Higher Level of Automation at 4Packaging
4Packaging has installed HYBRID Software PACKZ and CLOUDFLOW to assure seamless communication between the 4Packaging MIS/ERP and a fast, efficient means to engrave gravure cylinders for their customers. Starting as a family business back in 2000, 4Packaging is now a leading gravure and embossing tool manufacturer as well supplier of digital repro in Germany and South Africa for the packaging and gravure printing industry.
4Packaging’s production is fully controlled by a commercial and ERP/MIS production system (4POS) that its own IT team developed in-house to track production jobs, which total over 140 gravure cylinders and 4 embossing formes per day. However, 4Packaging also needed a world-class prepress production system to prepare artwork files and output them quickly for engraving whilst also being able to communicate seamlessly with its successful ERP/MIS system. It chose HYBRID Software’s PACKZ and CLOUDFLOW. One of the reasons 4Packaging chose PACKZ and CLOUDFLOW was because of the improved efficiency the products would deliver, and their powerful TIFF output capabilities for gravure were of particular interest to 4Packaging. Multi-threading and a state-of-the-art server really allow this power to be harnessed. Cylinder data can be created much more efficiently, and correction cycles are accelerated.
Switch to PDF
PACKZ, HYBRID Software’s PDF Editor, allows quick access to step and repeat tools with simultaneous work on forms, file launch and live file rendering. In fact, 4Packaging transformed their entire system to a PDF workflow. PACKZ and CLOUDFLOW, HYBRID’s workflow server, form a seamless, integrated integration and allow prepress operators to be involved in the complete job production process. By combining the use of the two products, 4Packaging has built an efficient solution for workflow automation and increased employee efficiency. For example, 4Packaging’s prepress operators no longer need to search for files, as the workflow intelligently supplies the file to them at just the right moment in the process.
In addition, the CLOUDFLOW PACKZFLOW option offers prepress features that are fully driven by job ticket information. PACKZFLOW effortlessly relocates a job’s order details from the MIS/ERP directly into production information, which also allows the system to prepare files before they are manually edited. David Möller explains: “We are always searching for new options to allow us to deliver market leading quality, which is why we made the switch to HYBRID Software. By using their workflow automation software CLOUDFLOW, we can achieve a higher level of automation in our processes and a lower error rate. What’s more, our highly-qualified operators can focus on the more complex steps of the orders. PACKZ allows us to prepare data we receive for the gravure printing process and to avoid errors caused by file conversions. From now on, we will only be working with common PDF files in which fonts and images are embedded automatically.”
“When you look at the way we have built CLOUDFLOW, a function and its API call have often been developed before its user interface,” reports Christopher Graf, HYBRID Software’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This makes the API very robust, as our developers are using it, from the first step.” That is why the API comes with such an extensive set of features. Thanks to the API, the 4Packaging IT team can develop new solutions to relieve the operators of some or all of their workload. In fact, after a few weeks of team training and coaching with HYBRID Software Solution Architects, the 4Packaging development team had already begun building a number of their own solutions.
Through this cooperation between 4Packaging and HYBRID Software engineers — and a powerful API — a fast, seamless, successful working prepress solution has been put into place that, along with the 4Packaging in-house MIS/ERP, is unlike any other.
This article was published in our special English publication “Gravure Global”.