Growth rates in wide format printing are impressive. More and more wide format printers are relying on web shops to offer their customers a fast, simple and digital platform for new print jobs. In order to be able to meet the ever-increasing demand in the web-to-print business on time, it is now more important than ever to take the step towards automation. However, how can production processes be optimized as effectively as possible in order to achieve higher revenue and improved print quality?
This was the challenge faced by the wide format printer Siepro KG. The company, which is based in Swabia in southwestern Germany, is an established foil printing specialist and supports the printing needs of global players such as Siemens, Meto, Bosch, Fein, Weleda and many more. The wide format printer’s product portfolio includes advertising and product stickers, sticker sheets, backlit foils, wobblers and crowners for use in POS, and adhesive foils and floor stickers made from a wide range of different materials. The company’s output is around 4,000 jobs per month, working with twenty different wide format systems and thirty different products. Various printing machines such as the OCÉ Colorado and OCÉ Arizona as well as machines from Epson, Seiko, Oki and Zünd are used. In the printing process, Siepro KG relies on UV offset, screen and digital printing.
Digital change calls for more efficient processes and greater cost-effectiveness
When asked about the challenges that wide format printers are facing these days as a result of digital change, it quickly becomes clear: customers’ desired quality levels remain as high as ever, while product profit margins and production times have suffered a drastic downward correction. To combat these issues, processes must be designed to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. “In order to increase throughput at constant personnel costs, it is necessary to automate individual work steps and entire production processes," concludes Michael Hiemann, Managing Director of Siepro KG.
“Using the suite allows us to work significantly more flexibly, saving time and cost.”
The print service provider previously worked with an impositioning software from Canon/Zünd. This required some manual input, but with the constant increase in orders, it was no longer economically viable. “After a long search, and having evaluated some other systems, OneVision’s Wide Format Automation Suite was able to offer exactly what mattered most to us,” said Mr. Hiemann.
This comprehensive software solution combines workflow management, prepress package and innovative technologies such as nesting or an integrated cut line manager in one single system. As such, the software suite’s functionality was almost tailor-made for the requirements of this wide-format print shop. “Using the suite allows us to work significantly more flexibly, saving time and cost,” explained Michael Hiemann. While 90% of all incoming files are properly prepared, the remaining 10% mostly needed ‘manual’ correction. Optimization is now handled entirely by the Wide Format Automation Suite resulting in a smooth, nearly flawless production flow.
Innovative nesting technology and automatic cut line merging reduce material costs and cutting times
Substrates used in wide format printing vary widely. Glass, wood, textile materials, foils and many other substrates are used, which are usually very cost-intensive. Thanks to the innovative nesting technology in the suite, complex shapes are now automatically placed in such a way that "not only less manpower is needed, but we can also significantly reduce waste and thus increase our profit margins", explains Michael Hiemann. The print service provider was even able to make room for more print jobs: while 10 meters were previously printed for each print job, only nine meters are now used. Cutting times are another aspect of Siepro KG’s operations that have become significantly more efficient thanks to the software. An automatic cut line merging achieves estimated 70% faster cutting times for stickers.
OneVision’s highest priority was to ensure a smooth transition, meeting Siepro KG’s requirements and supporting its business goals. “The support works very well. It is really very specifically and individually tailored to each individual product and implemented accordingly," says Michael Hiemann, illustrating the close cooperation with the software developer. Further, work is already underway on additional solutions, such as barcode integration for Zünd.
Get more information on our Wide Format Automation Suite at FESPA Berlin in hall 3.2 at booth A45 or at the booth of our technology partner Canon Deutschland booth A40.