Standard Register PODi Workflow Case Study

This case study is the result of an interview with Mark Tilling and Adam Johnson from Standard Register. They are using EFI PrintFlow and Fiery Central to schedule, automate and manage the production workflows for a very large operation. This particular plant processes over 1,000 orders each day with varying service level agreements in place.


This first video provides a brief description of Standard Register and their workflow automation project.

  • Standard Register is a 100-year-old company with 3,500 employees working in plants across the country
  • Their primarily focus supports the healthcare, financial, commercial and industrial markets with a wide variety of applications
  • In 2012 they began executing a strategy to consolidate several production facilities
  • The goals of this project were to lower cost, improve efficiency, improve quality control, standardize processes, improve customer order visibility, and to ensure on-time delivery
  • To do this they needed to be able to handle up to 2,000 orders a day which required a system to dynamically schedule work in order to get everything out on time
  • After reviewing their options, they selected EFI PrintFlow and Fiery Central for their scheduling and workflow automation solution

Solution Overview

This second video describes their challenges and how they are using EFI PrintFlow and Fiery Central to address them.

  • Their service level agreements require jobs to be produced and delivered - from order to customers who might be halfway across the country - in just 1 to 3 days
  • This creates a very complex scheduling environment with 1,000-2,000 jobs per day
  • PrintFlow enables this scheduling to be handled by just one person
  • Most scheduling is automatic, but they can quickly reprioritize jobs when needs change
  • Operators can get all information right from the Fiery dashboard
  • This is all possible because of automation provided by PrintFlow and Fiery running in the background

Other Alternatives

Standard Register investigated other alternatives and this video discusses what they learned.

  • All other alternatives involved significantly greater staffing and an increased likelihood of errors and missed deadlines
  • EFI's solution was the only alternative which met their needs

Solution Utilization

This video provides a brief description of how they are using the system.

  • Jeffersonville, Indiana site is a 24x5 operation
  • Once the system is set up, scheduling is automatic
  • Orders are entered into the system
  • The schedule is automatically revised every 15 minutes
  • Every 15 minutes, orders within 3 hours of their start time are automatically sent to Fiery Central
  • All job information is passed via JDF to Fiery Central
  • Operators don't need to handle job tickets, find files, and so forth – they can see all that information right on their Fiery dashboards
  • Operators just need to proof, rip, load paper, and print

Operator Impacts

The system is also used by operations managers.

  • Not having to print and distribute job tickets is a huge savings
  • Operators don't have to find files, make decisions, and program presses
  • Scheduling is based upon press capabilities rather than operator skill
  • Make-ready time has been reduced by batching similar jobs
  • Supervisors can easily see what is going on to manage their operators

Manager Impacts

This is how the system impacts the work of digital press operators and their supervisors.

  • Managers can use PrintFlow Web to see how busy their departments are
  • It can also be used for staffing
  • It provides a real-time update on how many orders are left for the day
  • There are display monitors right on the floor so that everyone can see what's happening
  • Views have been created for specific departments or machines
  • Specific orders can be located wherever they are in the shop along with their next task
  • Issues are likely to occur over the next few days can be highlighted

System Programming

Adam discusses what is involved in programming the PrintFlow solution.

  • The system drives numerous digital presses from a variety of manufacturers
  • Rules have been set to match job characteristics to presses or sets of presses
  • It is straightforward to load-balance devices or to remove them from scheduling when required

System Implementation

This video covers the scale and scope of implementing this complex solution at Standard Register.

  • Automation logic was based upon historical jobs from other operations
  • Setup time was reduced by grouping similar machines and similar applications
  • This system was a lot easier to set up than MRP systems installed in the past
  • A key difference from MRP systems is that PrintFlow uses finite modeling which manages and optimize constraints while MRP systems assume infinite resources
  • The implementation success is due to close-knit team comprised of technical, management and EFI participants
  • The entire system took 6 months to design and about 6 weeks to implement

Business Results

Mark and Adam finish with a discussion of the key business results they've realized with this solution.

  • It enables scheduling and production of 1000 jobs a day which is essential to the success of the consolidation strategy
  • Orders are consistently delivered on time - even at those volumes
  • The ability to see capacity, automate, and manage work results in greater efficiency
  • The bottom line is that customers are receiving their products when promised, with improved quality, and fewer mistakes

More Information

More information on EFI PrintFlow and EFI Fiery Central the EFI website.

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