Belgian print house Offset Vandevelde is enjoying huge time savings after automating its prepress operations using the Kodak Prinergy PowerPack Workflow and InSite Prepress Portal System.
The Kruishoutem-based company employs 19 people, with production taking place over two shifts. Kurt Vandevelde, joint owner of the family-run business, is responsible for prepress. "Time is crucial in a print environment," he explained, "so receiving and processing the files, running proofs, and platesetting need to be as efficient as possible. This is something we've certainly achieved with Kodak Unified Workflow Solutions. The extensive automation means many of the more laborious tasks are taken care of, and has freed up our staff to work in other areas of the business and add value."
Servicing a fast-growing packaging market
Offset Vandevelde has a varied order book with approximately half of the jobs comprised of commercial printing, such as flyers, brochures and posters, while the other half involves packaging. Printing is run on four sheet-fed offset presses, all in 70 x 100 cm format, ranging from an eight-color press (4/4) to two five-color presses with varnish and a six-color press with varnish.
There is a clear trend emerging with the company's orders. "The commercial printing is decreasing and is being replaced by digital printing," explained Vandevelde. "Our share of the packaging market is growing substantially."
At the start of 2011, Offset Vandevelde acquired KVA Packaging, a company specializing in luxury packaging that was already printing much of its output in Kruishoutem. "The acquisition means we can now offer end-to-end packaging production," adds Vandevelde.
Switching to Kodak
Offset Vandevelde's previous workflow failed to deliver the performance the company required. "We needed a faster workflow that could connect seamlessly to our Management Information System (MIS)," says Vandevelde. "We also had concerns over its reliability, which is not what you need with a growing order book. Essentially, we needed a high-performance system that would allow us to grow."
After seeing a demonstration of what the Prinergy PowerPack Workflow could do, Vandevelde knew it was the solution the company was looking for. "We wanted to really test the Kodak solution, so we brought with us some problematic files, but they caused no issues at all. We looked at some alternative solutions, but they didn't match Kodak's performance," said Vandevelde.
Immediate time savings
The implementation of the Prinergy PowerPack Workflow and InSite Prepress Portal System went without a hitch. "The time savings in the prepress department for commercial printing were immediately noticeable," said Vandevelde. "It now takes around 30 percent of the time I used to spend on it, and even greater time savings will be achieved for packaging orders."
A substantial proportion of the time savings achieved with the Kodak Prinergy PowerPack Workflow is due to the Kodak Prinergy Rules-Based Automation (RBA) Software and the Packaging Layout Automation (PLA) feature. "RBA lets you automate all kinds of frequently repeated operations during the prepress stage by using 'hot folders,' without the need to click or activate them separately. Simple tasks, like automatically checking or backing up a file, no longer take up time and resources," said Vandevelde.