Entering a new era of automation

April 13, 2022
By Mark Sollman, Product Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe By Mark Sollman, Product Manager EMEA, Mimaki Europe

All sectors, from automotive to aerospace to printing are entering into a new era coined “Industry 4.0”, representative of a more streamlined approach to production by utilising state of the art technologies to keep up with the increase in demand. The printing industry has focused in on one aspect of Industry 4.0 in particular, “automation”, to better connect printing technology and allow for a more seamless transition from when a customer places an order to its’ delivery. With its clear long-term benefits, this change is already happening in the industry – in Keypoint Intelligence’s Software Investment Outlook 2020-21, researchers found that more companies were investing in automation in these past two years, particularly to fulfil the large amount of smaller jobs [1].

On the factory floor

Automation poses huge benefits for the printing industry across all sectors. An automated workflow allows for a more optimised production flow, from reducing the waste produced to the time needed to manually adjust settings, which all leads to significantly shorter delivery times. Not only does it allow for printers to improve their current production processes, but it also allows for them to open up to new projects and clientele that they may not have been able to cater for. Shorter runtimes are seen as a bottleneck for many printers, requiring individual time and management which they just can’t spare. However, with automation it is much easier to manage these projects with just a few tweaks to the workflow.

Delivery times are shortened even further if the printers are able to run all hours without constant supervision, thanks to remote monitoring and self-cleaning capabilities. With an increased total output, automation helps print service providers become more efficient, versatile and profitable businesses.

Industry-wide change

Looking outside of the immediate benefits on the factory floor, adoption of automation can impact the wider printing industry too. Working on the production line is often perceived to be a more traditional, manual job, but incorporating automation gives the sector a more modern and technical air that could attract a whole array of new technologically minded people  to join the industry.

Fully utilising a new technology requires a certain level of technical know-how, whether that is editing the machine device language, integrating printers onto the factory floor or troubleshooting, so having someone on the floor with this knowledge is incredibly beneficial. Companies can use this transitional period to train up their existing workforce to better monitor this process, which collectively equips the wider printing workforce with a brand-new set of skills to increase workflow efficiency. While automated production lines can differ widely, manufacturers, such as Mimaki, offer webinars, product guides and e-learning to help train up staff and the company with it.

Recognising the potential of this technology early on, Mimaki is one company that has begun the shift to automated workflows. Every piece of equipment released is Industry 4.0 ready, meaning a range of our machines from cutters to printers, can be integrated into an automated workflow. Further to this, Mimaki’s core technologies already enable aspects like quality checks and cleaning to happen automatically, allowing for 24/7 runtime without the need for regular intervention.

Are we looking at an automated future?

Full end-to-end automation is still in early stages, with remaining barriers for entry including the need for appropriately skilled staff to handle these new technologies and the implementation cost [1]. But once overcome, there’s a clear benefit for investing in automation to future proof and become a more financially astute business.

[1] whattheythink.com/articles/104796-automation-win

Share or Email this content
Graphic Display World

Email us your news, PR, case studies to [email protected]

Latest from Graphic Display World

Roland DG (UK) Ltd - VersaUV Double Your Profits
FESPA Global Expo 2022 Opens In... May 31, 2022 10:00 am 12
The Print Show 2022 Opens In... September 20, 2022 10:00 am 124
PRINTING United Expo 2022 Opens In... October 19, 2022 10:00 am 153
Sign & Digital UK 2023 Opens In... March 21, 2023 10:00 am 306
Your 300 x 300 Banner Here
drupa 2024 Opens In... May 28, 2024 10:00 am 740

The UK's coolest wide format printing trade press website specialising in providing punchy and concise up-to-the-minute news, views and industry opinions ...

Latest News

Top-Tier technology, trust, and true partnership: the making of a successful collaboration for Inca and SMP Group

Top-Tier technology, trus…

May 18, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Fujifilm launches Activ Hybrid LED UV retrofit system

Fujifilm launches Activ H…

May 18, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Durst announces expert line-up for Packaging Innovations & Empack show

Durst announces expert li…

May 18, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Steve Weber reflects on 30 years in business as Minuteman Press Franchise owner

Steve Weber reflects on 3…

May 18, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Land Rover brings Nature to London for Mental Health Awareness Week

Land Rover brings Nature …

May 17, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Featured News

Agfa-Gevaert to acquire Inca Digital Printers, taking a significant step in its digital printing business

Agfa-Gevaert to acquire I…

Apr 20, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Phototex is sustainable solution for wall decorations

Phototex is sustainable s…

Apr 19, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Type One Style gains versatility and economy with the VersaUV LEC2-330 printer

Type One Style gains vers…

Feb 23, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Arrival of Bürkle LFC 2100 liquid laminator enhances Studio One’s in-house finishing capabilities

Arrival of Bürkle LFC 210…

Feb 22, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Sir David Attenborough surprises commuters by turning Piccadilly Circus ‘Green’

Sir David Attenborough su…

Feb 14, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Features/Applications

Top-Tier technology, trust, and true partnership: the making of a successful collaboration for Inca and SMP Group

Top-Tier technology, trus…

May 18, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Turner Signs serves up a tasty treat with Drytac Polar Street FX

Turner Signs serves up a …

May 12, 2022 Rate: 0.00

How MediaCo achieved its sustainability goals with HP printers

How MediaCo achieved its …

May 10, 2022 Rate: 0.00

MacroArt’s stunning graphics prove there is such a thing as a Gruffalo!

MacroArt’s stunning graph…

May 06, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Novograf uses Soyang Bild Ceramic vinyl to produce duo of stylish applications

Novograf uses Soyang Bild…

May 03, 2022 Rate: 0.00

Your 1100 x 100 Banner Here

SEARCH