Using empty products to generate layouts/estimates without artwork
Specifying a specific grain direction for products in the CSV file
Running Optimize tool to find the best layouts across presses and sheets
- Imposition AI
Note: If you are starting with this lesson and are not using the lessons in order, you must first import the correct libraries archive found in the lesson folder. In the preferences panel under ‘Diagnostics’ click the ‘Import Libraries’ button and choose ‘library-lesson-8.phxlib’
1. Import Empty Products from CSV Spreadsheet
For this lesson we will not be importing any CAD or artwork files. Instead we will be creating rectangular products directly by simply defining width and height dimensions. This is useful for generating cost and time estimates for a set of orders without having the final artwork files or for generating layout templates for artwork to be assigned later.
Empty products can be created manually by selecting “New Empty Product...” from the File menuor Products Panel context menu, but we will be using the CSV spreadsheet import feature to quickly import several empty products in one step
Step 1 – Create new job by clicking on the ‘+’ sign in the upper left portion of the Artboard or by selecting “New Job” from the File menu.
Step 2 – Locate the CSV file called label-ganging.csv in the samples folder and open the file for viewing in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or in a text editor.
The first column defines the number of orders. The second column defines the grain direction of the product. The next two columns define the width and height of the product respectively.
Note 1: Distance values like Width and Height accept unit strings like “, in, pt, or mm. When no units are specified, the current job units are used when reading the value.
Note 2: When product Grain Direction is “Vertical” or “Horizontal” instead of “None”, AutoGanging tools will ensure that the grain direction in the products are aligned with the grain direction of the sheet.
Step 3 – In Phoenix, go to the File menu and select “Import Products from CSV...”
Alternative: Click on the context menu icon in the upper-left corner of the Products Panel and select “Import Products from CSV...”
Step 4 – In the file dialog select label-ganging.csv and click “Open”
Step 5 – The Import Products dialog will appear next. Click “OK” to use the Standard preset since this CSV is using standard column names.
Step 6 – Wait for CSV import to complete and review the list of products. You should have 37 new rectangular products in the job ready for ganging.
2. Run Optimize
Optimize goes another level beyond Impose by searching across several press/sheet combinations to try to find the most cost effective layouts possible. In the Imposition AI window you can sort your results by lowest cost, waste, sheet usage, press time, or run length.
Step 1 – Go to the Window menu and select Imposition AI, then in the Imposition AI window click‘Optimize’.
Alternative: Go to the Tools menu and select “Optimize...” or click on the Optimize button in the ganging toolbar.
Step 2 – In the Imposition AI window under ‘Presses, make sure the “B1 Press” and “Digital Press”are checked.
Step 3 – Under ‘Sheets’, make sure that “Select All” is checked to select all sheets.
Note: Only sheets that fit at least one selected press are displayed. Sheets that are below or above min/max sheet sizes or stock thickness constraints of the selected presses are hidden automatically. Auto Optimize will only generate layouts for legal press/sheet combinations.
Step 4 – Click “Run” to start Optimize. Layouts will start appearing as they are being generated.
Step 5 – When the Optimize tool is finished, view the results in the Imposition AI window. The lowest cost option found by Optimize is the B1 Press using 1000 x 707 mm sheet size.
Note 1: Impose and Optimize will always generate layouts suitable for vertical first guillotine cutting (Layout = Vertical Cut) and horizontal first guillotine cutting (Layout = Horizontal Cut). In addition, grid-based layouts are also generated (Layout = Die / Table Cut). These layouts are sometimes more efficient, but can lead to layouts that cannot be handled by a guillotine cutter.
Note 2: For results with the same cost and waste, results with a lower number of “Sheet Turns” arelisted first in the results. A lower number of sheet turns indicates a simpler post-press cut. In general, Impose and Optimize attempt to minimize sheet turns to save time and costs during post-press.
Step 6 – In the upper-right corner of the Imposition AI window, click on the “Sort by” dropdown and change from “Cost” to “Waste”
Results will now be ordered by lowest waste instead of by cost
Step 7 – Apply a layout by double clicking on a result in the Imposition AI window. You can apply a different result at any time. Press and sheet will be swapped out automatically based on the result chosen.
3. Export Job Report
Now we have our layout we can generate a job report to share and review across departments or for documentation purposes.
Step 1 – Go to the File menu and select “Export Report” and PDF
Step 2 – In the Export Job Report dialog click on “OK” to export the report with default options
Step 3 – In the file dialog enter lesson-18.pdf as the file name and click “Save” to generate the report
Step 4 – Open the generated report to review. You should see a preview of the job layout as well as statistics about the job and each individual product in the job.