USA • Denver-based Blair Labeling has invested in Esko Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels. According to the both companies, they were able to reduce its manual prepress workload by more than 30%, feeding its five flexo presses and new digital press.
Blair Labeling provides multi-coloured, prime, promotional and industrial pressure sensitive labels as well as decals, tamper evident constructions, thermals, patterns, tags, hangers and card products since 1986.
Within a week Esko installed the workflow, configured it to specific parameters, database queries and smartmarks Blair required and trained Marco De La Vega, CFO, Blair and his artist on how to operate the pre-configured workflows. “The integration was seamless,” remembers De La Vega. “It was all installed and in full production within a week.”
Blair has been working with Automation Engine QuickStart for about three months. “One of the primary problems we had was managing products. I particularly love that now I can search our product database and use it as reference. I can easily search for a product, based on a key word on the label. We can find the job ticket of the last time we ran a job, which shows us if there were any changes — the most up-to-date version of the product.”
On average, Blair processes about 20-25 individual jobs per day — and each job has 3-4 pieces of artwork on it. Since they added their digital press —around the same time they installed their Esko workflow — the number of jobs has not increased: they have just moved more accounts over to digital to help accommodate the demand on the flexo presses. “The number of copies has increased per job. Per die size, we run anywhere between 20-35 pieces of artwork on digital,” considers De La Vega. ”However, overall we anticipate 6% growth over last year, while platemaking has decreased 10% because of our digital press. As a result, we expect to grow while also realizing cost savings. We select multiple pieces of artwork and the system steps them out.”
“Automation has helped us become very productive—and it has been easy to do. And, as we grow familiar with Automation Engine QuickStart, we continue to grow and implement new capabilities,” concludes De La Vega.