Print service provider Colorman Ireland has partnered with Hybrid Software to speed up operations in its pre-press department, directly benefitting its growing packaging activities.

Located in Broombridge, Dublin, Colorman’s printing campus covers 200,000sqft and employs over 160 staff. With a portfolio of high-end clients, the company produces a wide range of print and packaging products. These include litho, digital, secure print and gift card manufacturing; ranging from healthcare fulfilment to print enhancement.

Established in 1959 as a silk screen printing company, specialising in point-of-sale and poster hoardings for the advertising market, Colorman expanded into litho printing, and in the 1980s began diversifying into supplying the multi-national IT sector. In 2005, Colorman ventured into packaging, and began supplying folding cartons to pharmaceutical and medical device clients. Since then, that area has continued to expand, and today makes up over 50% of the business. With more and more packaging jobs coming through the pre-press department, it became evident that a dedicated, more effective prepress was needed to further this growth.

The team at Colorman started investigating next-level software that could replace the systems that were currently in place, including Paclz from HYBRID Software. The company has now recorded ‘substantial’ time and costs savings since introducing Hybrid’s native PDF editor, Packz, into its workflow. Specifically, two floating Packz licenses, which are accessed across four Mac workstations, have seen the time spent preparing each file for print cut by up to 50% on average.

David Noone, pre-press manager at Colorman, commented, ‘The jump up from our existing workflow and processes has been impressive, and we are now able to run a much leaner operation. The transition to Packz has also been remarkably simple and the software fits in well with our production workflow.

‘Packz is a big step up from what we had in place before. There’s a lot more efficiency there, and it was obvious from day one that we could get through file preparation so much quicker.’

As a native PDF editor, Packz has been developed specifically for labels and packaging with a number of features that eliminate repetitive tasks by introducing higher levels of automation. The latest version, v6, was released late last year and features a redesigned user interface to enhance the user experience.      

During the evaluation process, Hybrid Software conducted a number of tests using job files from Colorman to show how the software would benefit their production. ‘We could compare like for like and really understand how many mouse clicks that could be saved,’ explained Mr Noone. ‘From there, we were able to quantify how quickly the investment would pay for itself and base our decision on that data.

‘Packz has removed a bottleneck in our workflow and allowed us to free up significant amounts of time that we can now use more productively. Most importantly, it enables us to respond quickly to our customers’ needs, especially in the packaging market, where we have seen a large increase in demand during the pandemic.’

Paul Bates, Hybrid Software’s UK, Ireland and global accounts manager, said, ‘We can demonstrate something until we’re blue in the face, but Matt [Dutch, a solutions engineer at Hybrid] took David’s files and ran them as if he was one of their own production guys, so they could see the real-life advantages, rather than looking at one of our pre-prepared demonstration files.’

The sale was facilitated through Hybrid Software’s agent in Ireland, Litho Supplies, whose sales director Richard Styles said, ‘Colorman has been able to reduce the number of steps in its processes, greatly increase efficiencies and demonstrate real time savings thanks to Packz. It is further proof that our decision to add Hybrid Software to our product offering in Ireland is truly paying dividends for our clients.’

Read more about workflow and software developments in the July/August 2021 issue of Digital Labels & Packaging; register here to receive the magazine, for free