Then of course there has been the introduction of hybrid press technology, bringing analogue and digital print platforms together in one press line and integrating their production, as well as the ongoing growth of quick change slitting and finishing line operations and the use of laser die-cutting.
Add in the developments taking place in integrated production control, cloud computing, WiFi control and robotic handling and the underlying message coming from the most recent label and general printing exhibitions seems to be that the future of label and package printing is undoubtedly going to be very, very, different to that found today.
Already being hinted at during Labelexpo Europe 2015 and followed at Drupa and Labelexpo Americas in 2016, the trend is towards press and finishing line automation, self-managing presses, cloud computing and cloud-based assistants, smart data management and smart printing systems, WiFi control, and even fully hands-free and totally lights-out production, is something that is now being applied across the whole printing press and finishing line community, whether analogue or digital, sheet-fed or web-fed, narrow or wide web, and into all aspects of converting and finishing, from 100% inspection and barcode verification to slitting and die-cutting, cold foiling and spot or gloss varnishing.
No matter whether printers and converters producing labels or printed packaging are looking at printing self-adhesive labels, shrink sleeves, wet-glue labels, flexible packaging, sachets or pouch production, the message from MIS, press, inspection and ancillary suppliers is now pretty-well much the same: responsive and powerful solutions that include full JDF integration across the whole shop floor, ever-more innovative production control tools, the move towards the creation of ‘smart factories’ and more efficient ways of managing resources. An indication of the automated and MIS integrated streamlined factory of the future can be seen in Figure 9.1.
There seems little doubt that automation of both administration and production continues to be the key to reducing company overhead costs and minimizing or eliminating the bottleneck caused by many small jobs in production. Reducing or eliminating unnecessary operator intervention and increasing the reliability of the data flow can only improve the bottom line of a business.
JDF (Job Definition Format) was created by the printing industry to standardize the information flowing between the management information system and pre-press software or equipment.
This standardization provided consistency and reliability from job to job, and has enabled MIS suppliers, including Cerm, Label Traxx and Tharstern to provide a link employing JDF/JMF technology to connect to pre-press software, the first being Esko Automation Engine (formerly BackStage).
This bi-directional communication assures that job status is visible throughout the label or package printing company. File planning tools, coupled with Automation Engine step-and-repeat tools can cut up to 90% of the time from large multi-version orders.
Such bi-directional communication now provides for immediate status updates when files are received and a proof is ready or approved
Simplification and structure for the management of art files for each label or pack.
A complete web-to-print flow with optional human intervention.
Notification to the customer that the proof is ready for viewing when AE has prepared it and uploaded it to the MIS.
More recently, JDF/JMF technology within digital printing has been extended to connect with AVT inspection and ABG finishing line equipment, enabling the transfer of typical JDF functions such as detailed production parameters, including label dimensions, press, finishing instructions, registration marks, color strategy, step-and-repeat details, and more. Typical JMF functions can then be fed back to the MIS from the Automation Engine, inspection or finishing equipment. See Figure 9.2 to view typical JDF/JMF functions.
What is also increasingly evident, is that the label and package printing industry is continually seeking ways to further integrate MIS with increasingly automated pre-press, press set-up and selected finishing operations and to remove the risks of human error, as well as being able to handle an ever increasing number of shorter runs and the challenge of facing a lack of skilled operators.
Such moves have undoubtedly been driven by the impressive rise of digital (and hybrid) print for labels, which has extensively pushed both MIS and pre-press software for new solutions. Quite simply, this pressure has been to integrate and simplify every step of label management, pre-press and production.
To remain profitable today, label printers and converters must ensure their pre-press and production workflows are integrated within their business and management operations and connected with their entire supply chain, 24/7, wherever that may be in the world.
It is these developments and innovations in workflow automation that are explored in here, examining some of the evolutions emanating from key industry suppliers and hinting at where the label and package printing industries industry may be in just the next five to ten years.
As already mentioned above, integration of MIS and pre-press automation software (such as Enfocus or Esko’s Automation Engine) for example, can now ensure that customer JDF ‘job’ information from estimating files or job tickets is used to automatically create a new pre-press job and deliver new artwork, make it print-ready and prepare proofs – with status updates on everything from plate layout, RIP-ing and plate making being sent back to MIS, or direct to a digital press.
