Miamisburg, OH (USA), 30 August, 2016 – Esko is bringing its extensive portfolio of label making solutions and expertise to booth #5202 during Labelexpo Americas 2016, September 13-15, at Rosemont, IL. Labelexpo Americas is the largest label and package printing event in the region. Highlights will include the new, full range of innovations and integrations of the Esko Software Platform, the next version of the well-known portfolio of integrated software solutions for design, prepress, workflow automation, color management and supply chain collaboration. Also on display will be the complete Digital Flexo Suite, including a CDI Spark 4835 digital flexo imager and a Kongsberg X20 table.
Esko Software Platform: a fresh approach for ease of use and flexibility
Label and packaging production has become increasingly complex. Brand owners want to sell more products and bring them to market faster. This leads to more variation within product families. These all need more label and packaging SKUs, produced in ever smaller production runs with ever shorter lead times. And they need to take into account regulatory and brand compliance requirements. The Esko Software Platform offers more flexibility with shorter learning curves, aiming at increased productivity and getting products faster to market.
A platform for Automated Artwork Creation
WebCenter is the Esko customer portal, streamlining activities from specification and design through production. Users share files with all stakeholders for approval and collaboration. Content Management, a new module for WebCenter, enables printers and converters to expand their artwork services, with an automated process for updating existing artwork and creating multiple variants for a single product. All stakeholders use a common database for content, automatically pulling copy and other regulatory content into the artwork to ensure compliance—including the GS1 global standard. Companies benefit from a faster time to market at a lower cost while reducing the risk of claims due to inaccurate content.
A Design platform for tags and labels
Studio 16 adds increased 3D functionality to the Adobe® Illustrator® packaging workflow, including tools to apply print effects. Users now can share or export 3D designs to high resolution shots of labels on packaging, eliminating the need for separate packaging artwork creation in other software.
A platform dedicated to tag and label prepress
Esko offers two solutions for editing and preparing graphic designs for production. DeskPack is the well-known family of plug-ins for Adobe® Illustrator® and Photoshop®. The second is ArtPro+, the new 100% PDF native innovative editor that runs on both PC and Mac. ArtPro+ has a unique and a very easy intuitive user interface with a software tool selector wheel that provides the user instant access to the right tools. Information is displayed where you need it, when you need it. Users consistently report greater efficiency and faster job turnaround using ArtPro+.
A platform for Quality Control
Esko has embedded technologies from its partner, Global Vision, and from Esko subsidiary Enfocus to eliminate time-consuming manual checks. Automated quality checking tools allow customers to process more jobs with the same people and with fewer errors.
Global Vision quality control tools include a spell checker and automatic checking of barcodes and Braille against an approved profile, running as a background process. This enables fast, systematic revision of all detected errors. Preflight functionality, based on Enfocus technology, applies preflight checks to content inside of the die-line, ignoring any information outside of the die-line (like legends or control strips). This ensures jobs are checked only where appropriate and eliminates all irrelevant feedback from the preflight report.
Automation Engine automates mundane, repetitive prepress tasks and limits the editor work to specific tasks and quality checks. Files are pre-checked for errors and entered into plate production with minimal operator intervention, resulting in maximum production uptime. Rush jobs can be slotted in as necessary, additional separations can be added onto plates and plate waste is minimized.
Equinox: A platform for flexo print standardization
Flexo converters are under pressure to print a growing number of short run jobs per shift. However, setting up a press for a new job takes a substantial amount of time, primarily for wash-up, and wastes ink and ink-on-substrate when getting back to color. The solution to keep the presses running is to completely avoid washing the press between jobs. This is done by standardizing the printing press on a fixed set of inks and printing jobs with this fixed ink palette. Equinox is Esko’s fixed color palette or extended gamut printing solution. Flexo press changeover times are cut in half; production time gained that immediately goes to the bottom line.
Simplified hardware platforms
Esko will be showing examples of Full HD Flexo for Labels, which delivers very high quality with impactful solids, smoother highlights and expanded color gamut. Full HD Flexo for Labels also delivers enhanced print stability and a reduction of gear marks when using gear-driven presses. Esko will be exhibiting an Esko CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager—the most popular flexo plate imager in the industry—with Full HD Flexo.
Along with Full HD Flexo will be Esko Digital Flexo Suite (DFS), offering significant cost savings through the automation of the flexo plate production. Label 'one-ups' are nested economically on the plate to reduce plate and substrate waste. The optimized plate and the corresponding cutting layout are simultaneously sent to a CDI and Kongsberg table. The plate is staggered cut to enable flexo cylinders to print continuous labels on the press. DFS will be demonstrated with the Kongsberg X20 table, which comes with a wide range of specialty tools to automatically handle flexo plates and coating blankets. The Kongsberg X20, offers the flexibility of upgrading to add more cutting, creasing and milling tools as business needs develop.
