Automation of document workflows

BENS Server as a means for process automation

The BENS Server is perfectly suited for the process automation of document processing.

BENS filters and plugins can be used to process print data as well as PDF files, graphic files and e-mails.

Standard filters and plugins

Many processes can be realized with standard filters and plugins (out of the box).

Standard Filters and Plugins

Standard filters and plugins are available, configurable programs (out of the box) for the BENS Server. They serve the automation and optimization of document processing processes. Depending on the program and configuration, filters and plugins can analyse, modify, supplement, forward or similar documents. Thus, both simple and complex document workflows can be realized. Examples of standard filters are: the Barcode Filter, the Macro Filter and the CarbonCopy Filter.

Processes

  • Electronic letterheads (overlays), logos, general terms and conditions, etc.
  • Electronic carbon copies of pages with watermarks
  • Paper tray assignment to specific pages
  • Barcode printing
  • Conversion of data (e.g. print data to PDF)
  • Printing load distribution to several printers (load balancing)
  • Protection against failure (failover)
  • Encryption of print data

Workflow

Workflow can include many steps, such as:

  • Receiving, forwarding and distributing data
  • Extracting data from documents
  • Converting documents to other formats (e.g. PDF)
  • Reading from and writing to a database
  • Communication via e-mail
  • Reading and saving data in hot folders
  • Adding data to documents (e.g. barcodes, logos, letterheads, watermarks).

BENS PCL Barcode Filter

Adds on-the-fly generated barcode images to PCL5 print data. Mostly used with SAP systems.

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BENS PCL Unicode Filter

Converts Unicode data into ASCII data. Used on printers that do not provide Unicode fonts.

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BENS Prescribe to PCL Filter

Converts Kyocera Prescribe print data (!R!) into standard PCL5 print data

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BENS OCR-A/OCR-B Filter

Enables printing of data formatted for output with OCR-A and OCR-B fonts

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BENS Carbon Copy Filter

Creates on-the-fly copies of pages or documents with the ability to define different paper sources for specific copies, finishing, etc.

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BENS PCL Macro Filter

Adds PCL5/PCLXL macros (overlays) to the PCL5/PCLXL data stream. Macros are stored centralised on the BENS server instead of decentralised on the target printers. With the free Macro Configurator for Windows, a configuration is created in which it is defined which macros are printed on which page. Macro control sequences in PCL5 files are also supported. Macros can be created from different templates (PDF, XPS, PNG, JPG, BMP, TIFF) with the chargeable program for Windows “Barcode Generator Enterprise”.

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BENS Postscript Macro Filter

Adds Postscript macros (overlays) to the Postscript data stream. Postscript macros are stored centralised on the BENS server, instead of decentralised on the target printers. In a configuration it is determined which macros are printed on which page. Postscript macros are created with the chargeable program Postscript Macro Generator Enterprise. The configuration required for the filter is created automatically by Postscript Macro Generator Enterprise.

BENS UniversalExchanger

Replaces on-the-fly data in the input file according to rules defined in a configuration file.

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BENS SplitSpool Filter

Splits large spool files into individual documents contained in the spool file (e.g. invoices).

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BENS MergeJobs Filter

Merges several documents into one spool file.

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BENS Alias Filter

Replaces the user name from the SAP system with the user name of the same person from the Active Directory.

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BENS Follow me option

Allows previously created printouts to be retrieved from any printer in the printer network.

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BENS IOS Printing option

Enables printing with Apple devices on printers that do not support IOS printing.

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BENS DataCompress Filter

Compresses data before sending it to another BENS Server and decompresses it on the target BENS Server before the data is sent further to the printer. Mainly used for print data transmission over long distances.

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BENS Load Balancing Modul

Distributes print jobs from one printer queue to different target printers with the aim of achieving an even utilization of the printers. Alternatively, it distributes the number of desired copies of a document to different printers in order to achieve a higher print throughput.

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BENS Failover-Plugin

Automatically changes the output device if the used target device has failed. For higher security, several target devices can be defined one after the other as fallback devices.

BENS PDFFormFill Module

Fills variable fields of PDF files (forms) stored on the BENS server with variable data. The variable data is received as a print job or e.g. read from a hotfolder.

BENS Intelligent Duplexer

Creates duplex documents from simplex or mixplex documents without changing the appearance of the original output. Before the function is activated, it is checked whether this represents a time advantage for the printer. If there is no time advantage, the duplex function is not executed.

BENS PrinterSpoolCheck

Communicates with the printer to prevent printer buffer overflow or loss of print data that can occur when too many print jobs have been sent to the printer.

BENS Scale2OneSize

Scales different PDF documents to one size, according to the media size defined in a configuration file.