On output of the production job an XML is created detailing all job components.
This collects the submitted job and compares the job properties to the currently supported JDF specification. If the conversion is successfully completed, then a JDF file is submitted to the pre-press or pressroom engine. Additionally, whatever printing process is being used – flexo, offset, letterpress, digital – brand colors can all be controlled, accurately and consistently.
Such workflow automation can now also enable new or reprint jobs to re-use an existing plate set, or an existing cutting die from store, or be used to enable a slitter operator to retrieve previous slitter instructions to automatically re-set the slitting knives.
Other areas of automation co-operation between pre-press and production includes that which is taking place through software and systems integration suppliers such as, Esko, Cerm, Label Traxx, Tharsten, ABG and AVT. Cooperation between Esko and Cerm for example has delivered a seamless integration for product approval and production jobs between the MIS and pre-production environments. Their combined solution ensures the highest levels of efficiency, not only for administration and pre-press functions but also for printing and finishing.
Label Traxx too, have also been developing their MIS system in cooperation with strategic partners including Esko, Rotometrics, HP Indigo, Xeikon, etc., to create a number of tools specifically targeted at streamlining digital workflows, including using JDF to integrate Label Traxx with pre-press to automate step and repeat, generate proofs and other functions.
Certainly, the use of scalable servo drive hardware with intelligent modular design press management software is already increasingly being used to minimize press set-up and make-ready, automate plate or cylinder changes, allow more consistent, repeatable results, and provide converter end-users with greater press flexibility. In-built screens enable all the advanced controls to be visible alongside representative graphics, and provide for easier press commissioning and the simplification of fault finding.
All of this will have an increasing and massive impact on press productivity, freeing up print and label companies to focus on developing their business rather than spending time on managing manufacturing. The use of cloud-based systems, where everything from press performance to planning scheduling is online and instantly available will all be part of the label world of tomorrow.
Pre-press software has certainly made the label printing process much more efficient, as more labels are being ordered through online portals, reducing manual intervention, the time required and the potential for errors. Preflight functionality is seen to be very important for controlling the quality of incoming artwork and this is now highly automated, making it fast and accurate. Automation of trapping, step and repeat, and auto application of marks and bearer bars makes plate preparation of the job much faster and easier, as well.
Customers today undoubtedly require a smoother and more streamlined process from the initial order intake through to production and final delivery. Modern workflows like CloudFlow provide a management ‘dashboard’ across all production facilities and allow load balancing based on capacity and production needs. Integration of pre-press with MIS and eCommerce platforms now makes it much faster to input orders into production and reduce data entry errors due to re-keying production information.
Esko today provides software to serve the entire workflow from content creation to platemaking. Indeed, as users progress downstream from content creation and get closer to the exposure device (typically the plate imaging system), the more specific software gets to flexo. Esko’s Full HD Flexo provides screening algorithms that reproduce more defined highlights and stronger shadows, designed to create the perfect dot on the plate.
For conventional press technology, Esko’s Digital Flexo Suite offers a collection of platemounting software. Automatically and instantly, while a job is sent to the imager, files are created for cutting on a digital cutting table and data files are made for mounting. The flexo plate is cut up into smaller patches to reduce waste, but accurate mounting information is sent to the mounting device. Esko’s PreMount workflow is a mounting technique that allows the user to mount flexo plate slugs on a carrier sheet prior to imaging. According to Esko, customers report an average plate wastage reduction of 15% when using the Digital Flexo Suite.
PROOFING PROFILES FOR FLEXO
Apart from Esko’s offerings that include proofing, GMG, a developer and global supplier of high-end color management software systems, now offers OpenColor as a method of making proofing profiles for flexo. The company also offers ColorProof, DotProof and FlexoProof as industry software solutions. GMG ProfileEditor contains flexo-specific tools for reliable and precise press-to-proof matching.
Color management is undoubtedly a matter of precision. ‘Close enough’ is no longer good enough in the critical color world of packaging. It is a reasonable goal to set the flexo printing process to less than 2 Delta E repeatability. The printer’s color management systems need to operate within half of that. If the separations and proofs have a variability of over 1 Delta E, then the process cannot achieve the desired goal.
GMG mow offers 12 different color management solutions for flexo and packaging, including PDF image processing and color separation; profile creation for color separations; proofing for flexo; and profile creation for proofing.
