Paragon CC installs high-end verification system

By Jo Francis, Wednesday 10 January 2018

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Paragon Customer Communications has enhanced the specialist print inspection and verification facilities at its Peterborough site with new equipment from Lake Image Systems that provides 100% accuracy and traceability.

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New system from Lake Image in use at Paragon's Peterborough site

The Peterborough operation offers a wide range of services spanning litho, digital toner and inkjet printing, enclosing, polywrapping and laser cutting. It typically produces complex direct mail and fulfilment work, including SIM card packs, store payment cards, and loyalty cards.

A four-camera Discovery Read & Print system from Lake Image Systems has been installed on the site’s Pack-Smart MM-800 packaging line, replacing an older setup that used vision sensors.

Paragon CC operations director Kevin Taylor said the new system, which involved a six-figure investment, provided clients with “assurance and complete traceability”, and enhanced Paragon CC’s credentials for the secure production of store, payment and SIM card fulfilment services.

“When you are producing retail packs compliance is very, very strict and this was a deciding factor in opting for the Lake Image Systems solution. With secure card packing every piece counts and 100% means 100%,” he said.

The Discovery system verifies and matches the carrier to each SIM card’s integrated circuit card identifier (ICCID) number, which is checked against a control file. When the SIM card is attached to the carrier a XiJet inkjet printhead then prints a 2D barcode and sequence number onto the back of the pack. At the end of the Pack-Smart line another camera reads and verifies each printed code, and the system produces a complete audit trail. Paragon CC has configured the system so the line stops immediately if any defects or matching errors are detected.

It was installed in Q4 2017, and Taylor said that installation had gone very smoothly, and he had been impressed with the training.

The line can run at more than 13,000 packs per hour, and the Peterborough site, which has ISO 27001 accreditation, is capable of producing more than 700,000 packs per month.

Lake Image Systems sales director Paul Stinson said the firm was delighted to secure the prestigious order:  “We are pleased that our system has helped Paragon raise their profile in this fast-paced market.”

Paragon CC head of creative development Fraser Church said the new setup also had the potential to open up new markets for the business. “Mailings are becoming more personal and more complex, so if a piece involves multiple matches we are able to make sure we present it in an attractive format and also with 100% accuracy.”

He said the rationale behind the buy included meeting growing demand for shorter supply chains and faster speed-to-market, which often involved bringing work onshore.

“We are mechanising what is typically hand fulfilment, with full audit chain and bespoke management information, all under one-roof.”

The operation also has an in-house creative and artwork team.

Last year Paragon CC, which is the UK’s largest producer of direct mail and PrintWeek’s reigning Industrial Digital Printer of the Year, gained the ultra-strict Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certification at its Bristol and Dagenham sites.

The 4,645sqm Peterborough site employs 134 staff and runs 24/5. The overall Paragon CC operation has sales of more than £200m and employs 1,800 staff across 11 sites. It became part of the €642m (£566m) turnover Paragon Group last year, when Paragon acquired DST’s Customer Communications business in the UK

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