Highly automated artwork proofreading for 100% quality during initial artwork creation
The constant development of new products, varieties, and special promotions for the fast-moving retail sector, as well as the requirement for sophisticated packaging designs, demands enormous flexibility while maintaining the highest quality. An increased risk of errors often goes hand in hand with this.
Packpool medien GmbH, a full-service provider in the field of packaging artwork and repro, was faced with precisely this challenge. For more than 20 years, the well-established company has been supporting well-known international customers from the consumer goods and pharmaceutical sectors in two countries in all phases of packaging development and printing technology implementation. To meet the quality standards of its customers and to ensure an increase in efficient quality control in prepress, Packpool, as a pilot customer, integrated the first version of the new, completely cloud-based EyeC ProofText text comparison and artwork proofreading system in cooperation with EyeC.
Faster product life and development cycles, frequently changing artwork from customers, and extensive nutritional and ingredient labeling all add up to significantly increased complexity and the associated risk of errors when creating packaging artwork. To maintain its high-quality standards, Packpool initially responded with time-consuming and costly visual quality checks and frequent manual adjustments. However, the existing technology quickly proved frustrating for employees, as the results were still not 100% error-free and still required major manual intervention. To further increase the quality of the artwork, make the inspection process more efficient and eliminate potential errors when dealing with even less standardized customer files, Packpool was looking for a reliable solution that would ensure the early, automated detection of deviations within the prepress stage. At the same time, the new tool had to be a significant time saver, easy to use, and usable in any location, e.g. in the home office.
An Innovative Solution
After a detailed evaluation of the main text comparison system providers, the team led by Thomas Johner, founder and managing director at Packpool, quickly decided on EyeC as a suitable partner. "We needed a sophisticated, fully automated solution for text inspection of our artwork, with the main goal of minimizing the need for manual rework by the operator," says Johner. The two companies already enjoyed a long-standing partnership of equals. To date, Packpool had already been using EyeC Proofiler Graphic for pixel-based revision control, whose advantages and good results were well known. "We have known EyeC for many years and highly appreciate their strong portfolio and profound know-how. Through constant exchange with product management and service, EyeC provided us with an innovative solution tailored to our requirements helping us realize our zero-defect vision," the managing director continues.
The Perfect Fit
With support from EyeC's team of experts, Packpool currently has EyeC ProofText in constant use. The highly automated, web-based artwork proofreading system compares various text sources - mostly HTML briefings - with other files, such as the PDF of the final artwork file or the proof. An intelligent algorithm finds and evaluates discrepancies between documents, including text content and font, regardless of position, structure, and style, even for complex briefings - in just a single process step. The system's intuitive usability and innovative user interface enable users to efficiently review and evaluate complex documents. In addition, cost-intensive time can be saved by checking multiple documents and different languages simultaneously. For each completed job, ProofText generates a proofing report for tracking and quality assurance purposes. All these features have been integrated into the final ProofText solution, ensuring that lengthy review cycles can be reduced and Packpool's prepress process accelerated.
Throughout the project, EyeC provided remote technical support for the ProofText implementation. "What sets EyeC apart from other vendors is the level of support. Intensive exchanges at regular intervals meant that spontaneous questions that arose were answered at any time. And we were also able to contribute our own ideas, which EyeC responded to and implemented quickly and straightforwardly. We had the feeling of being an extended part of the team," emphasizes Oliver Glatt, customer consultant at Packpool.
An Impressive Result
The main goal of further reducing the previously low error rate and optimizing time-consuming rework through an automated process was successfully implemented. To date, Packpool has seen significant improvements in the quality of artwork and a substantial increase in the efficiency of individual workflows thanks to its highly automated text matching and first-class usability. "The fact that it as a cloud-based application is definitely an added bonus, as a significant portion of the workforce still works remotely," says Johner. The multilingual option (including more complex Asian languages such as Thai and Chinese), as well as the ability to check languages from right to left (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew), also contributes to the successful quality improvement. The team uses the comprehensive report at the end of each test as documentation for the customer and for its own security. All these factors result in less complicated handovers and shorten the time it takes to get new packaging to customers and to market. Even long-standing customers of Packpool, such as AUGUST STORCK KG, were quickly convinced of the benefits of EyeC ProofText. "Since integrating EyeC ProofText, we are more confident in delivering 100% quality day after day. This innovative form of digital control and the quality assurance it provides create significant added value for us and our customers," adds Glatt.
Currently, three employees use the EyeC ProofText as a daily quality control tool within the prepress or work preparation department. From the first briefing to every intermediate check to the finished final artwork, every artwork goes through an inspection with the EyeC ProofText. "No artwork leaves our house before that," confirms Johner. This results in an average of two checks including all corrections (initial artwork to briefing and initial artwork to initial artwork). This means that the number of checks could be reduced once again by using ProofText as desired. "The implementation in our digital work processes and workflows went smoothly. At the same time, we were able to increase the quality of the artwork and significantly optimize the process structure of quality control through exclusively digital checking," confirms Glatt.
The next steps include the expansion of ProofText to its sister company Packpool Swiss, focusing on the pharmaceutical packaging and leaflet sectors. In addition, Packpool plans to use further functions that will soon be available with the continuous further development of ProofText. The potential for further value creation and optimization of the process is still there. "EyeC ProofText underlines our claim to deliver the best quality on the market and to meet the highest requirements. This is an innovation that sets new standards internationally in proofreading and the development phase of print templates," says Johner. "We are proud to have been part of the pilot project and to have been using the system regularly since March."
For further information about Packpool medien GmbH, please visit: www.packpool.online/
Click here to download the complete user study as a PDF file