ANALOGUE PRESS AUTOMATION
For Heidelberg, now incorporating Gallus, their stated aim is to make printing presses completely self-managing units, where everything from production planning, to consumables ordering, to predictive maintenance, etc., are all generated from the press itself. It calls this its ‘Push to Stop’ concept, with the presses themselves taking over all aspects of the production.
Heidelberg claim this will have a massive impact on productivity, taking it far higher, and will free up print businesses to focus on developing their business, rather than spending time managing manufacture. Part of the new driverless push is in the Heidelberg cloud based Assistant, where everything from press performance to planning to scheduling is Online and instantly available to management.
Indeed, according to press supplier Comexi, the future is all about printing plants that work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and which can track the work process in one or more plants every day, at any time, from anywhere in the world since it can be managed through a web environment. In their case using Comexi Cloud, a revolutionary software which they claim is the fastest and easiest way to analyze production, which knows and analyzes the incidents time, establishes productive and non-productive meters, controls the execution time and ensures job traceability.
For press manufacturer Nilpeter, they also see the trend in narrow web printing as moving away from seeing the press as a mechanical piece of machinery and towards perceiving it as software-driven, technological equipment. The pre-press job data file (JDF) is rapidly gaining a footing in the industry. The JDF is sent to the printing press. The file contains the job protocol, in CIP3 or similar format, which will transfer job data, such as pressure accuracy, dot gain, register, web control, and cutting depth.
In a similar vein, MPS fundamentally believe that today’s market place has an intrinsic need to automate press settings in order to drive down the cost per 1,000 labels, especially for short runs. Therefore, MPS talk about their Automated Print Control (APC) which provides automated servo control of all relevant press settings. Thanks to APC, press settings and controls are extremely easy to operate and replicate through job memory, resulting in virtually no set-up waste for repeat jobs.
From the Bobst Group, who acquired a majority stake in Nuova Gidue, there is also a similar message. Their presses are being equipped with smartCHANGE, a front ‘portal’ and 4-axis automation system that completely relieves operators of, say, the strenuous exchange of items such as anilox and print sleeves.
DIGITAL PRESS AUTOMATION
Outside of the more conventional analogue presses, albeit ever-more digitized, the message from the digital press manufacturers and digital press software suppliers is also more of the same automation. HP Indigo’s WS6800 press for example, delivers high productivity for the vast majority of labels and packaging jobs. Advanced color automation and sophisticated color matching tools make it fast and easy to hit brand colors with extreme accuracy, consistency and repeatability from the first print to the last.
Benefit from the HP Indigo workflow ecosystem including the high-automation Workflow Suite Powered by Esko, and an array of integrated MIS, pre-press and converting solutions from partners. Using HP PrintOS, a secure cloud-based platform that can be opened anytime, anywhere, is a print production operating system with apps that help to get more out of HP Indigo presses, and simplify and automate digital production.
Another company developing automated digital label production is German software manufacturer OneVision, which has introduced DigiLabel, a new software program for label printers designed to improve production processes, provide cost savings and enable a larger throughput.
DigiLabel is a 2-in-1 system of automated label production, and is said to ease complex label workflows for digital label printers. It combines print data optimization and label production planning. The system imports production data and then automatically optimizes it, with the benefits of the system including improved transparency, a safe production process and significant improvements in efficiency.
OneVision is already known as a specialist in the commercial printing industry for pre-flighting and the normalization of print data for error-free printing, offering products that include workflow tools that enable the entire production workflow to be integrated, standardized and substantially automated. It also covers quality control, and optimization of print files and images using RIP and Inksave software, as well as individual tools for the imposition of PDF files or flattening of transparencies, all done automatically.
The company has now brought its expertise to label printing, with DigiLabel (Figure 9.3) making use of this expertise in the entire production workflow: print data is automatically subjected to quality control and then optimized. The automated production of die-cutting molds or laser cutting configurations, standard cut lines, a white background and the automatic dispatch of a release PDF to the customer for approval saves labor time and staff resources. DigiLabel also assembles open orders and handles production planning.
Fully automated, cross-customer collect-run production of labels using the new software is 'unique on the market,' according to the company.
DigiLabel assembles open orders and combines labels of various shapes, sizes and print runs to be printed on the same substrate and forwards them to the printers. This reduces production error sources, lowers materials costs by saving on printing and also increases throughput, it is claimed.
