CASE STUDY – TEXTILES

AN AUTOMATED WORKFLOW THAT REDUCES MEDIA WASTAGE AND INCREASES COLOR CONSISTENCY

Artex are a premium textile manufacturer. With PrintFactory, the team has cut down the amount of material being unnecessarily wasted, as they try to match finished products with fabric samples printed much earlier in the season.

BACKGROUND

Artex is a leading manufacturer of fabrics for sunshades, curtains and upholstery. As part of the Hunter Douglas Group, it has an excellent reputation for innovative, high-quality craftsmanship – and color quality means everything in textile production.

The company’s designers prepare jobs for printing on curtains, furnishings, roller blinds and pleated blinds. Around 98% of the work is digital; the other 2% is finished via analogue printing.

WHAT WERE THE PROBLEMS?

  • The color on finished printed fabrics wasn’t matching the color in fabric sample-books 
  • Roll by roll, defining new color profiles for different fabrics on a daily basis was creating bottlenecks

Artex were using six roll-to-roll digital printers for short runs on sheer, blackout and translucent fabrics. Their biggest challenges were color consistency and excess media wastage.

Textile sample books have subtly-different shades and patterns, so accurate color reproduction is of the utmost importance. What’s more, Artex need to be confident the finished products would then be identical to the samples provided.

However, the combination of different fabrics and printers was making life harder than it needed to be. Roll by roll, Artex was having to define new color profiles, and the team was frustrated with software tools that just didn’t have the refinements needed for working with interior décor. 

Every time the product didn’t match the sample, the job had to go through a troubleshooting process – and be reprinted.  

WHAT DID PRINTFACTORY DELIVER?

From day one, PrintFactory has reduced the amount of fabric being wasted. This is something that Artex can monitor closely, using our dashboards. Color consistency is up, wastage is down.

HOW DID WE DO IT?

PrintFactory’s tools ensure consistent color quality across different printers and materials, and over long periods of time. Fabric is a highly variable substrate. Quite simply, this increase in accuracy means that much less fabric (media) gets wasted.

Studio Manager, Carla Rennings:

“Two pieces of the ‘same’ white fabric may be completely different. PrintFactory calculates and compensates for these differences automatically, which is a huge advantage. It means we don’t need to spend time troubleshooting – and that saves us valuable time on the production floor. 

We supported Artex on-site during the transition to PrintFactory. The software’s tools are easy to use, but we did showcase the automated workflow’s load-bearing capabilities to the production team: if a printer goes down for any reason, PrintFactory now redirects jobs to a second device (and still guarantees to produce the right color). This kind of automation removes the need to calibrate manually, repeatedly, which slows everything down.

We also added some bespoke tools to our built-in editor, too, with specific interior décor requirements in mind.

Then we introduced the management team to PrintFactory’s browser-based reporting tools. These monitor ink and media usage, which makes it possible to work out far more accurate job costings and – with this level of detail – that in turn means Artex can offer a more competitive proposition. Carla, again:

We’ve had fantastic feedback from our customers since we’ve introduced the software. In one case, a customer was so impressed with the quality of print on our pleated fabrics they wanted to see if we could achieve same results with roller blinds, and of course, with the help of PrintFactory – we could!”

It doesn’t matter what the device and substrate combination is. Artex knows that, by automatically calibrating devices and using smart color profiles, PrintFactory will compensate for differences and calculate the color output precisely.  

STANDARD SOFTWARE + BESPOKE TOOLS

As printers, we know some substrates present unique challenges. When we created PrintFactory, we built it in a way that lets us add bespoke tools and templates – such as sample books and catalogue pages for interior décor.  

PrintFactory delivers what YOU need.  

FEATURES

 

  • Ink usage reporting
  • Supports over 2000 drivers
  • Output device status feedback
  • Full control over output devices
  • On the fly color management
  • Multi ripping / spooling support
  • Simplified output


Sound good? Get PrintFactory now...

Get consistent color. Reduce waste. Save ink, media, and time in job prep – and improve the quality of your print.
Quite simply, it's better printing, bigger profits. Everything is possible with PrintFactory plans.

Drop us a line, and we'll get our closest distributor to contact you asap and get the ball rolling... 

Carla Rennings, Artex:

“PrintFactory is great software for textile printing. Reliable and consistent color, no matter which kind of fabric we’re using…