Sachsen Fahnen has been supplying clients ranging from outdoor advertising to architecture for more than two decades, but in 2010 it made the decision to change its production engine to Caldera – and hasn’t looked back.
For more than 20 years, Sachsen Fahnen has been supplying innovative solutions for wide-format communication and promotion. Founded in 1991 with a workforce of 14, the company’s 30,000sq m production facilities now house one of the largest and most up-to-date printing operations for textiles and rigid materials. It currently serves various markets, including outdoor advertising, point-of-sale, architecture, exhibition stand building, shop fitting and events.
The product portfolio covers everything from banner, soft signage and decals to the popular Bowflag, display and marquee systems, billboards and exhibition displays. Customers can use its Vispronet online shop to order some 1,000 products, with the option of overnight delivery.
A wide variety of print systems is needed in order to meet this scope and its clients’ requirements for outstanding imagery. These include aqueous systems with dye-sublimation and disperse inks, transfer printing systems and solvent printers, as well as UV-curable rollto-roll and flat-bed machinery. By way of example, MDF panels are printed to precise dimensions so they can be easily assembled in situ as exhibition stands. A special final coating is then applied to these panels to guarantee durability. Pub tables and benches, too, can be printed all over with individual customer branding. All printed surfaces have a high-quality finish, preventing scratches and making them easy to wipe clean.
Sachen Fahnen has been using Caldera GrandRIP+ with the CostProof, CostView, InkPerformer, EasyMedia, nColor and APPE (Adobe PDF Print Engine) functionality since 2010. “After a successful test phase, we were impressed with the RIP features,” says Jens Deutschmann from Sachsen Fahnen’s research and development department, who is responsible for workflow automation. “We can now control more than 20 wide-format printers simultaneously.
“Before Caldera came along, we used several different RIP solutions,” he continues. “This resulted in system crashes, faulty print data and poor color consistency. Our goal was to find a fast and reliable solution that could meet our exacting quality standards. We started by installing version 7.5 on a Linux PC to operate our flat-bed printer. Caldera worked in the background without any problems, using hotfolders. There was no need for any user intervention.
“Version 8.0, and now version 9.2, feature EasyMedia, an easy way to manage multiple print environments, including linearization and ICC profiling. The integrated APPE handles our PDF files much more reliably and more efficiently. And the InkPerformer module has certainly optimized our production processes.”
Sachsen Fahnen is in no doubt that Caldera has made a huge contribution to automation and reliable print data capture. “In just a few minutes, the data prepared in the graphic is available at the relevant printer,” Deutschmann notes. “The CostProof and CostView options, in particular, enable sophisticated financial planning and analysis.”
So what does the future hold for Sachsen Fahnen? “We will press on with production workflow automation,” says Deutschmann. “This will guarantee high efficiency, enabling us to offer customers the shortest possible lead times. It all depends on establishing a reliable network with maximum stability. The quality expectations for printed products will also continue to rise. With Caldera we are well equipped to meet these challenges,” he concludes.