Another company working towards full printing process automation is EFI. Working with an AVT solution designed to efficiently support printing process automation and calibration in full synergy with the press’s EFI Fiery® digital front end, EFI claim that in addition to enhancing print quality, their dedicated control solutions will increase press productivity through innovative nozzle performance and color control.
Verification of geometric parameters, such as color-to-color registration, image placement and printing defects detection, are also included.
The solution also will monitor data integrity of static and variable content, classify possible print defects and initiate corrective actions.
In addition, EFI’s latest ERP-based suite of software (Packaging Suite 4.0) provides packaging enterprises with end-to-end workflows that contribute to profitability by increasing efficiencies. The Packaging suite workflow can be configured to address the specific production management needs for products that labels, shrink sleeves, in-mold labels, flexible packaging, blown film extrusion products and folding cartons.
When dealing with digital printing, EFI explains that the printing method has changed pre-press software. Files must be retained in a format that can be easily changed from digital to flexo and back again for versioning or labeling changes. Native PDF is the best format for this since flattened files are normally no longer editable, and proprietary files must be edited in the original system every time. Native PDF provides complete flexibility. Automation of pre-press has allowed digital printing to reach new levels of productivity and turnaround time by modernizing the pre-press workflow to keep pace with digital output.
SHOP FLOOR DATA CAPTURE
Shop Floor Data Capture today can offer more individual and immediate advantages to the label and package printer, in one hit, than probably any other option. Indeed, it should no longer be regarded as an option but as an essential part of a fast moving, accurate and effective, modern Management Information System that offers numerous benefits, including:
Press and ancillary equipment operators no longer having to use their time struggling to complete a manual time sheet every day
Accuracy of the data captured, which exceeds anything collated from manual time sheets
Elimination of the office time wasted each day in keying in the hand written time sheets
The ability to view live on screen the current position of every job, of every data collection point and of every operative (all updated every few seconds). This can be particularly useful for production controller personal and line managers
The latest systems use environmentally protected, diskless, PC’s as terminals, with full-screen color monitoring and a choice of input devices . keyboards, barcode readers, pressure pads, or touch screens. All data is captured live to a central file server so that each individual terminal can be turned off, or temporarily used for other purposes without any loss.
Full screen monitors allows for far better error checking of the input; permits viewing of the Job Instructions and allows alterations to be flagged direct to operators. Production managers can use any terminal to gain access to the Planning Board or any other part of the system (with a password) and do not have to return to the office to find the next job due on press and whether the materials are ready.
INSPECTION AND FINISHING LINE AUTOMATION
Integration with camera inspection systems, such as that being undertaken by AVT with their advanced Helios S automatic inspection solution that delivers 100% quality assurance can now enable zero set camera inspection from, say, a Cerm MIS to create the print frames and inspection files per print frame, then print a barcode of every print frame within the job and for every individual ‘lane.’
An AVT camera then reads the barcode and verifies the printed output. Electronic interface with camera inspection, using a link to the original PDF for image comparison and instructions for step-and-repeat, can reduce the set-up time of the camera to zero.
Helios S is an automatic inspection system has a user-friendly design that deploys dedicated, advanced algorithms designed to detect any type of defect including color mis-register, color variations, misprints, text errors, spots, splashes, die-cut problems, barcode problems and missing labels. The system works seamlessly on any substrate including self-adhesive labels, thick embossed metalized substrates, highly-reflective holographic foils and laminates.
An optional add-on module for Helios S, with WorkFlow Links to Uniprint, utilizes information recorded on the press to integrate with slitter-rewinders to automatically stop a rewinder, thereby avoiding unnecessary stops on non-defective products and significantly improving overall production efficiency.
In terms of slitter set-up, the setting of slitting knives is undoubtedly one of the most time-consuming jobs carried out on a slitter rewinder. Now however, ABG International have introduced an AUTOSLIT system with auto label gap sensor. The operator simply presses a button, a scanner passes across the web identifying where the gaps are and automatically positions the slitting blades, saving hours of make-ready times each week on short run jobs.
Automatic knife positioning, this time controlled by WiFi and which is able to position a full set of shear cut knives within seconds, has also been introduced by Grafotronic. In their case, every top and bottom knife has an independent drive unit, enabling the operator to adjust single knives if needed.
