Over the last 18 months, UK-based converter Baker Labels has transitioned its pre-press department to use Hybrid Software package, including Packz, Proofscope and Cloudflow to increase processing capacity at the front end of its operation.
As an early adopter of digital print, Baker Labels were one of the first companies in the UK to install HP Indigo print technology in 2006. Since then the company has made further investments in digital print capabilities by adding three HP Indigo WS6900, an HP Indigo 20000 and two Screen Truepress L350UV +LM inkjet presses. The converter also operates a Nilpeter FB3 for conventional printing.
Since moving production to a new facility in Brentwood in 2011, Baker Labels has seen a rapid expansion, including the addition of its flexible packaging division BakPac in early 2020. The growth created a need for additional processing power at the front end of their operation and was the driving force behind looking at Hybrid as a possible alternative system to help alleviate potential production bottlenecks.
‘My initial impression of Hybrid was that they were agile, innovative and were the type of company that would work as a partner rather than just another supplier,’ said Jamie Godson, technical manager at Baker Labels. ‘The decision to invest in the Hybrid Software system was not taken lightly, but it was concluded that this was the front end system that would not only help cement our position as one of the top label printers within the UK, but also help drive the mantra of “continuous improvement” for the foreseeable future.’
‘Due to our trade nature, we have to be able to work with every type of artwork imaginable,’ added Godson. ‘Not only do we need the capability of processing the different files, we have to be able to do it fast, very fast. Initially the Hybrid Software was brought in to increase our processing speed, obviously after that we opened up the full potential of what the Hybrid products could offer so we developed and continue to develop them exponentially.’
Currently the Hybrid Software products Packz, Proofscope and Cloudflow are installed within the pre-press department, but the converter also plans to establish seats on the shop floor both in labels production and flexible packaging production.
‘Hybrid Software is very pleased to be part of the continual improvement of automation at Baker Labels. The close relationship we have developed between the two companies has seen them create processes that have successfully driven efficiency increases and cost savings using our technologies,’ commented Greg Heather, sales manager for the UK at Hybrid Software.
Jamie Doogan, Baker Labels’ commercial manager added: ‘The fit between the two companies was right. There are a lot of similarities in our ethics and vision. We needed a partner that was going to understand our business and how we were developing as a company and could ensure we had a system that was future proofed. By working closely together I feel we have achieved this.’
‘Successful integration of Hybrid Software has not only improved speed to press, it has given us another platform which enables us to cover as many bases as possible regarding the files that we receive from our customers,’ added Godson.
‘There are many efficiency improvements that we have made, from using Hybrid’s VDP to simple rules that have been applied to update multiple files in the quickest time possible. I won’t give away all of our secrets, but the software, coupled with the support that Hybrid has given, has had a major impact in improving our daily working practices. As a technical manager, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with the Hybrid products is an unfinishable project that will always sit in the top three of my to do list,’ concluded Godson.