PrintVis: Ready and Able to Manage Your Labels!
PrintVis presents a powerful MIS solution for the label manufacturing industry, fully-embedded in Microsoft Dynamics Business Central (formerly NAV), the proven ERP platform trusted by hundreds of thousands of businesses – and millions of users – worldwide.
This means label converters finally have an affordable, flexible and complete ERP solution with full print-centric functionality to manage every stage of their business, from the first quote until the job is produced and delivered to the customer – including a total financial package and robust business intelligence from Microsoft, on prem or in the cloud.
Our system will help you manage all the steps of production for both long-repeat and short-custom runs on offset, digital and any other type of printing press. This includes detailed materials management and the control of complex variable data.
Label printers around the world have used PrintVis to achieve printing efficiency – beginning with the optimization of data and its subsequent distribution. In a successful operation, an expansion of the data transfer channels should eventually result, easily handled by the powerful system that is Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.
Microsoft Dynamics Business Central is easy to learn with a very intuitive user interface that your people will become familiar with very quickly, especially if you already use other Microsoft products (Windows, Outlook, Excel, etc.).
PrintVis will integrate all departments of your company into a single database – making the data always available when needed. Permissions are set at a user level, and are highly sensitive, so if you have specific people who only require certain levels of data access vs. others who need unrestricted access, it is very simple to set those up.
While highly customizable, your PrintVis system will be implemented with a standardized setup, drastically reducing company downtime and cost during implementation, and making for easy, regular upgrades. Additionally, Dynamics has evolved to employ events and extensions, which bring a smarter approach to customizations – by leaving the base code unaltered.
Label manufacturers share the same basic concerns as other branches of commercial printing: The need for waste reduction, cost management over raw materials, effective measurement of performance, and the maintenance of a profitable and innovative operation. All of these add up to control of your process.
You may ask, “How can I optimize my production? How do I run more jobs more efficiently, more profitably, without a loss of quality, thereby risking loss of customer loyalty?” Certainly, the rise of digital technology is having a profound influence on all these considerations.
The Label Printing Industry is one of the fastest growing markets for digital print worldwide, and is at the forefront of the explosion in digital packaging.
According to a study by Smithers Pira, the world market for digital packaging and labels is expected to reach $15.3 Billion by 2018, a massive 375% increase in growth in the decade between 2008 and 2018.
What accounts for this trend? Several factors. The price per unit for digitally-printed materials has been on a steady decline in direct correlation with the rise of higher-performance digital presses. But consumer behavior is the key driver, with growing consumer demand coinciding with growing populations in newly-industrialized areas; while in more mature, developed cities around the world we see a decline in average household size, leading to a diminished need for high-volume runs.
More short runs, more versions, greater personalization with variable data, etc. – all are strengths of the digital format.
And while Coca-Cola doesn’t really do anything small, their recent personal bottle campaign was clearly a nod to this trend.
But it’s not all digital, yet.
PrintVis and Microsoft Dynamics Business Central offer an integrated MIS/ERP solution for the label manufacturing industry. Our system will help you manage every detail required for both long-repeat and short-custom runs, for both offset and digital print processes, including robust materials management and handling the complexities of variable data.
PrintVis offers label-specific features which can be utilized to determine order definition, price estimates, quick ordering and production planning.
Label printing can be done in many ways and with many varieties of media.
The form of delivery of web printed labels depends on the machinery at the customer’s factory, so the direction of winding and whether the label is inside or outside on the roll is critical information.
While a good deal of label and packaging printing is moving to digital – sheet-fed or web – there is still the good old-fashioned screen printing method for more refined printing on plastic, wrapping, bottles etc.
For such label printers the production is mainly unchanged re-prints of labels, re-using plates and dies and even exact mixtures of inks. Often multiple labels will be combined into one continuous production, however they must all use the same paper and die for the production to be optimal.
PrintVis effectively lets you handle detailed information on each individual label, and ensures that you are in fact able to combine the labels set up for a job, ensuring they all are using the same die.
This is just one example of how PrintVis works toward optimizing your label production.
Detail of Label Information
Detailed information is stored for each label individually, including which clichés/plates, colors, paper, dies and even finishing information, such as rollup, folding or cutting method are applied to the label.
Furthermore, information on bobbin and roll-up size is stored for production security. In short, all vital information for a label is stored centrally, to avoid errors in production.
As many labels require kiss-cutting/die-cutting (usually in-line), it is essential to handle dies and cylinders with a high level of detailed information, which is naturally also included in PrintVis.
The die setup offers a comprehensive range of possibilities, including a teeth-count on the cylinder size, punch thickness, shapes and much more. Further, you are able to create dies, and apply different statuses for them. For instance, some dies are stored in your local archive, some in the basement and some no longer even exist other than in your electronic database (for quoting purposes only) to let you know that a certain die must be purchased when it comes time to order.
Did You Know?
Did you know that label converters in North America report a nearly 30% average downtime for their conventional presses? That’s a huge number! And the #1 factor contributing to those idle machines? Excessive short-run work. Presses are frequently stopped due to increased job changeovers and make-readies.
Print companies specializing in label production often employ flexography (“flexo”) as their primary method. Flexographic prints are created by using a positively-mirrored master of the desired image as a 3D relief in a rubber/polymer material.
While flexography (as well as screen printing) have been the primary production methods for label in years past, the advent and rapid improvement of digital presses (both inkjet and laser) has allowed label printers to print either a single label or thousands with quality and agility, even adding variable data information to each item. Significant time is also saved in both pre-press and post-press, where the need to set up and wash up anilox rolls, inks, plates, etc. is eliminated.
Flexo and screen are of course still viable options which can, depending on the run size, be more cost-effective than digital printing. But there is no question that digital production methods are rapidly becoming the norm.
The ease with which digital presses can produce custom labels in any quantity, with excellent color and detail, has also been a game-changer for many upstart businesses in various sectors (such as craft breweries or boutique designers). They can now compete in the marketplace with attractive labeling for their products, no matter how small the quantity.
Looking to the Future of Label Printing
The label industry continues to show impressive growth. Businesses need labels to market their products, particularly on store shelves – and here it is no wonder that the food and beverage industries take the lion’s share of the market. Labels are tangible, printed objects which don’t exist in the digital realm.
According to market research by the Smithers Group, average annual growth of the label industry has consistently topped 7% from 2013 to the present, with some label converters enjoying growth rates of 20% – 30% and even higher. All signs indicate this will continue well beyond 2018. The future for the global label printing marketplace looks bright!
Resulting from this consistent growth, one could say that label printing has become a buyers’ market. As with most other niches of the print industry, customers have become much more educated and resourceful, capitalizing on the expanded marketplace offered by the internet. They want a flexible and affordable approach from their label supplier and will actively choose the company that can meet their expectations.