keyvisualMichael Mittelhaus

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prepress consultant

Job Definition Format
JDF, which stands for Job Definition Format ist much more than one of the usual acronyms like CTP, DTP or PDF. JDF is rather an acronym for the first real try to dissolve graphic art companies fromt their craft roots and to establish an industrial production. A JDF networked print shop will be a real CIM shop and will realise a computer integrated manufacturing.

The standardized description of all steps of production is currently developed into the JDF specification (see: below). This will once more initiate revolutionary changes of the production workflow and the organisation of media producers. And once more it will ask for new staff qualifications and will imply strong rationalization steps.

I'm a member of the CIP4 Comittee and I know what currently is in development as well what is state of the art. I also know, what a user or a vendor should do to compete successfully in this market. Based on my initiative one of first JDF installations worldwide was established successfully in Switzerland, and it was done already in 2003. It includes a bidirectional interface from the MIS to the PrePress department and to the PECOM print command system as well; it saves the print shop about 400 hrs of mancraft/year (see more details: “How to implement JDF in a printshop” (PDF, 230 KB)).

Currently I'm engaged with a large german webshop to build a JDF based management information system right from the scratch. As it will need many different interfaces to all of the department systems, we're right now establishing the JDF interface from the MIS system to the Apogee prepress workflow. Other JDF related projects are currently in preparation; like the one to define the content of all the JDF based interfaces to production department production systems for a sheetfed shop.

As before with CTP, I consult dealers, vendors and manufacturers, assisting them to find the best way to integrate their products into the new world of JDF. To teach them, what they must know of JDF and how it will influence their market, what sales opportunities might develop etc. I discuss JDF and JDF implementations at industry events and I hold seminars on the issue, both in German and English language (for most events to come see the page “Seminare”).

You may know the proverb “The early bird catches the worm”. If you want to be amongst the “JDF catchers”, don't hesitate to call my advice.

To see what the status of JDF and it´s application is today, read the presentation I held as a keynote at the international Heidelberg User Days in Heidelberg (Germany), 26./27th October 2011. You´ll find the information here.

CIP4 Comittee is
responsible for the
JDF development

Basics on JDF
(PDF, 172 KB)

Implementing JDF
at a printshop

(PDF, 230 KB)


JDF in graphic arts quo vadis?
(PDF, 1300 KB)