Diagramm Halbach invests in Esko ArtPro+

Leading German print and packaging company Diagramm Halbach has installed ArtPro+ to eliminate errors and drive efficiency in prepress.

Founded in 1832, Diagramm Halbach has a global reputation for precise and quality printing and supplies an enviable portfolio of customers, in more than 70 countries worldwide, from its three production sites in Germany. With 275 employees in the Halbach Group, the business has grown from its beginnings as a specialist manufacturer of technical registration papers into a global print giant.

Faced with the growing and changing demands of a significant customer base, Diagramm Halbach identified prepress as an area of its business where efficiency improvements could deliver the most benefit. “Working primarily with PDF files, we were looking for a powerful PDF editor that would enable us to carry out prepress tasks more efficiently,” said Stefan Schindler, Prepress Manager with Diagramm Halbach.

“One of the biggest issues we faced was errors with trapping. By the time a file had been made ready to print, it has been opened, viewed and altered by so many people that the chances of there being an error on the file was quite significant,” he said. “We were looking for a way to not only eliminate these errors, but also to speed up the process of receiving files and making them print-ready, enabling us to process and deliver more jobs while also reducing the amount of time spent re-working or fixing errors.

“As well as addressing this trapping issue, we needed a solution that would optimally integrate into our existing workflow. Having used an Esko CDI digital flexo plate imager for a number of years, we knew that Esko would be able to accommodate our needs.”

Diagramm Halbach replaced its prepress software with ArtPro+, the latest generation native PDF editor for packaging and label prepress. With advantages including faster trapping, significant time and material savings for staggered plate cutting, as well as simplification of shrink sleeve jobs, the latest version of the software delivers a significant boost to prepress operational excellence.

ArtPro+ was developed to enable prepress operators to reduce unintentional errors when editing and allow users to automate repeating tasks without the need for any special or additional programming skills. “We initially installed ArtPro+ in 2019 and updated to ArtPro+ 20.0 in 2020,” said Stefan. “The new version included even more functionality that addressed the specific issues that we, and packaging professionals around the world, face today. Replacing our old system with ArtPro+ made an immediate impact on our business and we are now operating with three seats using ArtPro+ in our prepress team.”

With ArtPro+ 20.0, a new aesthetic trapping algorithm, which received a prestigious InterTechTM Innovation Award, closes misregister gaps and accommodates individual exceptions making trapping jobs up to 70 per cent faster. A new Preflight tool automatically solves potential print issues, so users can safely and precisely edit only the item that needs attention, while Action Lists and formula-driven marks concepts also now automate repeating tasks.

“We mostly receive PDF files from our customers, but with these files coming from different systems around the world, invariably most of the data requires adjustment and the files contain errors that need to be corrected,” said Stefan. “With ArtPro+, we can check and correct the data we receive in just a few clicks and can very quickly prepare the orders for printing. This means that we can increase the speed with which we process jobs, which in turn increases both our overall productivity and capacity.

“Obviously as a large business we work with many different software products, so it was also important that our prepress software could integrate into our entire workflow,” said Stefan. “By using an Esko workflow, everything works together incredibly well, and there are virtually no problems with compatibility.

“As a business that for almost two centuries has been synonymous with quality, the accuracy of the final print is vitally important to us,” said Stefan. “Our prepress team loves the extremely user-friendly interface and the speed with which jobs can now be processed, identifying and fixing errors quicker than ever before. With ArtPro+, we have the benefits of a totally intuitive tool that was developed specifically for prepress. It has the dual benefit of making the entire process much, much faster, while also ensuring we avoid any mistakes.”

Diagramm Halbach is ISO 14298 certified as a security printer through the European trade association, Intergraf. The company serves markets as diverse as medical & pharmaceutical, ticketing, document security & brand protection and adhesive labels, data documents & coding for applications in industry, trade & logistics.