Bay Cities

“Accelerating the Color Approval Process with Virtual InkBooks™”

bay cities logoBay Cities is a creative packaging and display partner to brand marketers, retailers and eCommerce companies with headquarters in Pico Rivera, California and print locations across the United States utilizing offset, flexographic and digital press technologies. Artwork and other creative assets arrive from a wide variety of brand owners and creative agencies. Color is of paramount importance and must match across all print technologies they employ to create packaging and display materials.

Bay Cities has invested in process automation to eliminate variables and increase the quality and productivity of their production process.

Traditionally, color control has been the domain of pre-press and press operators, skilled craftsman that can adjust file properties and print parameters to match provided color samples. This time consuming operation is costly in materials, and production time, costs that no one wants to carry and time delays we cannot afford in today’s just-in-time business environment.

Bay Cities has invested in process automation to eliminate variables and increase the quality and productivity of their production process. Central to this is Esko’s software that connects Bay Cities production departments with their customer base. Esko Automation Engine has a module called Color Pilot that allows special colors to be stored and recalled for use in design and production.

This is an attempt to reduce make-ready costs and control color consistency across all of the platforms we use. it’s important to keep equipment in tune but, it is also important to keep our data in tune, Virtual InkBooks™ is the tool that allows us to do this.”
– Jim Hawton Director of IT, Bay Cities

These colors are based on the Pantone library, an accepted industry standard. The challenge Bay Cities discovered, was that the Pantone Library is not perfect. Books can vary through time and they can’t take into account different substrates, ink formulations and printing processes. To achieve the required color quality, the production staff must make fine adjustments, which will vary depending on the operator and the print technology. Bay Cities wanted to have a user-friendly way to record and re-use this color information regardless of printtechnologies and independent of individual interpretations.

The big question is how do we gain control of those variables?

“The big question”, states Jim Hawton, Bay Cities Director of IT is, “how do we gain control of those variables?” That is the question he posed to Significans Automation and the question that led their programming team to create Virtual InkBooks™ a cloud-based user friendly interface to allow WebCenter users to record and recall custom color libraries.

Color libraries that are available to all stakeholders in the design and print process and can be created and edited without the requirement of a software engineer. “This is an attempt to reduce make-ready costs and control color consistency across all of the platforms we use” he added, “its important to keep equipment in tune but, it is also important to keep our data in tune, Virtual InkBooks™ is the tool that allows us to do this.”

Virtual InkBooks™ allows our customers to simplify and unify ink management across multiple platforms and users in any organization. If the tools we employ are not straightforward and effective, as an integrator, we optimize them for the best application.”
– James Robinson, Significans Automation Development Team

Virtual InkBooks™ was created in collaboration with Jim Hawton and Andreu Carroll, Bay Cities Esko’s Automation Engine champion, in concert with the Significans Automation development team of James Robinson and Sean Davis, both highly experienced with Automation Engine and WebCenter.

Virtual InkBooks™ has given us the ability to print across platforms and operators with increased consistency and reduced make-ready times.
– Jim Hawton Director of IT, Bay Cities

“Virtual InkBooks™ allows our customers to simplify and unify ink management across multiple platforms and users in any organization,” according to James Robinson who adds, “if the tools we employ are not straightforward and effective, as an integrator, we optimize them for the best application.” After only three months of operations, Jim Hawton sums up their experience to date. “Virtual InkBooks™ has given us the ability to print across platforms and operators with increased consistency and reduced make-ready times. This continues to contribute to our commitment to provide best-in-class products and services to our customers.”

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