Corrugated Software

Hybrid Patchplanner

Flexo Plate Mounting Workflow for the Corrugated Industry

Patchplanner takes a PDF digital design file and optimizes the layout of the printed areas as individual elements, enabling a much smaller plate to be used than the actual size of the job. The software can then be used to control very accurately automatic cutting of the plate and repositioning of the parts on to a plastic carrier.

Flexo plates are very expensive and anyone operating in a pre-press department will immediately see the attraction of Patchplanner. When producing something like a corrugated box, it is not unusual for only a tiny area to need to be printed even though the box itself may be large. Until now a great deal of manual work has generally been required in order to avoid using large flexo plates.

What Patchplanner does is to separate those printed elements in the design file and relay them so they take up the least amount of space. This data is then used to expose the smallest plate possible using an imager such as a ThermoFlexX. We can then send the information to a cutting table, for example, a Zund machine. Patchplanner software will control the cutting pattern, resulting in fast and accurate cutting.

The plate would then be reassembled on to a plastic carrier ready for the printing press. The high level of automation offered by these systems, combined with their speed and precision, makes this an extremely cost effective method of producing flexo plates for this sort of job.

Functionality Overview

  • Optimize flexo plate usage and increase mounting efficiencies
  • Native PDF workflow – no need to RIP or screen files first
  • Intuitive web-browser interface (up to 10 concurrent users)
  • PROOFSCOPE quality control check before patching
  • Cylinder mark definition, reduces platewaste (applying coordinates for register mark placement without artwork)
  • PATCHPLANNER’s zero coordinate is the same as your traditional zero coordinate (Lead Edge Center)
  • PATCHPLANNER speaks your mounting language, so you don’t have to learn a new language for digital mounting
  • Auto-detect all artwork patches with a single mouse click
  • Custom marks capabilities

Original Design

Cylinder mark creation

Resulting patches

Automatic patch detection


Distinct separation between Jobs and Sheets

  • A PDF file is uploaded to PATCHPLANNER, patched and MOM file generated to reassemble at mounting unit via XML coordinates
  • Multiple job patches are associated to a sheet for optimal media usage
    • Database control over which patch was associated with a particular sheet
    • Database control displaying which patches remain to be plated
  • Automatic overview cut sheet creation to easily show cutting depart what patches below to what job
  • Intuitive sheet optimization algorithms for least waste and greatest production efficiencies
  • Cut sheet PDF created of cut lines and sheet registration when using digital cutting for plates
  • Runs on Mac or PC Server (customer supplied)
  • Cross-platform support of standard web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer 9 or later)
  • Accepts print-ready PDF files from all standard graphics applications
  • Separates multi-color PDFs into individual separations for patch planning
  • Different crosshairs (sizes and designs) or microdots
  • Output xml (e.g.’mom’ file) with mounting mark coordinates which is automatically transferred to the Optimount
  • Adjustable spaces and borders (additional space around, space between subject and crosshair…) Adjustable patch-suggestions
  • Easy handling of grouping/ungrouping of patches
  • Output is an optimized PDF file for film or plate imaging

Multiple jobs positioned on sheet layout

Clear visibility of job groups in sheet layout

Learn More

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