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Case Studies
Case 6 (Harata Printing Co., Ltd.)
Case 6 (Harata Printing Co., Ltd.)

Keeping the focus on offset print business, Harata Printing is aggressively promoting and steadily expanding its digital print business. How can they manage to be successful in process improvements and establishing an optimized workflow using CTP Workflow RIP Apogee? and what is the outcome of these undertakings?Keeping the focus on offset print business, Harata Printing is aggressively promoting and steadily expanding its digital print business. How can they manage to be successful in process improvements and establishing an optimized workflow using CTP Workflow RIP Apogee? and what is the outcome of these undertakings?

Introduction and benefits of bizhub PRESS

Hiroki Sakamoto,Gen.Manager,Service(Left)  Naoto Okamoto,Manager,Service & Head of POD Sec.(Right)

Hiroki Sakamoto,Gen. Manager,Service(Left)
Naoto Okamoto,Manager,Service
& Head of POD Sec.(Right)

The main business of our company is offset printing and we use digital presses for short run, quick turnaround color jobs as well as for B&W jobs. We have two digital color presses, bizhub PRESS C7000 and C6000. We started in-house printing jobs on bizhub PRESS C7000 that used to be outsourced. C6000 is mainly used for design proofs and color checks. bizhub PRESS provides prints with less glossiness and its color is close to that of offset inks and this is an advantage for an offset printer like us in terms of practical usage.We have two B&W digital presses, bizhub PRO 951 and bizhub PRESS 1250. We often had to outsource B&W jobs after our light-duty offset press broke down, but now, with 1250, we can perform printing ourselves.

Integration of offset and digital using Apogee for automated workflow

Before workflow improvement

Our digital press team planned to use the imposition software (Brand-A) originally employed for offset printing in combination with CTP Workflow RIP (Brand-B), but we found that the system was not so easy to utilize unless the team has sufficient knowledge of CTP. To cope with this problem, the team adopted a process where pages are first imposed using InDesign and then exported to PDF. After being opened and checked, this PDF is sent to bizhub PRESS C7000 for output via printer driver. This meant that the operator needed to manually perform imposition, checks and print operation of a vast volume of pages, resulting in increased work time and a greater risk of human error, and often made it necessary to go back to previous processes.

Before Improvement

After workflow improvement

Our digital press team planned to use the imposition software (Brand-A) originally employed for offset printing in combination with CTP Workflow RIP (Brand-B), but we found that the system was not so easy to utilize unless the team has sufficient knowledge of CTP. To cope with this problem, the team adopted a process where pages are first imposed using InDesign and then exported to PDF. After being opened and checked, this PDF is sent to bizhub PRESS C7000 for output via printer driver. This meant that the operator needed to manually perform imposition, checks and print operation of a vast volume of pages, resulting in increased work time and a greater risk of human error, and often made it necessary to go back to previous processes.

After Improvement

Doubled the productivity and revenue

Integration of offset printing and digital workflow using Apogee almost doubled the productivity on bizhub PRESS. With two presses operating at full capacity, jobs are seamlessly processed in parallel to imposition work, enabling us to take on all jobs including those that we rejected in the past due to overflow. The result is increased operation rate and fewer human errors, leading to a steady increase in sales. Apogee is also capable of“ profile” setting, which provides us with the considerable advantage of consistent color reproduction whether output directly or via pdf. Because more time is available due to resolution of issues concerning color reproduction and imposition work, we can spend more time on machine maintenance and front-to-rear registration checks, leading to less print waste. Customers often request that we use the same paper for digital printing as that used for offset, and this means that we have to set a different paper and size each time. It is, therefore, extremely important for us to have a workflow that can manage front-to-rear registration issues with ease.

For further evolution

We plan to increase the number of jobs output from Apogee and printed on bizhub PRESS. As well as handling increased volumes of offset printing, we plan to take on preceding and variable printing. Finally, we have two requests for Konica Minolta. The first is compatibility with the B&W press. We can configure a more efficient workflow if the B&W press can directly output files received from Apogee. The second is the capability to hold jobs on bizhub PRESS after sending an output order from Apogee. As we said, we need to change the paper for each job, and we want to be able to check front-to-rear registration and colors before we start print production. We believe further improvements in both workflow and productivity would be possible if these two requests are satisfied. We look forward to Konica Minolta’s efforts in this direction.

Digital Press/DTP Section

Digital Press/DTP Section

Racks for Paper Stocks

Racks for Paper Stocks

Harata Printing Co., Ltd.

Head Office
1-7-43 Nagaenishi, Kita-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka 5310061, Japan
Establishment
July, 1958
Employees
63
Business Lines
 
 
Elegant "Super Vision Printing"/Brilliant "HiFi Color Printing"
DTP, information processing, general printing(pamphlet/corporate brochure/catalog/
in-house magazine/poster/news paper/manual), CD-ROM, HP design/creation, etc.
URL
http://www.hrt.co.jp/

*Apogee is CTP workflow RIP developed and sold by Agfa.

Suzuno Harata/CEO

Suzuno Harata/CEO

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