Testimonial Fotofabriek – Scaling up production based on our daily needs 03.07.2024 by Ultimate Tech

Sample article from our Printing & Publishing

July 3, 2024 (press release) –

This is Morten from Inkish TV on the 5th day here at Drupa in Dusseldorf and we are with our friends on the Ultimate Tech and I am here with Chris from Fotofabriek.

Chris: Yes, hello it’s good to see you again.

Morten: I must totally admit that I was totally blown away when we visited Fotofabriek, is it half a year ago, maybe a little bit more..

Chris: Maybe a little bit more, but a lot has changed since and we are proud to stand here with Ultimate and just introduce their new software also into our company.

Morten: We are going to talk about that in a moment. One of the things that if people haven’t see the first film that we did with you guys, is that this is a journey that is kinda interesting because at first, this was just a piece of software that was in the drawer somewhere. It was not really what you expected it to be. And now, you have kind of made a decision to make the Ultimate product solutions into the centre-piece of how you manage data, how you scale your business and how you also use the technology to basically adapt to totally automated workflow.

Chris: Correct.

Morten: What are the major things since the last time we met? And then we dig a little bit deeper.

Chris: We have introduced a lot of new machines, new production flows. We have introduced, with those new printers and finishing devices, a lot of new processus in our company and we needed to scale up even. The last time we talked we had around 10000 orders a day, now we have around 15000-20000 orders a day, and it’s all variable work. So it’s a one-off and it needs to be perfect quality, perfectly finished, just in general a perfect product for our customers and consumers.

Morten: I remember that when we visited you on the hardware site, I was a little bit surprised because you’re one of the few companies that we’ve visited that have cut-sheet and Kodak devices and you had a couple of, three or four, Xerox machines. So what technology have you invested in, just for people to understand that.

Chris: We are now going a lot into inkjet printing. So it’s going into a completely different side. We were tonor based and we are trying to make a switch also to the ecological side.
So, inkjet, lower ink usage, and a lot less paper waste with B2 printers, roll to roll printers, roll to roll finishing devices.
We are currently here at Drupa looking at a lot of machines, looking for partners, talking with a lot of partners, like Ultimate, with providing us with the solutions to handle the sheer amount of jobs that we currently do.

Morten: Does that mean that all the workflows that you have on cut-sheet devices, now you have to re-do everything for web page devices?

For our own in-house built software, yes, we do. With Ultimate Bindery, we just plop in a new device, we just ask one of the sales persons to add a new driver for us, and we just drag it out of our workflow and put the new device in, and it’s done.

Morten: One of the things we spoke about when I visited you was also that, that you were able to scale, let’s say, if you have peak seasons, you can basically have more capacity and scale down when you have down periods like that. How does that work today?

Chris: Today even better! I heard in the press releases of Ultimate that they also have a scalable solution that is even more scalable. It’s “dockerized”, for a normal printing house that is not really a term they use yet, But our company loves the innovation. So currently we are trying to get the dockerized version so we can just spin more imposition servers, more finishing servers and immediately scale up the production based on our need that we have.

Morten: I think last time you told me it was like quite a manual process, so that get’s automated now?
I guess that gives you a lot of opportunities and you don’t have to call someone to get more server capacity, and you basically just dump the job?

Chris: Yes, correct. With being in a different time-zone, otherwise they have a perfect support, but even half an hour of not having enough capacity for half an hour, to scale up or scale down, is a lot. And just having a lot of servers running for nothing, that’s also not really our business, so we want to scale up and scale down dynamically. And currently I think we are going through that side of finishing and workflow automation.

Morten: Obviously Ultimate Bindery has been around for some time but it gets more and more drivers and more and more integrated with binding equipment. When you say you also buy more equipment on the binding side, is that now a request that it can integrate
to bindery.

Chris: Yes, for us it is. It’s a lot of work for Ultimate Tech, but we love it! We just send an email and a binder or finishing device just gets added if they have the CIP4 and JDF compliance, so we love it.

Morten: So that basically enables you to produce more in a better quality, more environment friendly, and at the same time scalable along with your business… that must be fantastic right.

Chris: Correct, we have never had this much of a low turn-around time for one book.

Morten: So, last question. I was thinking that next year I will meet you somewhere?

Chris: I think so too, yes.

Morten: Where and how do you see the next year for Fotofabriek when it comes to the software side?

Chris: More automated! Even though we are currently on a level that, we would say, we have automated more than other companies, there is still ‘the next step’ for us. So, even though we have around 60% of our machines on an automation flow, we still have a 40% that doesn’t. So I think next you you’re gonna see us with more machines, more finishing devices, with a compbination of the new robotics, that here in Drupa we can see.

Morten: What kind of robots have you seen that… because I would say that in your facility, ATV’s and MAR’s are not really so… because have limited space and different building right? But is that still something that you look into?

Chris: Yes, we are currently also looking into providers that can do that and that can eventually, in a way, integrate with an Ultimate solution. So that is still a lot of hassle for us but I think we will get there.

Morten: And you still do 15000 videos a day? If you produce 15000 products right?

Chris: Yes, correct.

Morten: Amazing! Thank you!

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