AUTOMATION OF DIGITAL EMBELLISHING
In a recent development Fusion Technology have announced a new concept with Xeikon that combines full color production printing with digital embellishment of labels and packaging in a single, one-pass and fully digital production process.
Over time, Fusion say that this will consist of a series of embellishment modules that are not just put in-line with the press, but are components of an entirely new modular system with the digital front end taking care of the pre-press, data processing, color management and press operation as well as full control and operation of all embellishment modules without manual intervention.
The aim of such developments is to bring closer the reality of fully automated, seamless, unattended, end-to-end production of label and packaging production from customer order to deliver, as already outlined in Figure 9.1. Potential digital embellishment modules include hot/cold foiling, screen prints, matte, gloss and structured flood and spot varnish and a digital braille module.
With Fusion Technology, a print job containing multiple channels defining each aspect of production is dropped into a hot folder and RIP'ed, after which the different channels are sent to the relevant modules including the press – and this without manual intervention. Because every embellishment module is digital, every single design element can be made variable or personalized, which opens up enormous opportunities for new applications.
Depending on the requirements, these digital embellishment modules can be positioned before and/or after a Xeikon digital five-color press. The resulting configuration produces a digitally printed and embellished label or package in one single pass.
The Xeikon X-800, its in-house developed digital front-end, ensures a seamlessly automated digital printing workflow while enabling integration with existing workflows and any market-leading third party applications, such as design packages, web-to-print applications and MIS.
INK FORMULATION SOFTWARE TOOLS
Apart from press and finishing line workflow automation there are other areas of label and package printing that can benefit from software tools, such as ink formulation. Here, X-Rite has introduced its updated InkFormulation software tool (Figure 9.4)for providing professional color formulation to printers, converters and ink manufacturers.
This tool offers improved integration so that ink professionals can quickly compare their formulations to a digital color reference for ink color recipe creation, storage, approval and retrieval for offset, flexo, gravure or screen inks.
Ink formulation issues on press can now be resolved more quickly for flexographic and gravure printers as, when press-side color measurements do not meet tolerances, and quality control software reports that tolerances cannot be met with the existing ink formulation, reformulation data is immediately sent to InkFormulation. The ink room can make appropriate adjustments and dispense the new formula, speeding up the correction process on press. This minimizes press downtime and keeps print quality high without the need for the press operator to be an ink expert.
The latest InkFormulation update also features enhanced management information system (MIS) integration. This simplifies data interchange with MIS systems whereby the MIS system can request from InkFormulation a new material number based on specifications and naming conventions defined in the MIS, or by referencing a multi-color CxF file stored in PantoneLIVE or elsewhere.
This request then appears in the ink kitchen as a job with a target color requiring an ink recipe to be defined. Once the recipe is defined, InkFormulation returns the recipe to the MIS with a bill of materials – a list of ingredients and the percentage for each.
MIS integration helps to close the loop in a production workflow for everything from estimating to invoicing, making it easier to estimate ink consumption by job as well as to reuse existing ink formulations without the need to send a request to the ink kitchen. In addition, all ink recipes required for a given job can be linked to that job, streamlining the workflow even further. This will add significant value at many converter and ink sites.
Additionally, InkFormulation v6.3 allows for the formulation of more than one recipe in the system. The new formulation tab enables formulation and correction of whole jobs coming from quality control software. This new capability will use tags to associate ink recipes to individual jobs.
Quite a number of the leading press suppliers are now also readily talking about the greater use of robotics for loading and unloading reels, for bringing reels, inks or cylinders from warehouse storage or pre-production to the press and then after printing taking completed jobs onto finishing or despatch operations, as well as using robotics for on-press handling operations.
It should be noted however, that robotics will ask for better identification of the objects that are being ‘manipulated’. So more digital identification units (small printers) will appear, as well as (bar)code-readers. The instructions will be taken out of the computer, at the moment the object’s code is read. There will no longer be a JDF ‘sending’, but a JDF ‘retrieval’ when needed. This is already the case for example, with the Cerm-ABG-slitter. ABG operators ‘scan’ the job-code and the instructions are exchanged between Cerm-MIS and the slitter at that moment.
