Technology Provides Edge
LithoTechnics Metrix software has helped Rex Three increase productivity and reduce errors and remakes.
Rex Three, with 120 employees and six facilities in central and southern Florida, posted sales of $20 million in 2009.
According to Vince Sita, Rex Three’s vice president of manufacturing, his firm was able to realize the benefits of a faster, more streamlined estimating, planning and prepress production process. In turn, Rex Three’s customers benefitted from exceptional service and faster turn times on projects.
“Our planning software was not easy to use,” Sita recalls. “CSRs were intimidated by it, and we were unable to send layout data directly into our Rampage workflow. That workflow forced us to keep using our old Preps desktop imposition software, as an additional step.” After the company purchased Metrix version 2.0, Sita notes that Rex Three reaped increased productivity, reduced errors and remakes, greater production accuracy and faster project turnaround. He estimates the company’s annual labor savings to be $120,000. Plus, the average layout and imposition job can now be completed in less than 10 minutes.
As manufacturing gurus are wont to do, Sita provided his own wish list of enhancements for the version 3.0 release, ideas he thought would move Rex Three closer to “total lights out prepress.” A number of Sita’s suggestions were, in fact, incorporated in the latest version.
“The LithoTechnics team really listens,” he says. “That type of respect and responsiveness is unique, and a key factor that we look for in a solutions partner. We were already happy with Metrix 2.0, and version 3.0 is a great step forward.”
Sita is a fan of the automation and time/cost-saving elements with features like comma separated (CSV) data import, auto plan job layout based on cost considerations, intelligent drag-and-drop capabilities and Mac OS X support. Drag-and-drop, in particular, is a critical time-saving feature. Projects that involve specific color coverage, press considerations, or that lend themselves to nesting, can benefit from the capability.
Using Hot Folders, JDF data is directly and automatically imported by the Rampage system “without doing anything to it.” This creates efficiencies in the desktop department, allowing Sita to take one full-timer and almost a second worker out of the computer-to-plate (CTP) area. That full-time worker was moved into a desktop operator slot, aiding Rex Three’s productivity. Also, the ability to run Metrix on a Mac OS X workstation means that one less Windows-based computer is required in the CTP area.