Where color is the key to vision, Caldera is the key to Visix. “We are full service company and Caldera helps us make our customers happy,” explains William Lambrecht, the person responsible for pre-press functions across this varied and vivid textile business. He now oversees the high-quality production of a variety of non-fashion textiles, from flags and banners to art media, ensuring that those happy clients return time after time.
Guaranteeing their repeat business is secured by guaranteeing repeat color, which Lambrecht has been able to do since Visix installed the Caldera suite in 2012. Many years before, around 1996, this Belgian company became one of the first in its region, and indeed across Europe, to convert to digitally printed textiles, banking on its original hand-stitched flag products and expanding from there into banners and, later, exhibition graphics. Visix prides itself on being a one-stop company, so produces everything – right down to aluminum flagpoles and display systems – in house. Whether it’s a banner, a tent or a chair, or a full makeover of a store or office, Visix now finds itself at the visual heart of many of its customers’ operations.
Two d.gen Teleios Grande G5 printers and one EFI Vutek QS3200 process a range of materials to fulfill those requirements, including lightbox media, canvas, mesh and flag, with all finishing occurring in-house on an Esko Kongsberg 3.2m cutter. Visix chose GrandRIP+ to drive these operations four years ago when competing RIPs failed to guarantee colors. “We chose Caldera because it provides us with a solution that is always up to date,” says Lambrecht. “New drivers are available often within days and we are confident that we will hit colors consistently, whether they’re reprints or a rush job. We’ve saved significant time and money compared with before, when multiple RIPs meant everything was hit or miss.”
However, the real benefit has come from two other elements. At Visix, Caldera’s EasyMedia works in tune with Barbieri’s TotalColor color measurement technology to provide excellent color management throughout the printing process, reducing reprints and errors significantly throughout a complex workflow. The Caldera RIP also interoperates with Esko’s Automation Engine to create a completely automated system – one that provides previews to the customer before the file is taken into Esko for assignment to a substrate and a printer. Once it’s arrived in a hotfolder, Caldera picks it up and manages it seamlessly through the production floor, interacting with Esko cut files and XML, and providing printed reports about process efficiency. It plays perfectly with Visix’s custom-built ERP, too, giving the company the benefit of a system it has specified and knows to work.
From the customer’s point of view, Visix offers its services online via three web-to-print portals. Caldera operates perfectly with all of them, enabling the company to sell its superb color quality through multiple endpoints. Visix has also been impressed with Caldera’s dedication to upgrading its software every two years, and is excited about V11, which is due to be released imminently.
“Over the last four years we have really reaped the benefits of Caldera,” concludes Lambrecht. “Having a single RIP driving our operation and interacting without problems with our workflow means that we’ve cut costs across the board. Caldera’s partner strategy means that new drivers and modules are in continuous development, so we are certain we’ve got a software backbone that is ready for whatever is thrown at us on a given day. Our color reproduction even keeps getting better and the interface makes it accessible for new staff. We would happily recommend Caldera to anyone that wants a fast, stable and reliable print environment.”