The right design software can improve production efficiencies

Jurgen Verhulst from SAi discusses point of purchase display and box design software.Customers are demanding shorter lead times for print jobs and consistently high quality results. Jurgen Verhulst, technical marketing manager for EMEA at SAi, explores how software solutions can enable print service providers to fulfil these demands.

The constant need to keep production costs low and increase turnaround times without compromising on quality are all too familiar challenges for large format print providers and sign making businesses.

As the curtain closes on another drupa, it’s a safe bet that new large format hardware introductions will be grabbing the headlines. At the same time, it is worth remembering that ensuring an efficient end-to-end production workflow, supported by advanced software, will go a long way to achieving the objectives outlined above.

This includes the front-end aspect of the job, even before it is sent to the printer. Via the right software solutions, enhancing efficiencies at the design stage can have a huge impact on the overall production time. It can mean the difference between a job making it off the cutter, onto the van and en route to the customer; or missing the deadline.

When it comes to point of purchase (POP) display and box design software, there are a number of solutions available on the market. That said, it makes sense to check out the respective attributes of each should you be on the verge of your next investment. Recent introductions include those packages that tick even more boxes by enabling large format, sign and display businesses to expand their applications offering, increase revenues and sharpen their competitive edge.

The devil is in the detail

Having established that not all software is created equal, it’s important to be aware of the shortfalls of your options. For example, is your software compatible with all existing wide-format RIP software packages that drive flatbed printers and cutters?

A number of design packages are either limited to specific cutting machines, which invariably include expensive implementation costs, or require costly additional shape libraries. These are also often only available on licence. As a customer, you may have to pay for an annual subscription, which adds to the expense.

Additional or unforeseen costs aside, you should also consider the varying performance capabilities of the respective design software solutions in line with your specific requirements. For example, most designers would concur that an irksome problem is the issue of accurately visualising designs in 3D. Because of the difficulty in accounting for folding material thickness and folding behaviour, achieving accurate design is often time-consuming and invariably relies on trial and error during production.

The good news is that a quick review of the latest software options demonstrates the foremost providers now offer solutions that address this via an animated 3D folding preview feature.

Unleashing the genie from the bottle

If you happen to be assessing different options, then SAi’s recently introduced offering, SAi DisplayGenie, is worth a look – especially if you are also seeking to extend your applications offering to customers.

The software eliminates multiple steps to improve job creation efficiencies by simplifying the structural design of POP display and box construction – all within one bundle.

It eliminates the need for any additional software plug-in to access the suite of design options. Users simply access a library of popular folding POP display, ECMA and FEFCO box templates, and select or adapt the shape or design that best suits the customer’s requirements. From there, users can adapt the dimension, rotate it, include additional shelves and client logos, and perfect the final design in as little as five minutes. This saves considerable design time that would have previously taken several hours.

Importantly, DisplayGenie also incorporates an integrated graphic and structural design with animated 3D folding preview, which lets users view the layout or design in 3D on the box they have created. This clever tool helps maintain workflow efficiency by catching any mistakes before production. If you are a large format provider, this spells savings in both cost and time.

This is also aided by the ability to export rotational package display or box designs as 3D PDF files for customer review or adjustment prior to production.

With the DisplayGenie users simply can access a library of folding point of purchase display, ECMA and FEFCO box templates.Host of benefits

A fifth of the price of certain other packages on the market, this solution could help unlock the door to quick, easy and cost-effective POP display and box creation, without the shackles of a long-term subscription contract.

If you are a large format or sign and display business, the freedom and capability to easily integrate one single all-embracing solution within your current workflow – without having to change your design, RIP or cutting software – is highly attractive.

For those who already have design software, DisplayGenie offers a great foundation to create a wide array of displays that can be adapted to meet the customer’s exacting requirement, right down to the thickness of the board. These users can simply access the free and regularly updated library of POP display templates, with the added option of continuing the design in Illustrator or utilising their existing RIP and cutting solution.

Large format print providers can grow their businesses and increase revenues by extending their current applications offering. For those who already operate a flatbed printer, but also seek to install a flatbed cutter, DisplayGenie’s ability to provide rapid, trouble-free creation of display and packaging products holds the key to achieving these goals.

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