Signage Case Study
Signtech has been the leading visual communications company in the Channel Islands for more than 20 years.
The team prints on all kinds of material – such as PVC, acrylic, glass, tiles, laptops, wood, aluminium and fabrics – to create wide format signage, vehicle wraps, road-marking collateral and more.
Their kit includes three wide-format printers – a HP Latex 570, a Mutoh ValueJet 1638X and a swissQprint Impala 2.
The firm’s situation wasn’t made any easier by their setup. Some colour drift is inevitable over time, but Signtech uses flatbed and roll-to-roll printers with UV, eco-solvent and latex inks, and it prints on a vast range of media. What was on screen, wasn’t matching the output.
“Print colour should match a proof every time, whether jobs are produced minutes or years apart. How hard can it be?!”
Every job’s colour profile was finalised correctly, and the print met buyer’s standards for the first run, but – when the same job was done the second time around, later in the year – the team couldn’t get colours to match. And that meant time-consuming changes and bottlenecks on the shop floor. To make things worse, the existing colour management software was something of a headache. Only a few people in the business could make it work and this was having an impact on morale.
Staff were frustrated with production stopping and, at the same time, the overtime bills were going up. Skilled staff committed to doing colour corrections was one drain on resources, with the knock-on effect of production teams hanging around, waiting for problems to be solved. Colour matching takes time, wastes ink, and uses unnecessary amounts of media. It’s hard to bill the client for that.
WHAT DID PRINTFACTORY DELIVER?
With PrintFactory software running, colour matching is now guaranteed and easy enough for anyone to do. The costly bottlenecks are no more. This new workflow is boosting Signtech’s production by 25%, and team morale is up-up-up!
A 25% BOOST IN PRODUCTIVITY WITH CONSISTENT COLOUR AND LOWER COST
HOW DID WE DO IT?
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 Production 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 Signtech 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.
Because they can create profiles in under 10 minutes, the team can take real ownership of the colour management process. And, as the device-link profiles are frozen into what’s known as a ‘golden state’, they can also re-calibrate any printers being affected by colour drift in just a couple of clicks – essential for jobs that are printed weeks or months apart.
These improvements have boosted the team’s confidence no end. It’s something that Sean Guegan, Managing Director at Signtech, believes is reflected in the quality of the company’s work:
“It’s always a leap of faith to onboard new software, but deploying PrintFactory has been the right move for us – without question.”
WHAT IS COLOUR DRIFT?
Colour drift is a change in the colour you’re printing, due to things beyond your control. Things like humidity, equipment wear-and-tear, and stock or substrate changes.
Sean Guegan, Signtech:
“The difference between PrintFactory and our previous workflow solutions is night and day. Before, our staff were putting in loads of overtime nearly every day to achieve the right colour. Now, the overtime bill has been reduced, our staff are much more confident, and the quality of our output is unmatched. PrintFactory speeded up our whole workflow, streamlined it, and created much more productivity from the same amount of input. It’s taken Signtech to another level. Customers are coming to us for quality that our competitors just can’t beat. Everything PrintFactory promised has been achieved and the PrintFactory backed the installation up with helpful, efficient support. Simply put, we can’t do without it.”
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