Color-Gruppe by gdf57j


Color-Gruppe, Munich, Germany. Submitted by Wolfgang Huber, Managing Director.
Products incorporated: Heidelberg Prinect Prinance 4.5 (MIS), Prinect Data Control 6.0, Prinect
Printready System 2.0 (Production information system)
Background: Color-Gruppe – from a “simple” printshop to a group of companies specializing in the
complete portfolio of print communication services; the core philosophy of the four independent legal
entities Color-Medienservice, Color-Offset, Color-Press and Color-Falz today sees them as a media and
printing office under one roof – Color-Gruppe – an innovative service provider for the complete portfolio
of media production services, from design and printing to finishing. Based on tradition and technical
progress, a "simple" printshop has been transformed into a group of modern service companies that
provide comprehensive consultancy and customer services for all communication requirements.
    136 Color-Gruppe staff who always aim to find the best and most cost-effective technical production
solution provide a round-the-clock service, ensuring that the widest possible range of print products –
including flyers, brochures, catalogs, books any many other high-quality multicolor items – are delivered
on time and exactly to specification.
Color-Gruppe – a brief profile:
• 136 employees
• Annual sales of Euro 13 million in 2004
• 3,000 m² production and storage area
• Over 4,500 separate orders in 2004
• 2,500 t/year of printed paper
• 24,000 plates/year
Color-Gruppe customers —
• Industrial concerns
• Advertising agencies
• Publishing houses
• Banks and insurance companies
• Authorities
Workflow components installed —
Management Information System (MIS) and planning
• Prinect Prinance 4.5
• Prinect Data Control
• Prinect Printready System
• Prinect Signa Station
• Suprasetter, thermal CtP
Press and finishing control
• Prinect Prepress Interface
• Prinect Image Control
• Prinect CP 2000 Center
• Prinect FCS100
• Prinect Compucut
• Prinect Compufold
History of Color-Gruppe — The company was founded on December 1, 1975 as an OHG (partnership)
with two partners)
Milestones —
1976 (January): 5 employees, purchase of Geretsrieder Strasse 10 in Munich.
1984 (July): Relocation of the printshop to the new building with the machinery, 30 employees.
1990: New subsidiary for the postpress area, Color-Falz GmbH was founded, 80 employees.
1998: New subsidiaries for prepress and digital solutions, Color-Medienservice GmbH and Color-Press
GmbH was founded, 95 employees.
2001: Change of generations, Shares and management taken over by Wolfgang Huber and Peter Wagstyl.
Description of current workflow/ Workflow description —
1. Jobs created and costed in non-integrated Lector industry software
2. Orders and inquiries to third-party suppliers sent manually
3. Job tickets printed out and forwarded to production
4. Job scheduled manually on planning board
5. Prepress data supplied on data media
6. Data transferred manually to individual Mac workstations and data checked manually with programs
    such as QuarkXPress or Photoshop
7. Manual prepress processing of individual pages with standard graphics programs, creating PostScript
    files of each page (fine-resolution image data not yet integrated at this stage)
8. PS files forwarded to DeltaRIP
9. Page imposition with the help of Prinect Signa Station templates
10. Pages merged in DeltaRIP into imposed forms with simultaneous insertion of fine-resolution image
    data via OPI server
11. Output of imposed forms on form proofer via Delta Merge
12. Output of entire sheets on Signasetter filmsetter or Trendsetter platesetter
13. Color presetting data (on flashcard) sent to press via Prinect Prepress Interface but color profiles not
    saved for repeat jobs or can only be saved on cards
14. Quality can only be measured manually using a densitometer during the production run; no automatic
    comparison of press measuring data and prepress data
15. Offline finishing (cutting, folding and stitching of printed sheets)
Problems —
 No       Problem                                                                               Priority
 1        Too many job processing errors due to missing information on all process steps        A
 2        Administration of existing non-integrated systems took too long as not everything     A
          was handled by one supplier or system service
 3        Actual costing data had to be recorded manually using daily job slips and then        A
          entered in the industry software; actual costing too late and not accurate enough
 4        Permanent job tracking not possible or required too many staff                        B
 5        Too much overtime due to inadequate process optimization rather than a high           A
 6        Today’s customers expect information on job progress as and when they require it      A
 7        Difficult to determine services actually provided in comparison to those              A
          requested/costed, resulting in a high proportion of inefficient use of time and
          resources which has to be calculated
 8        CtP machine, press and finishing machine status not stored in system due to lack of   B
          feedback on job progress
 9        No integration of prepress steps in a centrally controlled workflow                   A
 10       Not possible to preselect imposition layout in MIS during technical job scheduling    B
 11       Automatic rescheduling not possible if customer makes changes                         A

