files into a product in one shot. Simply drag and drop the files. 
  • More user control on the job name and layout name attributes in imposition JDF output by Imp. User can now ensure that the title of the job in the RIP is accurate and he or she wants. 
  • It is now possible to create geometry marks which are never printed but only exported to the die CAD file. 
  • New option to scale the geometry of a non-rectangular job.

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System requirements

CPU: Intel Core i3-3240 Processor (3M Cache, 3.4 GHz)
RAM: 4GB
HDD (free space): 10GB
Graphics card: With an inbuilt memory of 1GB. The car must support OpenGL.

Operating system

  • Microsoft Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7 / Vista / XP
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 / 2008
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