The nature of Schreiner Group’s work is very complex. They create high tech labels. Most of their presses are hybrids, utilizing different technologies such as digital, flexo, flatbed screen, rotary screen and offset.
The result is that Schreiner Group has to consider many jobs utilizing multiple printing technologies. Because of the sophistication of its work and the use of hybrid presses, they had to treat files as if they were created for different presses. As you might imagine, different presses require different output settings to print correctly. This could include different line rulings, traps, resolutions, ink settings, and many more variables. This required them to generate different job tickets for each file, or to produce two or three different files for one item, to ensure that the job would be processed correctly.
“We have a job that regularly prints in our plant that requires five different conventional press technologies and one digital press on the same job. We also do security work on a regular basis,” notes Markus Petratschek, Schreiner Group’s head of prepress. “It is much easier for our operators if they do not have to be concerned about output settings.”
“We have tested Esko CombiPress and are very enthusiastic about what it can do. With CombiPress, we are able to adjust the settings and automatically generate files for platemaking. Operators just set the job to ‘print’, and that is it. There is much less user interaction,” adds Stefan Kosak, Schreiner Group’s team leader, prepress. “Without this new technology, our prepress-operators would have to create a number of different workflows for our job files. We would have to activate and deactivate the workflows to handle different portions of each job.”
With CombiPress, the workflow knows which separation channels will require screen printing and which will be printed with flexo. It can create special marks for screen-printing and, for example, add distortion just for the flexo press. This has been done manually in the past, but the technology eliminates operator setups and, as such, prevents them from making errors. The automated workflow will always be set up the same, and will complete the job with logical precision.
“For those operators who process files for output, CombiPress will eliminate about 5 or 10 minutes of work for each job. However, for us, the amount of time saved is minimal compared to the elimination of the risk of mistakes on output,” explains Petratschek. “This is very important for us to ensure 100% quality every time – not by effort but by a stable process. If one plate is incorrect, we have to re-plate and start the entire job again. Occasionally, there are also outside costs we incur for special work. These could also be in jeopardy if the job is set up incorrectly. Now we can be comfortable that we will have a good quality assurance system in place.”
“The Schreiner Group creates very high tech labels, and CombiPress is very important for us going forward. It’s going to make a significant contribution for our company and, I will presume, many other printing plants throughout the world,” concludes Petratschek.
As print shops acknowledge the complexity of combi-press jobs, solutions like Esko’s CombiPress will be more commonplace. Workflow automation helps deliver “zero defect” workflows: certainly a welcome result for the industry.