Gent (Belgium), (October 15, 2008) – Rochester, NY-based Label World, a premier supplier of custom labels in the Northeast, is reporting greater productivity, and higher quality flexo printing due to its recent implementation of an EskoArtwork Software workflow solution and a Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI) 2530 flexo platemaker.
For more than 20 years, Label World has provided quality custom labels enhanced by value-added services, to meet their customers' product branding, identification, tracking and security needs. Their 50 employees work with a variety of flexo presses and one HP Indigo ws4050 digital press.
Until recently, Label World had utilized an analog, film based plate system, burning flexo plates-and working with prepress tools featuring Adobe Illustrator. "We were limited to a coarser line screen and larger minimum dot size on press," remembers John McDermott, Label World President and CEO. "We wanted to improve the quality of the color work we were able to produce, so we could go after higher value-added opportunities. We also wanted more consistency on color output. We had been using our Indigo digital press for quality hard proofs, but that was extremely inefficient, and wasted a lot of material. Most customers wound up using either a PDF or laser print with poor color accuracy."
Label World also sought to improve productivity in prepress. Film-based equipment was becoming harder to maintain over time. They were also looking to make the process of trapping, distortions, and other prepress actions easier and more productive to do.
"Clearly, the workflow at the front end had to align with both the flexo and digital business-all roll fed. Pitman helped 'spec out' a complete EskoArtwork system," explains McDermott. "EskoArtwork has a workflow well suited to label business and, in particular, roll fed. The EskoArtwork system is a proven solution that has all the features we needed in terms of productivity of prepress as well as the ability to connect to a CDI 2530 digital plate system. They also do a great job feeding work to our Indigo press." The software includes Equinox for color management, DeskPack plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator-for trapping, bar codes, preflighting, and step & repeat, and FlexRip and FlexProof/E to RIP files to proofers, the Indigo digital press and the platemaker. Label World also installed a CDI 2530 flexo plate imager.
Label World is most excited about the ability to consistently match color expectations between their Epson proof and the flexo press-as well as their Indigo press. By adding an Epson Stylus Pro 4880 inkjet printer along with EskoArtwork FlexRip and Equinox, proofs are much easier and faster to create with no sacrifice in color accuracy. They are also using Equinox to manage the differences between digital and flexo colors. Although they are not moving jobs very often between platforms, every job still has to provide accurate colors for consistent branding between printing projects.
With the new EskoArtwork system, Label World was able to upgrade to 150 lpi from 133 lpi work, as well as upgrading the anilox rollers and inks they used. They are doing more complex work four-color work-able to produce vignettes much better, and significantly better on highlights.
Label World has reduced the time for platemaking by more than 50%-from 2-2.5 hours per plate to less than 1 hour. This has led to an increase in productivity, because the presses don't have to wait for plates. In fact, in a pinch on press, they can remake a plate without having to drop a job from the schedule. They also like the ability to use the Grapholas front-end software package that drives the CDI. "Our graphic artists like to use the Grapholas bitmap viewer to proof our jobs before they're imaged on the CDI," adds McDermott.
"We have evidence that our objectives have been met. For example, a print buyer for a supermarket chain has been very impressed with the quality of the labels we're printing, now," comments McDermott. "There are vignettes and breaks in an image of the sky that we couldn't hold, before."
"Pitman has always provided us great support, and this project has been no exception. They were instrumental in helping with the transition from an analog to digital workflow. The combination of Pitman specifying our new system, along with EskoArtwork's product expertise has resulted in a very good team effort," concludes McDermott. "In my opinion, in the world of label converting, EskoArtwork is the industry standard."
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