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Success for HIFLEX users in this year's CIP4 Innovation Awards

Press release from the issuing company

The CIP4 Organization has been presenting annual innovation awards (CIPPI Awards) for over 5 years to companies in the international graphic arts industry. They honor innovative solutions in the fields of networking and process automation. With two first prizes and one second prize in this prestigious competition, HIFLEX users have once again received considerable recognition for their accomplishments in automation and integration.

Three HIFLEX customers submitted entries in the various categories for this year's innovation awards. German printer C. Maurer and the Canadian company Ampersand Printing impressed judges with superior work processes, taking first place in their respective categories. Sirivatana, Thailand's largest print company, was awarded a second place trophy. "These renewed successes in the CIPPI Awards are proof of how incredibly successful and efficient HIFLEX users are with their implemented workflow solutions," says Stefan Reichhart, managing director of HIFLEX GmbH. "Our primary objectives are customer benefit and customer satisfaction, which is why we work so closely with the leading print industry manufacturers in the field of JDF networking. HIFLEX customers profit from our innovation-driven approach, always staying a step ahead of their competition and easily handling whatever is demanded of them."

C. Maurer, Geislingen (Germany)
"Biggest improvement in efficiency and customer responsiveness as a result of process automation" (Winner)
German printers C. Maurer earned first place in the category "Biggest improvement in efficiency and customer responsiveness as a result of process automation". The jury decision was clinched as a result of the unique JDF workflow that C. Maurer implemented together with the media service provider Star Publishing, who is responsible for the realization of all printed products created for a premium automobile manufacturer. C. Maurer creates the owner's manuals for the automobile manufacturer as directed by Star Publishing. The completed vehicles cannot be delivered to the final customer without an owner's manual, so C. Maurer plays an important role in the manufacturer's supply chain management.

The workflow system "Sprint" used by Star Publishing receives the print data from the automobile manufacturer and communicates it to C. Maurer via JDF, including all of the relevant order parameters. C. Maurer imports the data into the HIFLEX MIS, which transfers it to the Heidelberg pre-press systems for processing. In this way, it is guaranteed that all data is passed flawlessly along the entire chain, from the manufacturer via Star Publishing to the print department at C. Maurer. The implementation of the JDF workflow has enabled C. Maurer to accelerate its order processing by approximately 20%.

"The automobile branch is generally considered to be the industry with the highest levels of implemented process optimization," explains Carl Otto Maurer, managing director of the company which bears his name. "With the aid of the JDF standard, we have managed to achieve integration into those highly automated processes, becoming an important element in supply chain management."  

Ampersand Printing, Guelph/Ontario (Canada)
 "Best process automation implementation – North America" (Winner)
The Canadian company Ampersand Printing is one of its region's leading print providers and repeat winner of the CIP4 JDF innovation awards. After winning a second place trophy in 2007, Ampersand has now also collected a CIP4 CIPPI in the category "Best process automation implementation – North America" for its HIFLEX project.

With the realization of JDF/JMF integration between their new Mitsubishi printing press and the HIFLEX MIS, Ampersand has become completely JDF networked. Before the integration with the new printing press, the HIFLEX MIS had interfaced with their Kodak prepress system, which in turn possessed a link to a Polar cutter. With this new addition to the JDF workflow, Ampersand has attained an incredible level of process automation and an astounding ROI.
"The direct communication between our new Mitsubishi printing press and the HIFLEX MIS has facilitated a huge reduction to our makeready, allowing us to attain times of less than six minutes per job. You can see just how amazing that is by comparing it with our old system, where we traditionally took more than an hour to complete the same task," says Ampersand managing director Damian McDonald.

Sirivatana Interprint Public Company Limited, Bangkok (Thailand)
"Best cost/benefit realization as a result of process automation implementation"
(2nd place)
Sirivatana is one of the largest print companies in Southeast Asia, with more than 4,000 employees operating almost 200 presses and other machinery. Alongside the full range of typical offset products, their portfolio includes pop-up books, calendars, maps and folding boxes. The company has already received multiple "Asian Print Awards" and "Thai Print Awards" for their accomplishments in the industry.

In the past, Sirivatana worked with an unstructured workflow without an MIS. All order data had to be collected, analyzed, and communicated manually. Internally, however, management was fully aware that the implementation of an MIS, as well as a JDF workflow was imperative to raising the company's productivity. The sheer size of the company, alongside the previous absence of a modern EDP system, called for a fundamental restructuring of work processes. The whole workflow had to be redefined from scratch, and the employees had to learn to work not as individuals, but as members of an integrated team.
Once the new structure was in place, the HIFLEX MIS could be implemented and linked up to the prepress system from Kodak via JDF. Sirivatana has become the first print company in Thailand to have successfully introduced such an extensive JDF workflow.

Sirivatana has been able to increase its production efficiency by 15% and reduce its throughput times by more than 30%. These achievements have been honored with a second prize in the CIPPI Award category "Best cost/benefit realization as a result of process automation implementation".