As early adopters of digital print, in 2006 Bakers were one of the first companies in the UK to install HP Indigo print technology. Since then the company has made continual investment in digital print capabilities, culminating in their current configuration of three HP Indigo WS6900s, an HP Indigo 20000 and two Screen Truepress L350UV +LM inkjet presses. This gives Baker Labels a comprehensive digital print solution for anything their customers may require. (For conventional printing, Baker has a Nilpeter FB3 flexographic press.)
Since moving production to a new facility in Brentwood in 2011, Baker Labels has seen a rapid expansion, including the addition of their flexible packaging division BakPac in early 2020. The growth created a need for additional processing power at the front end of their operation and was the driving force behind looking at Hybrid as a possible alternative system to help alleviate potential production bottlenecks.
Baker Labels’ Technical Manager Jamie Godson has worked closely with the team at Hybrid to develop a package that works best Bakers. “My initial impression of Hybrid was that they were agile, innovative and were the type of company that would work as a partner rather than just another supplier. The decision to invest in the Hybrid Software system was not taken lightly but it was concluded that this was the front end system that would not only help cement our position as one of the top label printers within the UK but also help drive the mantra of “continuous improvement” for the foreseeable future. Due to our trade nature we have to be able to work with every type of artwork imaginable. Not only do we need the capability of processing the different files, we have to be able to do it fast, very fast. Initially the Hybrid software was brought in to increase our processing speed, obviously after that we opened up the full potential of what the Hybrid products could offer so we developed & continue to develop them exponentially," Godson says.
Bakers entered the project having substantial experience of another system that had been used for the previous 8 years. The Baker team felt however more power was needed as they saw supplied artwork becoming more and more complicated and an ever- increasing average number of SKUs per job year on year.
Currently the Hybrid Software products Packz, Proofscope and Cloudflow are installed within the 7-strong Baker Label’s pre-press studio but plans are to have seats established on the shop floor both in labels production and flexible packaging production.
Receiving artwork from all over the UK print industry, Bakers identified that more and more Packz files were being supplied. Although already fully up to speed with the latest Adobe suite offerings Bakers acknowledged the advantage that a high-end PDF editor would give and have regularly seen instances where Packz has saved large amounts of time in file preparation.
Over the last 18 months a positive, learning relationship has developed between the two companies. “Hyrbid Software are very pleased to be part of the continual improvement of automation at Baker Labels. The close relationship we have developed between the two companies has seen them create processes that have successfully driven efficiency increases and cost savings using our technologies," says Greg Heather, sales manager UK at Hybrid Software
On the collaboration between Bakers and Hybrid, Baker Labels’ commercial manager Jamie Doogan adds, “The fit between the two companies was right. There are a lot of similarities in our ethics and vision. We needed a partner that was going to understand our business and how we were developing as a company and could ensure we had a system that was future proofed. By working closely together I feel we have achieved this.”