Consequently, the main problems with the previous workflow were associated with the poor overview of
work done resulting from the reliance on offline costing with no production system feedback. There was
no comprehensive JDF integration of job processes and processing steps. The previous degree of
automation was wholly inadequate to reduce the number of labor/time-intensive steps. The previous
degree of automation was wholly inadequate to reduce the number of labor/time-intensive steps carried
out by staff. The shortcomings in production process standardization led to additional time and money
being spent in order to satisfy our company’s quality requirements.
Objectives: Strategic targets associated with Prinect implementation — A key part of introducing
Prinect is to ensure productivity through production automation and optimization and a resultant increase
in the number of jobs able to be processed. Other aims are as follows:
1. Significant reduction in costs due to errors, helping to ensure productivity
2. Reduction in process costs
3. Significant increase in the number of jobs processed without taking on additional job management
     staff (= more jobs with smaller runs)
4. Greater customer loyalty through the ready availability of information on job status
5. Standardization of processes, in particular at the prepress and press stages
6. All-round improvement in the internal information flow in production and job management
7. Preparation for the start of process integration with JDF-based products to begin the learning process
     and, subsequently, to switch all parts of the company to JDF-based products
8. Prompt feedback on real job data for actual costing
Capabilities of the new workflow system — The above-mentioned problems and requirements produced
the following criteria which the new workflow system must/should satisfy:

     Criteria                                                                 low                        high
                                                                                1       2       3    4      5
     Comprehensive integration of job and production processes (JDF-based)                                  x
     System-based automatic and manual scheduling                                                    x
     Electronic production data acquisition (PDA)                                                           x
     Job tracking                                                                                    x
   Criteria                                                                           low                            high
   Automatic actual costing as soon as job is completed in production                                                       x
   Production evaluation in the important, i.e. capital-intensive cost                                                      x
   Start of JDF-based integration                                                                                           x
   Customer automatically informed of job status                                                                 x
   Creating a basis for machine presets, including finishing machines, to integrate                   x
   the finishing stages when replacement investments are made
   Optimizing service response time and simplifying failure analysis                                                        x

