How wide format printer Kleinhempel manages to free up time for other tasks!
A lot of time is wasted searching for problematic elements in print files such as spot colors, overprinting colors, hairlines or missing bleed. Even more time is wasted manually fixing these recurring challenges! There's also the added risk of accidentally changing something significant in the print file. Whether the time spent is paid for by the customer is also not always guaranteed.
Do you also have repetitive activities in your prepress that mean require manual interventions?
Is the cost pressure combined with shorter delivery times becoming more and more noticeable in your segment as well?
Then read a summary of the webinar held as part of Deutscher Drucker's Print Innovation Week here and find out how Hamburg-based wide format printer Kleinhempel presents four very clear points for the ROI of OneVision Software!
You are also welcome to watch the original webinar in its entirety (german language)!
What made you think about automation in the first place?
Mr. Scheele, prepress manager at Kleinhempel:
We said to ourselves that it must be possible to automate recurring tasks. For example, we probably enter the print size manually 4 or 5 times during the workflow. This is, of course, error-prone and, secondly, incredibly time-consuming.
OneVision visited us and gave us many more ideas, especially regarding further processing, what other problems we could solve with the automation software. We were thrilled.
What all belongs to your machinery?
We have machines with solvent printing, UV printing, one direct printing machine and latex printing machine among others. The printing width varies from 1.6 meters over three meters up to two machines with five meters width. All prints up to three meters wide are automatically cut out and further processed by the Zünd cutting machine. It was also important for us to connect the software to our existing ERP system.
What was Kleinhempel's workflow like before OneVision Software?
We used to do everything manually, of course. In wide format printing, quite large data packages come to us, via USB, via FTP or sometimes via hard disk. An operator from prepress had to check whether the size, resolution, or layout was correct, etc.
We removed crop marks manually in Illustrator. Bleeds were added manually in InDesign.
Then the approval process, for which we wrote a PDF file ourselves.
After the print approval, we had to divide the webs by hand. For a 45-meter print, we needed 10 webs that were divided by hand and sent to the RIP by mouse click and then also to the press by mouse click. These are all things that in themselves, don't take a lot of time, but in workflow terms, they ALL block.
What has changed in terms of customer wishes and requirements in recent years?
Quite clearly: time and costs.
The time window is getting smaller and smaller, even in wide format printing.
Cost pressure is also quite high, and as a service provider you have to face up to that, quite clearly!
What does the workflow with OneVision software look like now?
We saw an original workflow live in the webinar. The supplied customer data is copied into an input folder, which starts the process with preflight, color management, normalization, trim is added automatically, print sheets are set up (cross-order nesting), etc. The process is then started.
Approximately 30 different steps are carried out here and that in about 3 minutes processing time.
In addition, three more folders are created according to our wishes: Tiling, Motif Overview and Labels.
In the Tiling folder, we find the individual webs as they have to be produced, including hems, eyelet marks and all other necessities for our large-scale post production.
The Motif Overview folder contains an A4 file as a kind of internal print job. Here the printer sees all the essential information such as order number, print format, substrate, how many webs the order contains and much more. It is supplemented by a QR code so that any production employee can quickly log into the leading ERP system to find all the other details.
Our third folder is called Labels.
These are shipping labels, but they have been supplemented with product information such as motif, size, material, etc., so that the customer can already see on the packaging what he is about to pick up or the courier is about to bring him.
If an order is automatically cut by the Zünd cutting machine, an additional folder called Cut is generated. Here we find on the one hand the cut file, i.e., the file that goes to the cutter so that it cuts out all products exactly on the defined lines. On the other hand, we find the nesting report, which jobs are in which quantity on this print sheet or the print section of the roll. By nesting across jobs, we achieve maximum substrate utilization.
These are all activities that we used to do manually. I just have to say that again.
How did the complex implementation of all your process flows work out?
The individual software modules are quite manageable and after a little practice also self-explanatory.
Well, I'm not a programmer and I don't want to become one, definitely not. But it is actually fun to implement these workflows and to learn how it works!
What are your future plans with OneVision Software?
On the one hand, we would like to make the approval process at the beginning of production even smarter, clearer and more time-saving.
On the other hand, our current webshop does not include all the products we offer. Here we want to offer a wide range of products and connect them in an automated way.
In summary, what are the most important points that OneVision Software has brought you?
I can clearly see the return on investment in these four points:
- Immense time savings, thanks to the connection to our ERP system, in prepress and in the more advanced work steps such as large-scale finishing.
- All trim allowances and markings are automatically added everywhere, resulting in error-free production.
- Enormous material savings. No operator does this kind of nesting manually.
- Planning reliability. With the above points, we can plan the timing process and related materials much smarter, safer and cost-saving.
And we have only found OneVision to address the issues individually and build the workflows the way we need.
Anything else wouldn't have made the profit for us as what we got from them now. Clearly.