When C&C Offset commemorated its 40th anniversary in 2020, it also kicked off a mission to digitally transform its printing floor. “The efforts to improve our ERP and manufacturing execution system (MES) have intensified,” says Francis Ho, deputy general manager. “We now have a real-time digital control system for our conventional offset printing and binding presses to provide a quick overview of project status, real-time KPIs on machinery condition and utilization, as well as automatic data collection to speed up our internal workflow while reducing paperwork. An electronic alarm system has also been added to increase the security of our printing floors and premises.”

More conventional printing equipment is being replaced with machines that are Industry 4.0 (i4.0)–enabled. “New machinery that we bought last year, including the two digital presses—Canon Océ ProStream 1000 and Fujifilm Jet Press 750S—arrived very late due to the pandemic and logistical chaos,” Ho says. “We are now busy linking these presses and enhancing the network by adding an automated guided vehicle (AGV) system to enable the tracking of all processes, including the inventory of work-in-progress, materials used, and logistics.”

And there is the recently launched Integrated Energy Management Platform (IEMP) for its operations management. “This covers ERP and MES for energy and carbon footprints,” Ho says. “Regular analysis based on data collected on, say, our electricity, water, air, and fuel usage as well as from our automation, cooling, lighting, ventilation, and transport systems will enable more efficient use of our energy and resources.”

Reports on real-time carbon emissions further help to pinpoint areas that need further work in terms of lowering the emission rate, Ho says. “With our systems integrated and linked with servers and sensors, we are able to quickly review overall energy consumption for further monitoring and analysis, thus contributing to our efforts in achieving a greener footprint and enhancing sustainability. The manufacturing chain must reform to maximize the value of today’s print media, and this goal is good for us, our clients, our industry, and the one planet we all have.”

Then there is the ongoing integration of all of C&C Offset’s business segments and operations, including book and commercial printing, packaging, security printing, project management, warehousing, and logistics. “With faster, secure, and more accurate data in our hands, we can react faster to client demands by maximizing our capabilities and resources,” Ho says. “It is about leveraging our expertise across segments and production facilities to offer unique print ideas and solutions to clients. And this is just the start. Our exploration and implementation of new environmental initiatives, production automation, and system integration to achieve Smart Manufacturing and i4.0 within C&C Offset has barely begun.”

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