AUTOMATION CASE STUDY
IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY | EFFICIENT NESTING
Probo was founded in 2001 and in a short time grew to a top position in the world of print and fulfilment. Thousands of partners sell their print products. From sign makers to advertising agencies and from stand builders to interior designers and web shops. For them, Probo is an extension of their business. They order, Probo does the rest. They print and pack the largest formats and smallest runs and deliver where their partners want. As a partner, you have access to more than 250 materials at Probo. From outdoor advertising, flags and stickers to a whole host of interior products.
What Were The Problems?
- To process the ten thousands of orders each day requires that the colors are reliably produced and always consistent. It is impossible to manually check each individual product while guaranteeing consistent high image and color quality. The files their partners uploaded consisted of different colours. Individually adjusting colors for each job is impossible therefore the colors need to be right, every time, all the time. And there must be a method that guarantees this that can be executed by every employee of every level without subjective criteria.
- The other problem the sheer volume of orders creates is that nesting is a must to gain efficiency. Inefficient Nesting is an obvious problem but the bigger problem is to track where each individual order is, even more when a re-print is required or if the order consists of multiple products or copies.
- Tracking the items in the print and cut job has to be fully automated. However each of their printer and cutter suppliers provided insight into Job Tracking in a different way if at all.
Probo wanted to improve their productivity but they were losing time and spending money, constantly chasing colour and trying to improve their nesting efficiencies.
“As a printing company, we strive to work as efficiently as possible. We print as many orders as possible on a single sheet or banner, in other words, smart nesting. With our previous software, we did that per production line. We want to centralise this. PrintFactory’s software enables us to nest the orders for all our production lines from a single system.” Probo
WHAT DID PRINTFACTORY DELIVER?
“We want to monitor the status of each order in our system in real time, for example if a nest has been printed. Each printer supplier provides insight into this in a different way. That’s what we were struggling with. Thanks to PrintFactory we can now inform customers and employees about order statuses more easily and in the same way. “
The need for a single point of information about the machine and job status is essential as the machine park is continually evolving and changing.
By doing this, the IT department is not constantly in the process of catching up with new machines and configurations, and it is prevented from becoming a bottleneck in expanding the product mix or limiting sales creativity. PrintFactory consolidates traditional production islands into a single platform where all jobs are entered and feedback is received.
“The files our partners upload consist of different colours. These files must be converted to a print file so that the printer reads the correct colours. The software from PrintFactory does this for us. The nice thing is that this is also done centrally, so we can manage it a lot better.”
Behind the scenes, PrintFactory software uses an algorithm that solves all of the problems caused by colour drift.
For the setup, we worked closely with the team to make sure a switch-over didn’t cause disruption. They went for our Automation Plan in a Software as a Service (SaaS) format, and we were onsite throughout to get their printers set up and calibrated, first time around. On-site staff training was a given, of course.
PrintFactory’s colour management toolkit and device-link profiling technology is now matching visuals and proofs – time after time after time. Our device-link engine is delivering the colour quality and consistency that Probo needed, across all their devices and substrates, and (as the EcoSave module is using less ink without compromising on colour fidelity) the bottom-line savings are business-wide. The team’s much happier too. Everyone in the business can use the software to get that accuracy.
“All in all, PrintFactory helps us with efficient file preparation and nesting. So we can work more carefully and quickly. And of course our partners benefit from this: it’s what we do it for”
Nesting in PrintFactory not only schedules and groups items into jobs based on their logistic destination and delivery window, but also automatically creates cutting marks, bleeds and all other steps. However, it remains flexible until the last moment, allowing production to cancel or modify orders, as well as switch printers or cutters.
When delivery time and logistics destination are taken into account, the amount of half finished product on the production floor decreases significantly, which makes the process simpler and more efficient for the operators.By keeping nests “open” until the last moment it allows items to be added at the last minute further increasing the nesting efficiency.