Quantity criteria:
1. Increasing the job management capacity by at least 50% with the same number of staff
2. Greater prepress rationalization, a further 15% compared to Prinergy
3. The shorter delivery times required by customers necessitate very rapid processing of the individual
   jobs (the higher number of jobs referred to under 1. must be processed in the same amount of time as
   the previous number)
Quality criteria:
1. Integrated prepress standardization as a basis for introducing integrated color management
2. Increasing the job throughput while maintaining the high quality level and, as a result, also reducing
   the number of complaints
3. Better communication with the customer due to reliable information on job status and overall fewer
   inquiries thanks to availability of information over the Internet
4. Fast, high-quality actual costing thanks to existing data
5. Reliable communication basis for all those involved in the process; reducing internal queries
      on job content and status (smooth interfaces)
Methodology: Different workflows available — The definition of strategic goals limited the choice of
possible systems to such an extent that only systems based on the latest PDF workflow generation could
be considered.
  No. Workflow technology                                              Considered: yes / no
  1       :ApogeeX by Agfa                                                             Yes
  2       Fujifilm Open Workflow                                                       Yes (preliminary stage)
  3       Heidelberg Prinect Printready                                                Yes
System considered — Based on experience with systems from various manufacturers, it was decided from
the outset that given the requirement to optimize the service response time and simplify failure analysis,
Color-Gruppe could only consider a full-service system supplier.
Decision criteria —
  No.     Criteria                                                                                                   Priority
  1       Avoiding duplicate entries in the Prinect Printready System and Prinect Signa Station                      High
  2       Increasing input security                                                                                  High
  3       Up-to-date job status information which can be called up at any time                                       High
  4       Simple, rapid and flexible print job scheduling; fast job changes can be shown clearly                     High
  5       Reducing press setup time thanks to accurate preset data with color profiles stored centrally              High
  6       Data feedback to Prinect Prinance which, as a job management system, consolidates all job                  High
  7       Reliability in production – what you see is what you get                                                   High
  8       One supply partner for all workflow areas (= one compulsory contact)                                       High
  9       Investment security thanks to clear strategic orientation of Prinect and Heidelberger                      High
          Druckmaschinen AG
  10      Data can be transferred from the Prinect Prinance MIS into all subsequent process steps                    High
          (avoids duplicate entries and reduces administrative job times)
Implementation Story: Project plan and timeline — The comprehensive workflow installation
was performed in various steps:
  2000-Q2       Initial analysis and observation of JDF at drupa
  Milestone 1: Integrate and optimize all job and production processes
  2001-Q2      Installation and introduction of Prinect Prinance 2.0 MIS
               Step 1: MIS but no connection with production workflow yet
                   Step 2 to follow
  2002-Q1      Installation of Prinect Data Control, Prinect Prepress Interface (PPI) and Prinect Image Control
  2002-Q2      Prinect Press Solution: Installation of Prinect Image Control, Prinect Prepress Interface and
               Prinect CP2000 Center
                   Increased need for staff training in the printshop for this new combination
  2002-Q2      Connection of one of the presses equipped with CPC control to Prinect Online Kit
                   Realization of press presetting data with Prinect Prepress Interface via Prinect Data Control
  2002-Q3      Installation of shop-floor data collection status messaging from Prinect CP2000 Center press
               console and CPTronic press console via Prinect
               Data Control to the Prinect Prinance MIS
                   Intensive training of operators required to ensure the correct input
  2002-Q4      Installation of Prinect FCS 100 control module in the postpress area as well as installation and
               introduction of Compufold on two folders
  2002-Q4      Installation of shop-floor data collection terminals (Java clients; offline) in the postpress area
  2003-Q2      Step 2: Connection of Prinect Prinance to Prinect Data Control
                   calculation data can now be used for planning
  Milestone 2: Process automation through introduction of JDF-based workflow
  2004-Q1                Installation of Prinect Printready System and Prinect Signa Station with online
                         connection to Prinance MIS
                            Data from MIS can be taken over in prepress area
  2004-Q4      Installation and introduction of the new Heidelberg Suprasetter thermal platesetter with Prinect
               MetaDimension (RIP)
  Now the production line is completely automated from costing to plate output
  2005         Update of Prinect Prinance to Version 4.5 plus installation
               of Web Connect
                  Customers can view the status of their orders via Internet
                  Ongoing: Switching workflow components to JDF
Critical path — A number of difficulties had to be overcome during implementation, for example
switching to the new workflow system while operating at full capacity. This problem was solved by
operating the existing and new systems in parallel and switching over gradually to the new system. For
example, DeltaRIP and Prinergy ran in parallel until the switchover to Prinergy and then Prinergy and
Heidelberg Prinect Printready System ran in parallel until the switchover to the latter.
Obstacles — The following obstacles had to be overcome during the previous phases of Prinect
workflow introduction:
1. No appropriate documentation available to use as a guide when introducing a JDF-based workflow
2. Link between job scheduling and machinery had to be tested with particular care to check whether the
   systems’ status messages were passed correctly to the MIS to be allocated to the correct cost center
3. Currently no option for training staff as JDF integration project managers to guarantee better project
4. Great deal of coordination required between specialists from the various areas to set up the system
   but this also helps improve our internal processes
5. Manufacturer does not have a project manager with a complete overview of all workflow components
6. Coordination takes up a lot of time, delaying the project
7. Staff training took a lot of time and cannot be done on-the-job
Internal success factors for successful implementation —
1. We had decided on a project manager and system administrator to handle the installation and
    introduction of the system
2. The various Prinect components were installed step by step rather than all at once which
    meant that each component could be mastered properly
3. The various components were introduced with the old system running in parallel to the new
    one which provided an adequate safeguard for the complete switchover to the new system
4. If there were any problems with the new system requiring detailed failure analysis, we could
    simply switch to the old system without stopping production
5. We prepared a precise project schedule with priorities (e.g. connection of MIS to press
    control station)
6. It was important for us to have enough time to introduce the system as the true extent of
    networking problems generally only becomes clear once the process starts. We did not allow
    ourselves to be put off by this
7. The real key to success is not adapting the new workflow to the existing process but
    optimizing the process utilizing the new workflow
Resulting Workflow/Process: Workflow and infrastructure chart — Illustration of PPF Dataflow
and Shop Floor Data Collection
Job data is sent to prepress clients including Prinect Signa Station from the Prinect Prinance server (1
server with 4 databases). Production data acquisition data is also sent to the relevant press control station
and to the finishing equipment control consoles. Feedback (status messages) from the various pieces of
equipment in the form of production data acquisition details goes to the Prinect Prinance server where it is
used for costing/actual costing of the job.
    PPF Workflow: The Prinect Signa Station color presetting files for each job are sent online via
Prinect Data Control and Prinect Prepress Interface to the Prinect CP2000 Center and CPTronic consoles,
enabling quicker press setup.

