Lights-Out Automation: Fact or Fiction?



The concept of lights-out automation has been kicked around in manufacturing circles for hundreds of years: just push a button and everything will work perfectly while unattended, stopping only for routinely scheduled maintenance and repairs.

Sounds good but it raises so many questions….

  • How does that affect overall employment and customer satisfaction?
  • What happens if nobody is ‘minding the store’ and something goes wrong?
  • What if your system doesn’t do everything that is required – now or over time as your needs grow?


For over a decade there have been more job openings than workers due to demographic shifts and skill set requirements changing. In fact, the experts see that almost 2.5 million jobs will be unfilled over the next decade, with an economic impact of 2.5 trillion USD.

It begs the question: doesn’t automation then make this problem worse? The answer is no. Not if it’s done right.

It’s a common misconception that the manufacturing or creation of any product is too complex to simplify, therefore true automation is inflexible, resulting in a lack of quality and control on the finished goods. The reality is that implementing a process to be simple and as error-free as possible is the complex part and requires specific solutions skills with the right toolset: equipment, software, and service.

As printers, if you’re not continually looking for ways to seamlessly connect your workflow and simplify your business, retrain your staff and re-purpose resources towards something more profitable, you’re missing out on opportunities towards efficiency and profitability.

Put more jobs on press faster, use the data at your fingertips to make better business decisions and put your staff in the position to acquire, grow, and manage, more profitable work.

Sounds good, but now you’re wondering how?

Automation is meant to simplify, not apply rigidity to the process. In the case of print workflow, implementing a management workflow system – the heartbeat of your business – with the right connectivity and real-time shop floor data analysis provides efficiency with the ability to correct mid-production if or as required without breaking momentum or adding unnecessary costs.

Print workflows will need to change and scale over time and no one vendor can do it alone to meet all your production needs. They can, however, seamlessly integrate to provide a customized workflow that fits your requirements that is flexible enough to grow as you grow.

Join industry leaders printIQ, Enfocus and Ultimate TechnoGraphics
on September 23rd at 9 am EDT as our experts show you how to optimize your print production through an end-to-end automated workflow using a real-world example and live demonstration on how these solutions are integrated for success.

In this 60-minute power packed session you’ll learn how to centralize and automate your print workflow through seamless integration of printIQ’s management workflow system, Enfocus’ preflight tools and Ultimate TechnoGraphics imposition solution.

  • printIQ is far more than just an MIS, it’s the best-in-class complete cloud-based management workflow system (MWS), capturing and managing orders, shipping, quoting, eCommerce and more.
  • Enfocus Switchis the best-in-class workflow automation and orders connecting tool on the market and has a direct link to Enfocus PitStop Server for automating preflighting tasks.
  • Ultimate Impostrip®is the best-in-class open imposition solution for automated and scalable production and offers direct connectivity to Ultimate Bindery® which can fully automate your finishing.

Register. Join us. Then Let’s Talk.

Have Questions?