Day4_26

GraphExpo_ShowDaily_September_28_2016

EFI Fiery Technologies Help Studio Blue Double its Digital Print Volume Studio Blue, a second-generation family business, was founded in 1954 as a reprographics company serving the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) market with small-format blackand white, and later large-format color and black-and-white printing. About 15 years ago, the company expanded into cut-sheet digital color and was well on its way to becoming the company it is today: a full-service print and copy operation serving a broad range of industry segments with 15 employees. From its beginnings as a photographic In 2014 Bob Barker upgraded Studio Blue’s cut-sheet digital print operations with Fiery DFEs. studio in a two-room apartment to the operation it is today with two printing plants, Studio Blue is a dream come true for the Morrison family. Husband-andwife couple Don and Marilyn Morrison purchased the original business in Walnut Creek in 1954 and, in the decades since, the family has stayed ahead of technology trends. The Northern California business, which has facilities in Walnut Creek and Pleasanton, is now in its second generation of family management under the direction of the Morrisons’ daughter, Wendy Betty, and her husband, Greg Betty. Late last year, Studio Blue’s management team started an initiative to upgrade the company’s production platform, including new print engines and technology to replace the EFI (Booth 1349) MicroPress driven print solution it was using. According to Studio Blue Operations Manager Bob Barker, the upgrade plan was key to helping the company expand into new markets. “While we had been primarily serving the AEC market, housing is a very volatile segment in that industry and we needed to add more stability to our business. That required that we up our game in terms of quality and productivity.” Solution As part of the upgrade, Studio Blue switched to new cut-sheet digital printers, installing Xerox (Booth 1625) C75 and J75 color printers and a Xerox D110 monochrome copier/printer. All of the printers use external EFI Fiery digital front ends (DFEs), and the company also uses advanced technologies from the EFI Fiery Workfl ow Suite with EFI Fiery Job- Master-Impose makeready solution and Fiery Color Profiler Suite color management software. Fiery JobMaster-Impose improved the way work is completed on the company’s new Xerox equipment. “We had previously been using EFI MicroPress as our job preparation software,” Barker says. “As we looked at our replacement alternatives, we found that Fiery JobMaster-Impose gave us all the capabilities we had with MicroPress plus additional features we didn’t have before. It is the type of technology that gives us a better growth path.” Fiery JobMaster-Impose not only does more, it is easy to use, according to Barker. “Our people are cross-functional,” he explains. “On any given day, I could have fi ve different people working with Job- Master-Impose. We all jump in to get the work out.” Fiery JobMaster-Impose makes prep work simple, even on complex jobs that require tab inserts. “We use a lot of tabs, especially on AEC work” Barker says, “and JobMaster’s tab function has been great for us. We are able to create tabs on the fl y, insert them electronically into the document and then preview, and print in a single pass. We get a signifi cant time savings over our previous, highly manual, process for tabbed jobs. But even more importantly, the process virtually eliminates errors because JobMaster allows us to catch mistakes before a job goes to print. “That’s huge for us,” Barker explains, “because customers depend on us to get it right the fi rst time and get the job out quickly. That’s our competitive advantage. “We produce jobs that require tabs 25% faster using EFI Fiery JobMaster,” Barker adds, “while eliminating mistakes related to tab layouts.” AEC documents also often include multiple sheet sizes, and many times they are not set up correctly. “With JobMaster,” says Barker, “it is easy to confi gure odd and even pages, rescale larger pages to fi t in an 8.5x11" document, or Z-fold larger sheets into the document. The software’s visual interface makes it easy to pick out and deal with those pages.” Results Studio Blue has doubled its cut-sheet digital printing volume since installing its new Xerox printers and EFI Fiery workfl ow. Part of that is the fact that the company can now handle complex jobs that competitors might have diffi culty producing, but on top of that, Studio Blue’s customers really like that the company can meet their strict color quality requirements. While tools like Fiery JobMaster have made printer operators’ lives easier at Studio Blue, from a sales perspective, the improved color quality and consistency possible with Fiery DFEs and Workfl ow Suite software are also important. The ability to accurately reproduce client brand colors and produce higher-quality four-color work definitely plays a part in Studio Blue selling more cut-sheet digital printing than ever before. Barker’s team ensures the best quality possible by creating paper profiles in the Fiery system’s paper catalog for all of the stocks Studio Blue uses with the Fiery Color Profi ler Suite solution. The company’s operators also calibrate their Xerox printers regularly using the Fiery Calibrator. “We fi nd that we have much better control over color with our EFI Fiery workfl ow, and that has helped us double our cut-sheet digital print volumes,” says Barker. “That is important to our customers, EFI JobMaster makes it easy for Studio Blue to handle complex document composition tasks, such as using oversize sheets that must be Z-folded into a document. because they are very particular about their corporate colors.” But, as much as he likes the color printing he is getting with his Xerox and Fiery technologies, Barker is no stranger to those frustrating situations where a monochrome job incorrectly prints in four-color black. Not only is that a nuisance, it can be a costly error because it incurs much higher click charges. Having witnessed the problem more often than he would like, Barker can claim at least partial responsibility for the Fiery DFE’s conversion to grayscale feature, which ensures that black-only pages only print with black toner. “EFI staff have been very open to listening to our requirements,” says Barker, “and that was certainly one of the key needs I discussed with them.” Studio Blue’s Fiery DFEs and Fiery Workfl ow Suite software technologies are all integrated for seamless connectivity. Despite the IT complexities that may involve, the system rarely, if ever malfunctions. “I don’t think I have ever had to call EFI with a support issue for our Fiery system,” says Barker. “It is always operating, and that means we can get more work out.” Studio Blue, and its customers, benefi t from the company’s ability to drive higher throughput and effi ciently produce even the most diffi cult jobs. “No customer is too small and no job is too complex,” Barker explains. “We often get work referred to us from other print shops when it is too complicated for them. Fiery technologies, and especially Fiery JobMaster-Impose, have increased our ability to handle that work.” 26 | September 28, 2016 | GRAPH EXPO 16 Offi cial Show Daily | PrintingNews.com


GraphExpo_ShowDaily_September_28_2016
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