BENS Intelligent PDFOMRGenerator

Generates OMR marks for mailing systems and inserts the OMR code calculated for each page onto the respective page. Size and position of the OMR code are configurable.

BENS PDF-Watermark

Prints predefined watermarks stored on the BENS server on PDF documents. Position and pages for each watermark are freely configurable.

IPDS to PCL Converter

Converts IPDS print data to PCL5 print data

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IPDS to Postscript Converter

Converts IPDS print data to postscript print data

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AFPDS to PCL Converter

Converts AFPDS print data to PCL5 print data

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AFPDS to Postscript Converter

Converts AFPDS print data to Postscript print data

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BENS Clever Print Filter

Promotes economical printing by forcing duplex, black/white and – if supported by the printer – toner-saving printing.

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BENS PrintToBox

Sends received print jobs to the Konica Minolta MFP’s electronic mailbox specified in the configuration. The filter has been developed for users who print from environments without Windows printer driver (e.g. SAP/4 Hana).

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Custom filters and plugins

Custom BENS plugins for a variety of tasks

Custom filters and plugins

For processes that are particularly specific to your company, we offer our programming service. In most cases, our highly experienced programmers will put together a program (BENS Plugin) in a few days that maps and automates your company-specific document workflow.

Processes

A BENS plugin can handle a variety of tasks, e.g.:

  • Receive print data or PDF files via standard print protocols (raw, lpr, IP, IPP…)
  • Read documents from network hot folders
  • Read, analyse, modify, duplicate documents of all kinds and much more
  • Communicate with databases (read, write, ask questions, etc.)
  • Receive and send E mails
  • Forward processed documents to the next station.

These are:

  • Printer
  • Server
  • Hotfolder
  • E-mail
  • Databases

Custom filters and plugins:
Process Automation

  1. More than 30 clerks of the customer print tax notices on one printer. Each tax assessment consists of 10 to 30 individual print jobs. Before the project was implemented, the print jobs of individual clients were mixed together and had to be laboriously separated after printing. The customer wanted a solution that prevents the mixing of the print jobs and keeps the printouts for individual clients clearly separated.
  2. The plugin on the BENS Printserver collects print jobs and sorts them by the tax number.
  3. All print jobs with the same tax number are merged to one print job. The process for a particular tax number is finished as soon as no print jobs with the same tax number are found after a certain period of time.
  4. At the beginning of each print job a sheet with the text “Start tax number XXXX/YYYY” and at the end with the text “End tax number XXXY/YYYY” is added.
  5. As soon as a print job with a particular tax number is finished, it is sent to the printer. The respective bundles per tax number are pre-sorted. The process runs automatically in the shortest possible time and there can be no more errors in the separating process.

Custom filters and plugins:
PDF processing

  1. The customer creates PDF files. Each PDF-file contains multiple documents. The individual documents are to be stapled.
  2. There is a barcode on the last page of each document, always at the same position.
  3. The plug-in on the BENS Printserver searches for the barcode on each page. The page on which a barcode is found is identified as the last page of the current document.
  4. The PDF file is split into individual documents.
  5. Each document is given a stapling command and then sent to the printer.
  6. The documents that were previously printed in a batch now come out at the printer individually, offset and stapled.

Custom filters and plugins:
PDF processing

  • The ERP of a property management company generates various PDF documents. Each PDF file is dedicated to one topic (e.g. cover letter, statement, etc.). However, each PDF file contains documents for all owners. The documents for each owner are to be separated from each other into individual PDF files so that they can be fed to different dispatch processes.
  • Previously, property management staff printed the PDF files, sorted the individual documents apart for each owner, and reassembled all the documents for each owner. This process should be automated.
  • The BENS plugin separates the received PDF file into individual documents per owner and sorts them by type (cover letter, statement, etc.). Then, all documents for each individual owner are merged into one PDF file.
  • After the PDF files are assembled for each owner, the plugin checks in the property management database whether the document should be printed or emailed to the recipient. Documents that are to be printed are forwarded to the printer, and documents that are to be emailed are emailed by the BENS server to the email addresses read from the database.

Custom filters and plugins:
PDF processing

  1. The customer creates PDF files. Each PDF-file contains multiple documents. The individual documents are to be stapled.
  2. There is a barcode on the last page of each document, always at the same position.
  3. The plug-in on the BENS Printserver searches for the barcode on each page. The page on which a barcode is found is identified as the last page of the current document.
  4. The PDF file is split into individual documents.
  5. Each document is given a stapling command and then sent to the printer.
  6. The documents that were previously printed in a batch now come out at the printer individually, offset and stapled.