All-JDF workflow — An all-JDF workflow was installed at the Milestone 2 stage. Job data from the MIS is auto-
matically sent to the Prinect Printready System via JDF. As far as the production process is concerned for
example, this means that in addition to the processed production data, information is added to JDF files which are
sent together with this data to the next prepress station. Alternatively, the corresponding production station, for
example Prinect Signa Station (Version 1.5 and above) receives the imposition template straight from the MIS so
the individual pages can be imposed automatically. The Prinect Prinance MIS receives relevant production
system feedback, for example status messages from the Suprasetter platesetter, as soon as a plate set has been

Workflow and networking overview — Once the first phase of JDF introduction has been successfully completed
(red lines), subsequent steps will switch the other workflow components to JDF (blue lines). The entire
production sector works with PDF data only. Even PS files are converted to PDFs to create a PDF-only workflow.
Biggest improvement in efficiency and customer responsiveness as a result of
process automation: Quality improvement achieved (qualitative analysis) — Introducing JDF
integration of industry software (MIS) with a prepress stage and printroom produced the following
improvements in workflow quality:
1. In a market characterized by extreme pressure on growth, a future increase in sales is only possible by
    reducing process costs. This makes JDF-based process integration and the associated reduction in
    process costs a strategy for safeguarding the company.
2. Process integration aids the efficient expansion of further services for our customers, helping to
    increase customer loyalty.
3. Greater job processing reliability.
These qualitative improvements have an even more direct effect on day-to-day business than the simple
cost savings made possible by integration. The information stored in the system eased the pressure on
production. The task of processing the additional jobs is not now simply a matter of capacity; job
processing, job planning and production staff are also kept in the picture about changes at virtually the
same time.
Savings realized (quantitative analysis) — The savings produced by the Prinect system are as follows:
1. Time is no longer required to record job data at the prepress and press stages.
2. The job processing and production planning sections handle 50% more jobs with the same number of
3. The JDF-based Prinect Printready System prepress workflow allows a higher throughput, meaning
   that 5,000 more plates can be produced by the same number of staff.
4. It is easier to prepare jobs for the presses so only one shift supervisor is now required for both shifts.
All these savings were actually realized and the growth strategy meant that the personnel capacity freed
up could be utilized to the full. The saving is therefore made by wage costs that have been avoided.
Looking at things from a different angle, the productivity increase would have led to staff being laid off if
the targeted growth had not been achieved.
ROI and payback of the Prinect workflow — Only JDF-based integration of the components Prinect Prinance
4.5, Prinect Data Control 6.0 and Prinect Printready 2.0 was taken into account for the CIPPI Award
application. Investments in hardware, network upgrades and introductory costs were taken into account
when calculating the return on investment for the workflow described above.
    As shown in the calculation, we succeeded in introducing JDF as process integration technology,
enabling us to coordinate the organizational development of our company and the project phases in a such
a way that rationalization of production kicked in as soon as the MIS was introduced. The savings
referred to are NOT potential savings but improvements which have actually been realized with a direct
effect on the company's profitability.
Return on investment to date (discounted to the time of the investment):
 Savings based on JDF connection
 Year Investment Maintenance     Depreciation    Savings     Net Savings Discounting   Discounted    Return on
          in €    Cost in €          in €          in €          in €       Factor      Savings     Investment
                                                                                           in €         in €
  0      195.460,00
  1                   6.659,00    65.153,33     223.279,17   151.466,83   0,943396     142.893,24   142.893,24
  2                   6.659,00    65.153,33     223.279,17   151.466,83   0,889996     134.804,94   277.698,18
  3                   6.659,00    65.153,33     223.279,17   151.466,83   0,839619     127.174,47   404.872,66
 Total                                          669.837,50   454.400,50                             404.872,66

Based on the existing range of functions and number of workstations, this produced a return on investment of €
404,872.66. This corresponds to an 88% return over the 3-year depreciation period (BASED ON THE
DISCOUNTED RETURN ON INVESTMENT)! The resultant payback period for the Prinect Management solution
is 12 months.

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