Over the last 18 months Brentwood based label manufacturer Baker Labels, the UK leading trade label printer has transitioned its pre-press Studio department to use HYBRID’s Software system, including the products Packz, Proofscope and Cloudflow.
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 they have the addition of a Nilpeter FB3 flexographic press.]
Specializing in high quality, quick turnaround production, Bakers has grown to be the number one trade label supplier in the country and are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency and maximize the service they can offer their customers.
Since moving production to a state-of-the art 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.”
Bakers entered the project having substantial experience of another automotive system that had been used for the previous 8 years. They felt however more power was needed as they saw supplied artworks 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. “HYBRID 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.” 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.”
Although Baker Labels currently utilise a lot of what is on offer from HYBRID’s technology they are aware that there is still more that they are yet to achieve. The team at Bakers will continue to push the boundaries of what can be accomplished [with the technology] and HYBRID in turn will continue to develop their software to ensure their products are industry leading. It’s a strong collaboration that ties in well with Baker Labels’ ethos and drive to remain the UK’s no1 trade print supplier.
“Successful integration of HYBRID has not only improved speed to press, it has given us another platform which enables us to cover as many bases as possible regarding the files that we receive from our customers. There are many efficiency improvements that we have made, from using HYBRID’s VDP solution to simple rules that have been applied to update multiple files in the quickest time possible. I won’t give away all of our secrets but the software, coupled with the support that HYBRID has given, have had a major impact in improving our daily working practices. As technical manager, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with the HYBRID products is an unfinishable project that will always sit in the top three of my to do list.” Jamie Godson, Technical Manager.