End-to-end process automation for packaging production opens up a whole new world for PAWI
Ghent (Belgium), July 2017 – PAWI, a Swiss packaging manufacturer known for its premium packaging for the baked goods and confectionery trade, wanted to enhance process automation and improve communication and consistency between its production facilities in Switzerland (Winterthur) and Germany (Singen). After a thorough evaluation, PAWI decided to implement a workflow solution from Esko for the comprehensive process automation of its cross-border packaging production operation.
Andreas Keller, Managing Director at PAWI, admits that, whilst one of Esko's competitors offered a similar product on very attractive terms, it was the competent approach by the Esko team and the high level of integration of the various hardware and software solutions that tipped the scales in Esko’s favor. “They understood exactly what we needed and were completely committed and consistent during the evaluation phase in demonstrating the benefits of their solutions,” he explains. “We hope to significantly improve our competitive position in the market, even following the introductory phase of this implementation, and even more so once we are fully implemented.”
Choosing a digital, fully automated packaging management solution has a philosophical element for Alexander Honsel, Strategic Project Manager at PAWI and responsible for implementing the Esko solution. He asks, “How can we transform our activities from today’s analogue systems into the digital world, ensuring we continue to benefit from both for our core business? What changes to our business model should we expect to see, and what impact will these have on our systems and processes in our daily operations with customers and products?”
Until now, the current disparate media landscape has hampered workflow communications between PAWI Group and its customers, as well as between the sites at Winterthur and Singen, including the exchange of media data. The new Esko solutions, which include Automation Engine plus Connect, WebCenter, ArtiosCAD, 3D Studio, ArtPro+, Plato, Color Engine, Equinox, Imaging Engine and two Kongsberg systems (XL20 and V20), promise to dramatically improve bi-directional internal and external communications. “We strive to be fully up to date at all times regarding project planning and status, both internally and for the customer,” Honsel says. “Transparency ensures that the customer remains fully up to speed and can check on status 24/7. This means that all hardware and software solutions must be suitable for integration and foster real-time communication.”
The implementation of all Esko components should be completed by the end of the year and be fully operational by the beginning of 2018. The Esko project coincides with the opening of the PAWI Group’s Web-to-Print shop – a first in Switzerland. Since June 2017, PAWI customers have been able to design and define their products using the PAWI PacDesigner in 2D and 3D, another significant investment for the future of PAWI.
The benefits to PAWI and its customers in terms of data transfer, project and approval views, and process management are multiple. First, all documents within the commercial workflow are unique and secured centrally for easy access by all authorized stakeholders, with different versions being managed by WebCenter. Status, amendments and approvals are clearly designated and also centralized, ensuring everyone has access to the most up-to-date content. The technical workflow is comprised of incoming data checks, automatically generated reports, metadata from the jobs database and the print output parameters. All jobs are displayed according to database input; text duplicates are eliminated; and recurring tasks such as data input, copying, renaming or exporting are automated. As a result, there is now a single system for all printing processes – a much more efficient proposition.
And there is another reason why Esko solutions were ultimately chosen. Esko's Media Beacon content management solution helps connect commercial operations, such as customer orders and e-commerce, by using the data from existing ERP and MIS systems, This streamlines the information flow across the product life cycle, resulting in more efficient internal and external communication.
For Keller and Honsel, the end-to-end workflow, from input to output, represents a necessary tool in the spirit of Industry 4.0. “We would like to set ourselves apart from the competition. Without the willingness to take risks and pursue an innovative approach, we cannot ensure a long-term and successful future. We want to, we can, and we will!” Or, to use the words of American composer and artist John Cage: “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
PAWI was founded in 1960 by Walter Keller, the father of current Managing Director Andreas Keller, under the name ‘Papierwarenfabrik Winterthur’. Today, PAWI Group is one of the leading manufacturers of premium quality cardboard and paper packaging. Key products include folding boxes for food products, primarily in the chocolate, bakery and confectionery markets. PAWI Group comprises three companies today: PAWI Verpackungen AG, PAWI, Design AG and PAWI Packaging GmbH. 250 staff at two production sites – Winterthur in Switzerland and Singen in Germany – are continually developing new ideas, concepts, production expertise and logistics solutions for packaging. www.pawi.com