Board Converting News, September 13, 2021

GP Hummingbird (CONT’D FROM PAGE 12)

and the corrugating and die-cutting tolerances. What does that layout look like and how do they get the customer to approve it? GP Hummingbird wanted an automated solu- tion. The entire process of creating the art and structure re- quires that they are approved together. “Sometimes we complete the artwork, but the structure changes because it’s going to a different corrugated converter – or a differ- ent piece wants the flap slightly different. That puts the artwork out of synch with the structure,” says Seay. At first, the process was manual and intensive, with many cross- checks to assure something didn’t change along the way, requiring adjustments. GP Hummingbird’s business model is special. “Our original workflow couldn’t be customised, which became limiting, pretty quick,” discloses Seay. “Because we had HP digital presses, we’d already bought the SmartStream front end. We needed tools that could be adapted for our needs. We invested in HYBRID Software’s PACKZ and CLOUDFLOW and discovered a flexible workflow.” The workflow is used to clean up files and ensure that processes are standardised. That becomes fairly import- ant given all the work running through the shop. “The more touch points, the more potential for mistakes. The first thing we did was deploy our workflow, along with our HP and graphic management software,” Seay adds. “The challenge is to know what you want to do and manage CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

work, perhaps from a flexo job, but will want to print dig- itally. The artwork could be a square or a rectangle, but finishing and the requirements of the box must also be determined. Once a one-up is approved, a step-and-repeat layout must be prepared. The sheets must be imposed for the

converter’s cutter. For example, a converter might general- ly use rotary die-cutters. A file built for a flatbed die-cutter needs an edge trim and a sidebar to grab before it goes on a rotary. You have to rethink the artwork at three levels – the one-up for the customer, the ‘n-up’ sheet for print


September 13, 2021

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