Drukkerij Wihabo is a printing business based in Geffen (Noord-Brabant, the Netherlands). Everyone is made to feel instantly welcome at this genuine family business, an open and friendly organization where the management can be found on the work floor among the employees. Every day, numerous customers visit this bustling printing business. It is precisely for this reason that efficiency is Wihabo’s topmost priority. Wihabo aims to “print everything that can be printed” and “automate as many processes as possible”.
Wihabo uses three HP Indigo digital printing presses for its digital printing, of which the HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press is the biggest. It was taken into commission in June 2015. “We aim to become the most comprehensive and efficient digital printing business in the country,” proclaims Sander van Abeelen, IT specialist at Wihabo. Van Abeelen is responsible for the implementation of the Enfocus solutions. He recently coordinated the implementation of the HP Indigo EPM Preflight Solution, an integrated solution to streamline the workflow and bring the digital production process to an even higher level in terms of automation.
An integrated workflow
Wihabo makes use of the Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), a technology that was specifically developed by HP Indigo to enhance the productivity of its digital presses. EPM allows jobs to be printed by only using cyan, magenta and yellow ink. Black ink isn’t used. Reducing the color inks to three significantly increases the production process, which also translates into substantial savings on the cost of ink.
However, determining which jobs are suitable for EPM printing and which are not remains one of the biggest challenges in this process. In some cases, printing without black will not produce a successful result. Until today, this could only be assessed by performing a sample print run, with one copy of a particular job printed in EPM and another printed in CMYK. This was subsequently assessed by the human eye. To facilitate this process, HP Indigo and Enfocus joined forces to develop the HP Indigo EPM Preflight Solution, composed of the Enfocus Switch, the Enfocus PitStop Server and the HP Indigo EPM Kit. The implementation of the HP Indigo EPM Preflight Solution at Wihabo resulted in a maximum productivity gain. Wihabo was instantly convinced of its advantages.
The workflow is now divided into the following steps: PitStop Server automatically preflights the PDFs based on the parameters, entered by Wihabo in Switch, and decides which PDFs can or cannot be printed in EPM. Switch will then automatically route the PDFs to either an EPM or CMYK hot folder. The PDFs are then transferred from the hot folders to the HP SmartStream Production Center, which ensures that the HP Indigo digital presses print the various jobs in the correct print mode (EPM or non-EPM). “All the Indigo operator needs to do is put the paper in the stacker and press a button,” continues IT specialist Sander van Abeelen.
Processing personalized orders without manual intervention
The HP Indigo EPM Preflight Solution’s abilities are shown off to its full potential when processing jobs that we receive from our customer’s web portal called Tintelingen. A webshop where businesses can order personalized Christmas gifts. These are printed in EPM, and thanks to the automated workflow the production process has become much more efficient. Van Abeelen explains: “Every job is personalized; customers can upload their logo online and select the design and product type . We are then sent the PDFs and unique customer codes.
Previously, these had to be manually matched, which took a lot of time and could lead to errors. Now, thanks to Switch, the files are automatically put through the workflow and flawlessly linked to the data files.” Another outstanding example of how Wihabo makes optimum use of the HP Indigo EPM Preflight Solution is illustrated by the personalized chocolate wrappers for Tony’s Chocolonely. Consumers can order a chocolate bar from the Tony’s Chocolonely webshop and have their own (or someone else’s) name printed on the wrapper.
Through this process Wihabo receives hundreds of orders daily, which are processed fully automatically thanks to Switch. Van Abeelen: “The system requires no human intervention whatsoever to decide whether the order should be printed in EPM or not. That saves a great deal of time when processing smaller, personalized orders. Switch has proved an excellent solution for orders like these.”