On-line proofing helps Philips streamline worldwide approval process

To achieve consistent levels of both high quality graphic design and CAD construction for the packaging of consumer goods worldwide, Philips’ production group DAP (Domestic Appliances and Personal Care) has deployed an on-line approval workflow for its global business using a RealTimeImage remote proofing system.

Print is bought and produced in the immediate vicinity of each Philips production facility, so it is vital that the company’s processes and procedures are co-ordinated. Norman Andrews, graphic consultant for DAP’s development centre in Drachten, Holland, has the task of co-ordinating the operation for each production site, maintaining the high quality of packaging material at the same level on each DAP production site worldwide. Using RealTimeProof as an on-line approval management system enables him to monitor consistent levels of quality and output in production facilities in Asia, the US and Europe.

“RealTimeImage has given us the tools to speed up the process and facilitate the participation of everyone in the approval process, starting from the designer to the printer at the earliest possible stage in the development cycle,” he affirms. “Moving the approval process on-line has created substantial savings in time and money by eliminating all the back and forwards with proofs and couriers.”


He continues: “The adoption of digital technology has increased the need for speedy and efficient proofing cycles. RealTimeProof allows the decision makers to collectively view corrections on the files on an ‘anytime, anywhere’ basis.” RealTimeImage’s patented Pixels-on-Demand technology enables viewing of large high resolution images down to the pixel level in seconds, over any type of internet connection. This has been instrumental in streamlining our packaging proofing solution.”

RealTimeImage’s streaming technology allows multiple users to collaborate on every stage of a product’s development. This implies the printer can be brought into the process right from the start, where his advice on the best way of producing the job can be considered. The product manager has full control over the whole production process from start to finish, eliminating the need for multiple proofs and courier delays.

“About 93 per cent of the artwork for our products is printed in offset, mostly in full colour,” continues Norman Andrews. “There are also large packaging jobs where flexo printing is used. To streamline production processes, we have centralized the prepress phase and standardized the pre-production phase by developing specific company guidelines and printing procedures for our designers to adhere to.”

He has implemented a strategy where each production site has the same software and hardware to ensure uniformity. Standardized inkjet devices are calibrated to the same specifications, and working colour gamuts, and inks and varnishes are defined. RealTimeProof is used for soft and remote hardcopy proofing supporting a wide variety of file formats, such as PDF, DCS, EPS, Postscript, TIFF/IT, TIFF, Scitex CT/NLW, and JPEG, as well as Agfa Apogee and EFI Best workflow files.

Philips’ RealTimeProof Express server is located at DAP’s dedicated litho prepress house in Catalpa, Belgium, and is working in conjunction with its Private Label site – a customized and branded version of RealTimeProof. Catalpa specializes in image retouching, which is a vital element in the Philips design portfolio. Photography studios deliver digital shots directly to Catalpa, where the files are manipulated and prepared for future use in the packaging chain.

Norman Andrews explains: “The Real-TimeImage software plays an important role in the communication between the different production sites. It offers a type of visual conference call of vital importance in the communication link between the designer, the prepress department and the production facility. Thanks to RealTimeImage’s on-line approval solution we have been able to shorten the typical product packaging development cycle considerably. In a competitive world where ‘time to market’ is essential this solution is an enormous advantage for Philips.”


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