Belgian systems integrator-cum-software developer Four Pees has introduced Atomyx, a suite of cloud-based software for print production file preparation, management and layout that aims to fill in existing gaps in ‘islands of automation’ to provide greater end-to-end efficiency in job acquisition, production and delivery across disparate hardware and software platforms.

To be run as an eponymous company alongside the existing Four Pees business, Atomyx comprises three modules – Prepare, Manage and Layout – that will be offered on a usage-based SaaS (software as a service) basis, and was announced at the company’s React customer and partner event in Ghent, Belgium.

Developing what it calls ‘connected automation’, Four Pees is aiming to solve at least in part the data connectivity problems frequently encountered in its systems and workflow integration activities. Atomyx aims to connect the whole end-to-end workflow (not just prepress), cloud and on-premises systems, ‘man and machine’, according to CEO Tom Peire.

‘We are trying to fill in the gaps that are currently done by custom work, to make it simpler and more repeatable for us and other integrators, for the benefit of our customers,’ he said.

Mr Peire said that the aim of Atomyx is to enable ‘print one, at scale’ and described it as an integration platform as a service (iPaaS, to add to the plethora of unwieldy acronyms around cloud computing). In addition to supporting Four Pees’ own integration projects, it will be offered to other integrators or to customers with suitable in-house IT skills and will bring the generic cloud benefits of rapid deployment and scaling without IT infrastructure investment.

The software is intended to facilitate inter/intra-company job exchange and to be accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

Atomyx Prepare is currently in testing at a client site. It is largely based around the functionality of Callas PDF Toolbox and processes submitted artwork files for production via an API. In addition to pre-flighting or quality control functions, it can also be configured to generate secondary documents such as proof sheets or delivery notes and is seen as a natural partner for e-commerce sites and job submission portals, as well as being able to integrate with other cloud-based prepress functions.

File management will be provided by Atomyx Manage, which Four Pees chief technical officer David Van Driessche said ‘connects platforms, processes and people’ handling ‘all kinds of systems out of the box’. It allows jobs, processes and files to be presented visually via a series of dashboards that can be defined for specific people or job functions to present pertinent information, allowing for human input and control where necessary. It can connect to a wide range of third-party systems, from MIS to web-to-print to press vendors’ production systems, via apps developed by Four Pees/Atomyx and is ready for pilot implementations, according to Mr Van Driessche.

The third module, Atomyx Layout, will be the last to arrive. It will optimise job layouts via ganging, step-and-repeat or nesting, as appropriate to the job and output device. No specific timetable was given for its availability.

Pricing for all components will be based on usage, with Prepare offering low, mid and high usage tariffs from €50 per month and the option to reserve more than one processing thread or to access more capacity as required. Atomyx Manage will include a ‘freemium’ starting option, complemented by standard, pro and enterprise pricing from €100 per user per month.