Why using metadata can transform your prepress workflow 

December 20, 2023

Using metadata properly can drastically transform your job preparation. Want to know how? 

If there was a way of streamlining your job preparation to save time, cut waste and make your entire print operation more efficient, would you be interested? Hell, yes – of course you would. Making the most of metadata across your digital printing workflow is the answer. In this article, we will explain what metadata can be used for, its benefits, and how you can incorporate it in your prepress workflow. 

What is metadata? 

Nearly all digital assets carry metadata, and it can be used for a wide variety of purposes. 

In digital printing, every single file or image that passes through your workflow comes with metadata attached. Metadata isn’t the content of the file, but accompanying information such as the job number, the client’s name, the number of copies, the filename, and other details or instructions.  

Overall, we can divide metadata into two categories: input metadata, and output metadata.  

Includes instructions for job processing
Includes data generated during production
Job number 
Customer number 
Order id 
Requested delivery date 
Grouping/ganging id
Number of copies 
Targeted printer 
Required preset 
Finishing instructions 
Delivery information
There are two types of metadata that you can use to streamline your digital printing workflow.

Metadata often takes either of two formats: JSON or XML. You can use these metadata to track a job’s progress through your production workflow, or to facilitate the automation of your processes, such as file naming for example. 

How to use metadata in your digital printing workflow 

When metadata is incorporated into your job files, you can use them to easily automate various steps of your printing workflow: 

What are the benefits of using metadata?  

It’s not hard to see how incorporating metadata into your workflow will immediately boost your productivity: significant time-savings, less media waste, reduced manual errors, all of which add up to money saved across the whole production

With input metadata, you can automate your most frequent (and time-consuming) prepress tasks and standardize your job preparation processes to deliver high-quality output. The value of this can’t be underestimated, especially when you use multiple printers or employ multiple operators.  

Automation cuts down the risk of manual errors, which also means fewer reruns and less wasted ink and media. When the job is done right the first time, it reaches the customer on time and results in higher levels of customer satisfaction. A real bonus for your business! 

Transform your job preparation with PrimeCenter 

How to use metadata in PrimeCenter

PrimeCenter is a powerful prepress software used to optimize the preparation of print and cut files. It is ideal for print shops who wish to optimize their media usage and overall productivity. Designed to help prepress operators in their daily tasks, PrimeCenter is a great companion to be more efficient in file preparation, especially if your number of orders increases over time. 

By harnessing your job files’ metadata, you’ll take the grind out of repetitive tasks, free up time for your operators and save money. It’s part of the way PrimeCenter can scale up your prepress workflow and take your business to the next level.  

Here are some examples of what you can achieve by using metadata in PrimeCenter: 

Automate file preparation with customized ‘recipes’

Create custom recipes that can be re-used as often as required for frequently used formats.

Recipes include media parameters, preflight profiles, cut mark options, margins and print bleed options, nesting parameters, annotations, and more. 

Build your library of recipes per customer or job type to be more efficient!

Prioritize the production of specific jobs  

By applying the Sequence metadata to specific files, you can indicate to PrimeCenter that you want to prioritize the production of specific files before others.

This feature is useful to make sure critical orders are finished and delivered on time.

Caldera PrimeCenter starry sky background
Caldera PrimeCenter logo white, prepress software for digital printing & cutting

Caldera’s prepress software is the perfect companion to create ready-to-print and ready-to-cut files for a range of applications. With advanced prepress and nesting capabilities, you will be guaranteed significant time and media savings.

Get your free trial of PrimeCenter 

PrimeCenter is a flexible tool adapted to print operations of all sizes. It’s time to harness the power of automation for your production!

Contact us for a custom demo with our specialists and to start your free trial!