TEXTILES CASE STUDY
LESS WASTED SUBSTRATE
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 colour 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 colour on finished printed fabrics wasn’t matching the colour in fabric sample-books.
- Roll by roll, defining new colour 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 colour consistency and excess media wastage.
Textile sample books have subtly-different shades and patterns, so accurate colour 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 colour 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. Colour consistency is up, wastage is down.
HOW DID WE DO IT?
PrintFactory’s tools ensure consistent colour 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.
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 colour). 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.
“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 the 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 colour profiles, PrintFactory will compensate for differences and calculate the colour 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.