Increased Quality Control Through Cloud-Based Text Comparison and Artwork Proofreading System
Increase of Quality Control Through a Cloud-Based Text Comparison and Artwork Proofreading System
Due to the growing global urbanization and the pursuit of more sustainability, consumer goods, and food products are changing rapidly. Shortened product life cycles, high dynamics in competition due to constantly increasing product abundance, and increasingly demanding designs of smaller and multilingual packaging require extraordinary flexibility while at the same time complying with the highest quality and safety standards. The North Rhine-Westphalian company VN Reproduction &. Kommunikation GmbH was also faced with the challenge of guaranteeing the quality assurance of dynamic packaging trends as early as the prepress stage. As one of the leading prepress houses for packaging of all kinds, the company has decades of experience in the development of creative packaging and adaptation designs for customers in the food production sector. The expert for folding boxes and cardboard packaging quickly realized how time-consuming and unsafe manual proofreading of the increasingly complex print templates can be. They integrated the innovative and completely cloud-based text comparison and artwork proofreading system EyeC ProofText into their workflow as the key to their solution. VN now uses Proof Text to check all print templates, thus achieving a further reduction in errors and increased process reliability.
The Initial Situation
Multilingualism, shorter time-to-market, frequently changing artworks, strictly regulated and constantly changing regulations as well as compliance with sensitive information such as sales description, allergens or nutritional values presented the prepress house with recurring questions and challenges in quality control during prepress. VN was looking for a reliable and easy-to-configure automation solution for texts and artwork in order to supplement the previously time-consuming and personnel-intensive manual checking processes of the briefed texts and reduce cost-intensive correction loops while at the same time guarantee the high demands of customers for reproducible product quality. “Manual proofreading does not always find all deviations 100%. However, an error slip cannot happen since the follow-up costs due to possible customer complaints are enormous,” explains Jens Fechtel, media technician and customer advisor at VN Repro. “So we started looking for ways to increase productivity, minimize human error, and reduce complaints.” Along with the highest possible level of user-friendliness, the new tool should also put an end to the days of location-based work so that remote or hybrid work could be possible.
Dialogue at Eye Level
With their innovative solutions and high reliability, EyeC was quickly the partner of choice for a collaboration. VN Repro has already been using the EyeC Proofiler Graphic for artwork control in prepress for many years and the excellent results it produces are well known. Jens Fechtel on why an EyeC solution was chosen: “A change in our inspection capability was urgently needed. In our search for a mature automation solution for the text inspection of our extensive briefings, EyeC provided us with a tailor-made and innovative solution to achieve our main goal of ‘First Time Right.’” Even in the planning and conception phase for the then newly developed EyeC ProofText, a productive exchange took place between EyeC and VNRepro. In addition to the fulfillment of the 100% quality standards and the performance of the system used, the packaging know-how that EyeC brought to the table also counted. By being involved as a pilot customer, EyeC also had the opportunity to have its new development tested iteratively in practice by VN Repro. “In addition to our own expertise, we rely on equally competent partners. EyeC’s experts listened to us and immediately understood our requirements – so we were able to work together to find the right solution for us,” continues Fechtel. “With the EyeC ProofText, we now have the perfect software solution for a fully automated text comparison and artwork proofreading system.”
The Innovative Solution from EyeC
The highly automated, web-based artwork proofreading system compares the customer’s briefings with the final artwork file or the proof in PDF format. With VN Repro it is usually a complete packaging, but individual text blocks can also be checked. An intelligent algorithm finds and evaluates discrepancies between documents, including text content and font - regardless of position, structure, and style, even for the most complex briefings – in a single process step. The intuitive usability of the system and the innovative user interface enable users to check and evaluate even complex documents quickly and efficiently. In addition, time can be saved and costs reduced by checking several documents and different languages at the same time. After each job is completed, ProofText creates a detailed audit report for tracking and quality assurance. By improving the entire testing process, lengthy revision cycles are effectively reduced and the entire prepress process is accelerated.
There are five employees currently using the EyeC ProofText as an effective supplement to the manual checking process in work preparation and quality assurance. From the first briefing through each intermediate check to the finished final artwork, each artwork is checked with the system. In individual cases, the operators also check their own work with ProofText before going through the final check. Any discrepancies found are corrected internally and then checked again if necessary. “The EyeC ProofText now supplements our previous manual inspection so that our operators have as little manual reworking to do as possible and the employees in work preparation and quality assurance can concentrate on other things in the final inspection,” describes the media technician. In addition to the particularly high level of reliability when finding deviations, the VN Repro team was also impressed by the practical tools such as the split tool or the batch evaluation, for dealing with “incorrect” briefings. Other advantages added up over time: “Since the software is offered as a SaaS application, it could be integrated into the company workflow without much administrative effort while offering many advantages in terms of remote work,” says Fechtel. Furthermore, the reduction in errors and the associated correction loops in the final artwork process lead to faster test cycles and increased productivity. High and consistent quality offers increased process reliability. “Other benefits of working with EyeC include regular software updates to fix bugs, feature enhancements, and comprehensive technical support,” he adds. There is also the option of multilingualism (including more complex Asian languages such as Thai and Mandarin) and the option of checking languages from right to left (for languages such as Arabic or Hebrew) and the option of checking font styles, which is particularly important for nutritional information and allergens on food packaging – all contributing to the successful increase in quality. “The EyeC ProofText gives us much better and, above all, more reliable inspection options in a short amount of time. Through this increase in quality within the product development process, we make a significant contribution to reducing the time-to-market – a key success factor for our customers,” emphasizes Fechtel.
The Next Steps
In the future VN Reproduction & Kommunikation plans to use the EyeC ProofText more intensively for self-checks by the operators in order to identify and correct text errors before the final check. In addition to the five current users, other operators are to be trained in how to use it in order to increase process reliability and confidence in ProofText as an effective inspection program. Jens Fechtel concludes: “With an innovative and precise inspection solution like EyeC ProofText, we are prepared for the new requirements of the food industry. We are proud to have an experienced and competent partner like EyeC at our side, which for us is synonymous with high-quality inspection solutions.”
Further information about VN Reproduktion & Kommunikation at www.vn-reproduktion.de.