After it introduced the concept at drupa 2016, Heidelberg is celebrating the 1000th global installation of its innovative workflow solution, Prinect Production Manager. Accounting for 20% of total sales, an increasing number of U.S. customers are upgrading to Production Manger to achieve end-to-end workflow automation and overall improved productivity.
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Prinect Production Manager is a volume-based subscription offering that ensures customers pay only for their actual usage of Prinect without the need to purchase individual licenses up front. The monthly usage fee covers the full portfolio of software modules as well as updates and upgrades. This means customers always have access to the most recent version and the latest functions, including hotline and remote support.
Over the last two years, more than 200 North American customers have signed up for Prinect Production Manager – with 30% of them switching from a competitive workflow solution. According to Salvatore Massaro, Vice President of Prinect Product Management in the US, “We are very proud of our success with Prinect in North America. With Production Manager’s comprehensive offerings, Heidelberg is transforming printers into Smart Print Shops through increased automation, reduced touchpoints and improved efficiency throughout their plants. We’re seeing success not only in the commercial space, but for packaging and label printers as well.”
Seeing the benefits of a fully automated system from start to finish, Alcom, of Harleysville, PA, and Integ, of Waco, TX, both made the transition to Prinect Production Manager from a competitive workflow solution.
For commercial printer Alcom, the decision to invest in Production Manager stemmed from wanting to fully leverage the automated Push-to-Stop capabilities of its new Speedmaster XL 106. With Production Manager, job files and presetting data are sent to the press directly, which the company views as the biggest efficiency benefit it has gained by changing its workflow. “Prinect has completely streamlined our workflow – moving much of the prepress functions upstream to account directors and planners. With Heidelberg’s help, we’re continuing to uncover additional ways to automate processes with Prinect’s tools and how we can integrate with other software as well,” said Alcom Chief Operating Officer Doug Yeager.
Needing to streamline processes across different locations, commercial printer Integ changed to Production Manager from three separate competitive workflows. Enabling job transparency between each location, Production Manager has greatly increased the speed and volume of work that Integ produces. The workflow has not only helped in connecting the company’s locations, but also works as a great link between its various production methods – from offset to web to digital. “Three years into running Production Manager, we are still learning new ways to utilize and configure capabilities to fit specific job needs. We have not had a challenge where Production Manager did not have a solution,” said Wes Jordan, Integ’s Prepress Manager.
Job Data Tracking for Packaging Printers
While Prinect may be viewed primarily as a solution for commercial printers, many US packaging printers are also seeing the advantages of Production Manager. Grafika of Sinking Spring, PA, and Old York Road Printing, of Warminster, PA, are reaping the benefits of Prinect’s production metrics to track jobs and improve efficiencies throughout their shops.
Grafika, who produces packaging and labels for the medical and retail industries, initially changed to Production Manager from a competitive workflow after installing a Speedmaster XL 106. With full automation from prepress to press, Grafika has been able to increase its overall capacity and profitability. “Prinect Production Manager not only better automates our processes, but it provides the transparency we need to analyze our workflow throughout the plant,” said Mike Hartman, Prepress Manager at Grafika.
Also exploiting the data available through Prinect Production Manager, Old York Road Printing, who produces consumer packaged goods, turns to its workflow for tracking job status and actual run length to ensure it is not short on particular jobs. “At a quick glance we can see what is being done on the press in real time. We can evaluate progress and efficiency,” said Bob Reheil, Prepress Manager at Old York Road. Old York Road also uses Prinect’s extended gamut feature, Multicolor, to reduce makereadies and increase its color matching ability, which allows the company to offer a low-cost option to customers seeking PMS colors.
A Robust MIS Solution as Well
In addition to the standard Prinect Production Manager subscription, customers also have the option of adding Heidelberg’s MIS, Prinect Business Manager, to its monthly investment. The MIS system integrates the entire business process, production, analytic and customer information into a smart print shop workflow. According to Dave Dunn, Printing Manager at Hobby Lobby’s inplant printing facility in Oklahoma City, “From estimate to job costing report, this is the best MIS solution we have found.”
With Business Manager, Hobby Lobby has everything from administration to production information recorded centrally and continuously. Processes are no longer controlled manually, and Hobby Lobby is able to reduce touchpoints while also using its time, machines, and material more efficiently with less waste.
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