It’s been a busy few years for Pixartprinting. After being acquired in 2011 by a capital investment fund, the company grew significantly, expanding into 14 countries across Europe.
Building upon its e-commerce web-to-print service model, Pixartprinting adapted its methods to serve products across linguistic and cultural boundaries. The success of this model led to interest from Vistaprint, which acquired 97 percent of the company in April 2014 for €127m.
When seeking to expand its operations, offering a fast-turnaround whilst guaranteeing quality of output was a key requirement. With a wide variety of machines in-house – including two Durst P10 models, a Durst Rhotex 320, HP 3000, Mimaki JV33, Kip 80 and Mimaki TX400 – it was necessary to unify a series of disparate processes under a single workflow.
“By using GrandRip+, Pixartprinting has resolved the problem of having multiple RIPs,” comments Andrea Pizzola, sales and marketing director. “Now we have a standard throughout our entire wide-format department, which means no more bottlenecks as our operators need only master one set of software.”
Pixartprinting uses GrandRip+ v9.2, which is designed as a scalable, modular program that can be used across multiple devices. It supports all major wide-format engines, meaning that it is possible to implement the software in print houses that rely on hardware from more than one manufacturer.
The modular ability of GrandRip+ has enabled Pixartprinting to cherrypick the elements of that it finds of greatest benefit to its workflow. Using the InkPerformer module to monitor machine performance has led to more effective job production and reduced waste, for example, Composer has proven particularly useful when defining printing areas for substrates on the company’s roll-to-roll machinery.
Composer allows for the placement of images – whether individual or duplicates – in a manner that ensures the most efficient use of the available space. As well as rotation, the module allows users to step and repeat, set spacing between images and nest objects using vector data, meaning that no space is left blank, even when producing multiple jobs simultaneously.
InkPerformer, meanwhile, is designed to improve the environmental impact of a print device, using Alwan’s profiling technology to offer a reduction in ink use of up to 35 percent. As well as providing variousink-saving options dependent on the output quality required, the module also offers a cost proof function where a user can measure exactly how much ink has been used for a particular print task.
These features help to streamline the various processes required for the different wide-format products created by the company, which includes banners, textiles and interior decorative goods. “Caldera’s GrandRip+ has provided us with improved support and maintenance, allowing us to grow the business,” concludes Pizzola.
“We are delighted that our software has been instrumental in allowing Pixartprinting to enhance its workflow and vastly increase its print offering,” comments Patrick Zimmermann, director of the solutions integration department at Caldera. “GrandRip+ was designed with expanding businesses in mind, and we are glad to have made a difference to such an exciting print company.”
Looking to the future, Pixartprinting aims to continue its partnership with Caldera by implementing its upcoming Bridge software. “We are looking to improve the connection between our MIS, called VIP, and our wide-format printers,” confirms Pizzola. “As it stands, we intend to do this through the Caldera Bridge module.”