InterTechImproving the Workflow for Personalized Packaging

Mike Agness, Hybrid Software

With the rapid adoption of digital presses for labels, cartons, and corrugated boxes along with a growing demand for personalization—as well as the need to find a way to reduce the cost of producing multiple flavors, languages, or other options—package printers have needed a better solution for variable data print preparation and output than existing offerings. After years of development, Hybrid Software has released HYBRID VDP, a self-contained, easy-to-use, variable data printing answer to these new challenges.

HYBRID VDP is a new option for Hybrid’s PACKZ native PDF editor. It changes text, images, barcodes, colors, and other elements linked to variable data sources, producing an optimized file for fast printing on all digital presses. The VDP Prepare tool is included as a standard component of the native PDF editor and can be used to turn any PDF package or label design into a VDP design simply by indicating which elements are dynamic and linking them to the data source. It can place variable objects in different shapes and colors. It prepares displays in all iterations of the design and features special tools for quality assurance. A viewing option even allows operators to review the largest piece of content, to be sure that it fits in the design field. Once the graphics are VDP ready, the VDP Execute module is used to prepare an optimized PDF that is ready for digital output.

HYBRID VDP products are applied at the prepress stage—not in the pressroom—eliminating the upfront template creation that slows down other VDP options. Significant operator time is saved, as there is no need to build templates for variable data files, the common practice. The optional module—VDP Execute—allows users to produce a printable file on PACKZ locally or on HYBRID CLOUDFLOW for additional computing power. This provides flexibility so that as a company’s use of VDP grows, so can its computing power.

This solution is easy to learn, allowing printers to keep variable data work in-house rather than sending it outside. A tool that’s easy to implement and helpful in eliminating errors, HYBRID VDP has been tested with the most common digital presses available today.

Even adding a simple QR code or variable element can slow printing speeds significantly. By moving VDP to the prepress stage, HYBRID VDP keeps printers’ expensive digital presses running and making money, not waiting for variable data files that are generated on the digital press front end while the press sits idle.