JohnsByrne Co. — Finding an Edge

By Erik Cagle

We’re looking for ways to cut costs out of our business,” states Jack Gustafson, COO for Niles, IL-based JohnsByrne Co., “because we can’t afford to take any more profit out of our business.”

It is the 21st century rally cry of the commercial printer. With most hardware options throughout the printing workflow already exhausting comprehensive automation avenues, offering the most competitive prices to print buyers has become the business-to-business equivalent of shaving time off the best 100-meter dash standard.

But JohnsByrne—a $20 million per year printer that produces brochures, annual reports, direct mail pieces, catalogs, POP materials and specialty printing—had other ideas. Long a proponent of keeping its MIS on an extremely short leash, the idea of buying into a computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) workflow seemed an attractive proposition. Thus, when the manufacturing collective of Komori, Creo and Printcafe provided JohnsByrne the opportunity to work side-by-side to make the “Smart Factory” solution a reality, the printer was happy to oblige.

“CIM brings (MIS) a level deeper; it makes your environment more efficient because you’re taking information and populating it across multiple platforms,” states Dean Fairley, vice president of manufacturing for JohnsByrne.

“The targets, to the manufacturing folks, are laid out in front of them so they don’t have to go get it. It has added enhancements around the pressroom—ink fountain settings on the presses, monitoring the equipment versus having the operator punch in the information. It’s more interactive, making data collection through cost accounting that much more accurate.”

Talking Solutions

The CIM solution, which was fully installed at JohnsByrne last September, incorporates virtually every step of the production process. Among the highlights:

** Content preparation. Creo’s Networked Graphic Production facilitates the creative desktop process with PDF-creation tools, among them Pagelet and the PDF Seps2Comp software. The solutions aid both the designer and print staff in creating PDF files. Creo Synapse Prepare software defines directives or job production specifications to ensure that client design files match printing requirements. JohnsByrne clients utilize the directives to automate their PDF file preflighting, which helps to eliminate file error delays in prepress.

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