This also applies for AVT camera inspection: the barcode on the digital printed frame indicates the frame-number, and this is related to the ‘instruction package’ created by ESKO and already prepared in AVT’s system memory. A further example of this is a code used for digital laser cutting that will link to the exact CAD-instructions. So the crucial role of MIS will be extended to be the identification-source of all production-components.
ONGOING DEVELOPMENTS IN WORKFLOW AUTOMATION
There are other domains that are typically not covered by MIS software. An example would be dedicated software for machine maintenance programs and/or for spare parts management. Erhardt+Leimer for example has developed a web-based management interface for commissioning, operating and servicing complete web guiding systems via an Internet browser.
All of the necessary devices in the network, i.e. sensors, controllers and actuators, are now networked via Ethernet. No external tools or operating units are required any more for commissioning and operation. Instead, all that is needed is an internet browser on a smartphone, tablet PC or other terminal. This means that operators now have wireless access from any location to the graphical user interface of the device in question, so they are no longer tied to the physical location of the machine.
Production management and quality assurance can now access all of the required information at any time and from anywhere in the world via a web browser, allowing them to view production data quickly and easily in real-time.
Increasingly, MIS suppliers are also being asked to provide an interface so that electronic instructions can be sent to transport carriers, such as DHL and UPS, to manage the transport and shipping of finished goods. Cloud-based systems are also being used to automatically save every inbound and outbound e-mail against customer contacts and produce a sorted trail of previous discussions – all available in the right place when needed.
While recent Labelexpo and print shows have given more than a flavour of where pre-press, press and finishing automation – all integrated with ever-more sophisticated MIS – is now rapidly moving, the next few years will undoubtedly see ever more consolidation and cooperation between hardware and software suppliers.
By then Cloud computing, WiFi control, MIS advances and press digitization shown over the past year or so will all have moved on apace.
Indeed, individuals and businesses are already increasingly accessing computing services such as servers, databases, software and storage that are provided over the internet using cloud-based systems.
This growth in Cloud computing will undoubtedly bring particular benefits to smaller label converters who tend not to have sophisticated IT and management information systems of their own.
Using the Cloud, label and package printing companies can access any manor of software solutions that will enhance their business without any need to purchase the necessary software or upgrades, and a world where everyone is working from the same software version, without high IT costs. For a monthly fee, or even on a job-by-job basis, the smaller converter can have all of the benefits afforded by larger printing operations.
There seems little doubt that all these developments will bring increasing benefits to both small and large converters over the next few years. Some will already be moving into fully automated, human-free and robotic production; others will be introducing MIS integrated solutions. No matter the level of implementation, the label industry of tomorrow will most certainly be very different from today.
INTEGRATION WITH CUSTOMER PRODUCTION PLANTS – THE ROLE OF VMI
When looking at the future of MIS, workflow automation and integrated production, the industry also needs to understand and assess the future requirements of the production plants of their end-user customers, whether pre-packers or brand owners.
More and more is heard about ‘vendor managed inventory’ (VMI), a streamlined approach to inventory management and order fulfillment which involves collaboration between suppliers and their customers and which changes the traditional order/supply process.
The end aim of VMI is to align business objectives and streamline the supply chain operations for both suppliers and their customers, so providing an improved service, enhanced inventory turn and increased sales. This will mean that the label or package printer will need to fill the warehouse of the customer, based upon the available stock at the customer, and the production schedule and specific requirements of the customer.
This will be true for both printers and their customers, as well as for substrate and ink suppliers and the stock held at the printer. Related to this will be agreements where the customer will only be charged for what he has consumed. So new systems for inventory and invoicing are becoming increasingly necessary.
This will eventually go even further, with the printer delivering direct to the production, packaging, labeling lines of the customer, a few times per day, pallets of labels, flexibles or cartons, nicely ordered with the first scheduled production on top of the pallet . so maybe no warehouse at all in the future.
WORKING TOWARDS THE SELF-MANAGING PRESS
What now undoubtedly seems to be the aim of most of the leading press manufacturers, is working towards the day when printing presses become completely self-managing units, where everything from production planning, to consumables ordering, to predictive maintenance, etc., are all generated from the press itself, or though integration with MIS systems.
A guide to how this is all coming together can be seen in Figure 9.5. This will have a massive impact on press productivity in the future, taking it far higher, and will free-up print companies to focus on developing their business, rather than spending time managing manufacture.