CS Labels Blog: CS Labels News

More Automation Helps CS Labels To Stay Ahead

Posted in CS Labels News by CS labels on 10:34 June 21st, 2016
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Workflow automation is a great way of improving what we do. Lately, we’ve been working to identify areas where we can remove any kind of unnecessary repetition as well as increasing our printing accuracy and becoming more productive. This isn’t just to make our own lives that much easier either, but can also provide a great range of benefits for individual customer needs.

Our redoubled focus on efficiency isn’t just indicative of our processes speed, but it’s also part of our focus on creating the highest quality products for all of our customers. We believe that more automation results in less human error and cleaner, more vibrant digital labels for all kinds of products.

Why Did We Need To Develop An Automated Label Printing System?

Amongst our wide range of customers, we have retail clients who often have special requirements for their labels.

For example, we were approached by one specific client who has a requirement for, approximately, two million digital labels spread out over multiple designs. These labels, rather than being product labels, were instead ‘back of house distribution labels’. For this project, our brief was to produce individual stock item labels that were not only product unique, but also stock specific.

Now, this is an incredibly complex undertaking. We specialise in creating high-quality product labels, so turning our digital labels printing skills to something completely different was a little daunting. However, the solution was fairly simple. We simply needed to come up with an automated workflow solution that is not only secure, but is also simple to use in order to fulfil our clients’ requirements.

After a little background work, we came up with an automated workflow system which is completely unique to our industry-leading Xeikon machines.

How Does Our Automated System Work?

The customer supplied us with a simple Microsoft Excel document which contained details of every single store’s unique requirements. With more than 500 stores spread across the country, this file ended up being extremely large and detailed.

We then programmed our in-house systems to convert the Excel file into a Xeikon-friendly OXO file.

What Is An OXO File?

OXO simply stands for an Object-Orientated Matrix Programming Language file. With a little help from the tech specialists over at Xeikon, we were able to customise our X800 operating system (OS) to aid in the automation of the labels’ layouts.

How Do We Use Hot Folders When Printing Digital Labels?

Hot Folders are an extremely simple technology that we use to make our entire printing procedures that much quicker. They are, simply, folders which are associated with a set of functions.

A great deal of our printing system has been based around this simple principle, particularly now we are focused on automated printing. All we need to do now is drop the customer’s file into the hot folder and let our computer systems do the rest. This removes a great deal of the human element, meaning that there is little to no room for error.

The OXO file is dropped into the hot folder within the X800 printer, which then triggers the automation. This hot folder is also linked with an external job ticket, meaning that all information for the meta data, position and separation of labels is included.

How Has This Focus On Automation Increased Our Digital Label Printing’s Speed And Quality?

Our X800 printers can now automatically generate the layout of the hob using the correct PDF document, labels number and database. Our automation has also led to our labels being created in ‘splits’, meaning that each roll only has 250 rolls on each.

Today, this system has saved us a great deal of time, eliminated the potential for human error and enabled us to create higher volumes of higher-quality digital labels in a short time frame. What’s more, it also enables us to ensure that our clients receive their labels correctly, on time and with absolutely no code duplication.

Happy days all around then!

If you have any questions about our automated process, or concerns about quality, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our professional team of printing specialists today on 01902 365 840.