Reprographic Systems NI has set itself two ambitious business objectives following its investment in a raft of EskoArtwork solutions. The Lurgan-based company believes its innovative new equipment will enable it to expand sales into the UK market and increase turnover by more than four times to £3m in the next five years.
Reprographic Systems NI has installed the Digital Flexo Suite, a Kongsberg XL cutting table and a CDI Spark 5080 with HD Flexo screening technology. Combining the solutions will enable the Northern Irish company to expand its product portfolio via an array of creative operational benefits and deliver significant time, cost and waste savings. Some of Reprographic Systems NI’s customers are already benefiting from the investment, enjoying savings of between 30% and 50%.
Paul Vaughan, Director at Reprographic Systems, wants to help UK operations take advantage of the lean working practices now possible: “With our enhanced capacity and high-quality production capabilities, we’re well placed to offer our services in the UK.”
Customer feedback informs purchasing decisions
Established in 2001 as a plate provider mainly to the corrugated packaging market, Reprographic Systems NI now employs 11 people and counts among its client base leading Irish packaging specialists, such as Saica Packaging and Diamond Packaging, as well as Label One and JH Labels Solutions. The company has grown seven-fold since 2002, and Vaughan is keen to see this momentum continue with attention turning increasingly to the label sector.
The addition of Digital Flexo Suite was made partly with this in mind. Explains Vaughan: “Our key customers were involved at every stage of the investment. By working closely together, we identified the investments that would help safeguard their future. We’re using the Digital Flexo Suite for both corrugated and labels now.”
Digital Flexo Suite proves indispensable
Since its installation, Digital Flexo Suite is already a crucial part of Reprographic Systems NI’s operation: “I’d go as far as to say if the software packed up we’d switch the lights out until it got going again. It’s invaluable – a fantastic piece of software.”
Vaughan was particularly impressed with the job planning elements of Digital Flexo Suite: “It deskills a significant amount of the process, and reduces the potential for errors in corrugated mounting. What the software has given us is peace of mind – we’re now very confident that we have the best system for corrugated mounting which is accurate and reliable every time.”
Digital Flexo Suite is also playing a crucial role in maintaining Reprographics Systems NI’s competitive edge. “The market is under a lot of price pressure at the moment and this enables us to bid alongside our UK counterparts. The software lets us offer great quality assurances, helping us to win business and safeguard our long-standing working relationships.”
Kongsberg XL table and CDI Spark 5080 deliver time and waste savings
Also the Kongsberg XL made a big impact at Reprographic Systems NI as it enabled the company to reduce waste and increase productivity. Equipped with backscore feature, the table cuts and creases materials from both sides in perfect registration. Other benefits include automatic tool bar code identification, which speeds up tool insert changeovers and prevents user error. The job memory set-up saves significant time between jobs, while a tool head laser pointer and camera ensures fast and accurate registration.
Vaughan adds: “This is my favourite tool and I'm very impressed with it. The quality of the product coming off the table is fantastic. And there is no contamination of one job to another as each patch is labelled by the software and cut precisely by the table. It’s a vast improvement from a lean manufacturing point of view.” Previously all the work was being cut by hand, which could result in expensive errors. Improvement in health and safety was also important. “There are no sharp edges on the factory floor now therefore there is a reduction in potential harm to our operators in manual handling. We’ve also started sampling label shapes and profiles as well as sample corrugated packaging on it, so it is helping us diversify as well,” he concludes.
The CDI Spark 5080 with HD Flexo technology – which combines 4000dpi optics with unique screening technology – replaces an older EskoArtwork imager to help match the production pace set by the Kongsberg XL Table. “The CDI Spark 5080 has dramatically reduced the time needed to manufacture a sheet ” says Vaughan. “We’re also starting to use HD Flexo and can see how it will help us grow the labelling business. The benefits in process images have to be seen to be believed.”
EskoArtwork solutions help customers trim costs
Although the full capabilities of the EskoArtwork solutions have yet to be maximized, Vaughan is keen to see how these will help to achieve his business plans. “For some customers, the installation of these solutions, will enable us to make crucial savings by helping them to run leaner. For example, we’ve helped cut one client’s monthly polymer bill significantly through waste reduction and improved planning," he concludes. "We have grown rapidly over the past few years but without the systems from EskoArtwork, we would not have been able to continue to match that pace. Our aim is to deliver the highest quality product in the market at the lowest price – we believe we can achieve this with EskoArtwork solutions that are now in place!"
About Reprographic Systems NI (www.reprographicsystems.com)
Reprographic Systems NI is a growing business, offering flexographic plates and full studio facilities to printers and packaging companies in Ireland. It was established in 2001. The parent company was originally formed in Dublin in 1969. It offers comprehensive graphic design facilities to businesses and has CDI and analogue imaging technologies to ensure the flexographic plates it supplies are suitable for a range of printing applications.
About EskoArtwork (www.esko.com)
EskoArtwork is a global supplier and integrator of innovative solutions for packaging, commercial printing, sign and display finishing and professional publishing. Its products and services help customers raise productivity, reduce time-to-market, lower costs and expand business.
EskoArtwork is the worldwide market leader with pre-production and collaboration software for packaging buyers, designers and manufacturers. The CDI flexo computer-to-plate imagers, Kongsberg short-run converting and signage finishing systems complete the portfolio for the packaging, label, signage and display industries.
The company also provides a range of workflow solutions for the commercial printing and publishing market, as well as the Enfocus suite of PDF tools for graphic designers and print production professionals.
EskoArtwork employs around 950 people worldwide. Its global sales and support organization covers Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific and is completed by a network of distribution partners in more than 40 countries.
EskoArtwork is headquartered in Gent, Belgium, and has R&D and manufacturing facilities in five European countries, the United States, China and India. The consolidated full year financials ended for 2009 with revenue of EUR 145 million and an EBITDA of EUR 23 million.
For more information, visit www.esko.com