French print house Imprimerie Périé has cut outsourced production costs after investing in the KODAK FLEXCEL NX System. The technology will slot into a hybrid production environment and enable the company to increase profit margins, as top-quality offset and flexo plates can now be produced in-house. Imprimerie Périé has also invested in the KODAK PRINERGY POWERPACK Workflow and KODAK MATCHPRINT Virtual Technology.
Lacaune-based Imprimerie Périé turns over around 917,000 euros, with its team of eight and produces sales documents, publications and flat-bed labels for cooked-meat products. In 2000, the company invested in a web-fed flexo press and began producing adhesive labels to meet the demand from the local salt meat market. In December 2011, Imprimerie Périé invested in a FLEXCEL NX System to meet the needs of its hybrid flexo-offset production environment.
Slotting into a hybrid production environment
Anne Fabrès, Head of Prepress, explains the decision to invest in the FLEXCEL NX System: “We wanted to stop outsourcing plate production so we could increase margins. After carefully exploring our options, we went for the FLEXCEL NX System because it enables us to make both offset and flexo plates, and is very well suited to our infrastructure.”
Quality, speed and consistency
The FLEXCEL NX System enables label manufacturers to produce quality and consistency that’s on a par with gravure, offset and digital printing. It achieves this thanks to Kodak's unique flat-top dot structure and the ability to use line counts in excess of 200lpi over a wide range of paper and film, with a level of image detail, contrast and depth that results in outstanding visual appearance.
The FLEXCEL NX System’s high resolution will be used to include microtext on the labels with enhanced readability: “Jobs run much faster,” continues Fabrès. “The reproduction is so fine that we no longer need to be so meticulous when preparing the files – we know the rendering is much better, and there’ll be no nasty surprises.
“We’re seeing far fewer defects too. Also, the files can be used from the outset, so we no longer have to worry about reworking them.”
“Finally, raw material wastage has been cut substantially. We’ve improved our output and are making considerable time and costs savings. In terms of quality and efficiency, we’ve certainly stepped up a gear.”
Imprimerie Périé is also using the KODAK PRINERGY POWERPACK Workflow System and its packaging layout automation software, which automates the laborious task of laying out objects by reducing the number of manual steps and human error.
“This workflow saves us valuable time,” explains Fabrès. “It enables us to retain impositions, and reruns are immediate. For example, we manufacture small flat boxes that are nested together. It takes a lot of time and close attention to impose them by hand – but with the PRINERGY POWERPACK System, imposition is completed in two minutes! Plus it checks and certifies the PDF files, which again saves us a considerable amount of time.”
Imprimerie Périé has also implemented MATCHPRINT Virtual Technology. Once the presses have been calibrated, the company can deliver FOGRA-certified proofs and, most importantly, print simulations of the flexo press.
“In flexo there’s always dot gain to a lesser or greater extent, depending on the type of paper used – it’s very difficult to achieve the FOGRA standard,” adds Fabrès. “Therefore we’ve generated profiles so that we can produce digital colour printing that resembles flexo printing as closely as possible. Colour is difficult to control in flexo – for example, it’s not uncommon to be faced with unpleasant surprises like plastic substrates that exhibit massive dot gain. As a result, the printed colour is a great deal denser than that of the file fed into the press. MATCHPRINT Virtual Technology solves this problem – it helps us to produce digital print runs that match flexo printing.”
Kodak delivers on its promises
Fabrès has been impressed with the impact of KODAK Technology: “The KODAK Systems are delivering exactly what was promised. We’re in a stronger position, and can respond faster to customer orders – in terms of efficiency and quality, we’re definitely seeing a tangible return on our investment.”
“Many companies are facing the same commercial pressures as Imprimerie Périé and that is to enhance service, quality and accuracy while reducing costs,” concludes Meike De Vos, Category Manager Flexographic Solutions & Proofing at Kodak EAMER. “This combination of KODAK Solutions has enabled the business to introduce key improvements that have already made a significant operation-wide impact. More importantly, the changes will continue to add value as Imprimerie Périé communicates its expanded market-leading performance capabilities to new and existing customers keen to elevate their product portfolio.”