Esko brings all information on its newly introduced CDI flexo plate imaging and UV LED exposure system. The XPS Crystal 5080, the UV LED device, combines UV main and back exposure in a single operation, resulting in higher consistent flexo plates. A new digital flexo plate imager the CDI Crystal 5080 is based on current industry leading CDI technology. Both devices, connected as one single device as the CDI Crystal 5080 XPS, combines plate imaging and exposure into a single operation, cutting the number of manual handling steps compared to other technologies and reduces the time needed to produce a press-ready plate.
With Automation Engine’s new Device Manager module, Esko’s hardware product lines (Kongsberg tables and CDI flexo plate imagers) are connected to and integrated with the prepress workflow. Device Manager puts full operational control of these devices in the hands of the prepress operator. It monitors job status, and controls and drives flexo plate making operations. The work in progress, the status and queues of all connected devices are clearly visualized on screen. Now the prepress department has all of the necessary information to prioritize and manipulate job queues to produce the right plate or cut the right job at the right time.
A platform for consistent and achievable color
Esko’s sister company X-Rite Pantone will demonstrate its latest solutions for ensuring that flexible packaging and label printers specify, communicate, and reproduce consistent color. Featured products include:
- PantoneLIVE™, a cloud-based solution that enables the universal PANTONE® Color language to be accurately communicated across the entire packaging workflow – from design concept to retail store shelves. PantoneLIVE ensures that brands and packaging designers are working with the exact same digital color data as ink manufacturers, prepress, converters and printers.
- ColorCert 2.7, a color quality control, production specification and reporting solution that allows label and packaging printers to effectively manage the complexities of CMYK, extended gamut, and spot color workflows, regardless of the printing process, substrate, or industry standard.
- The eXact™ Xp spectrophotometer, specifically designed for accurate color measurement on flexible film.
- InkFormulation Software Version 6.3., a solution for fast, accurate and consistent formula creation, storage, approval and retrieval for offset, flexographic, gravure and screen-printing inks.
A simple way to find out more
Esko is also providing its packaging expertise during two Label Academy sessions at Labelexpo:
Beyond their booth, Esko partners will also be demonstrating Esko products, including:
- JV Imaging, booth 1217, an Esko reseller, will be showing an Esko CDI spark 2530 flexo plate imager
- All Printing Resources (APR), booth 947, an Esko reseller, will be showing an CDI spark 2530
- Agfa Graphics, booth 5403, an Esko reseller, along with DuPont Advanced Printing, a long-time Esko Partner, particularly with flexo plate imaging, will be showing a CDI Spark 4835 imager
"Esko has been very focused creating solutions that really make label making easier," explains Rory Marsoun, Esko VP Business Development – Flexo, Americas. "The challenge of creating cost effective shorter runs of higher quality labels under strict regulatory requirements necessitates a very powerful, integrated and automated process, no matter what print technology is used. It must tightly include brand owners and offer creative means to eliminate costs wherever possible. Extended gamut with Equinox, automated workflows, content management, Full HD Flexo and Digital Flexo Suite are all tools that can provide competitive advantages. We look forward to helping make the process easier for the label printers we meet at Labelexpo."
PantoneLIVE is a cloud-based solution that enables the universal PANTONE Color language to be accurately communicated across the entire packaging workflow – from design concept to retail store shelves. PantoneLIVE extends the PANTONE PLUS SERIES Color Library, mapping critical color information to packaging-specific substrates. The PantoneLIVE ecosystem is supported by licensed hardware and software that enables each area of a packaging supply chain to access the same PantoneLIVE Colors, in addition to brand specific palettes. This results in consistent and repeatable color across product families, regardless of media or print technology, providing a cohesive brand approach. For more information, please see www.pantone.com/live.
Founded in 1958, X-Rite Incorporated is a global leader in color science and technology. With its wholly owned subsidiary Pantone, X-Rite employs more than 800 people in 11 countries. The company’s corporate headquarters are located in Grand Rapids, Mich., with regional headquarters in Europe and Asia and service centers across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. X-Rite Pantone offers a full range of color management solutions used by manufacturers, retailers, printers, photographers and graphic design houses to achieve precise management and communication of color throughout their processes. X-Rite Pantone products and services are recognized standards in the printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles and medical industries. For further information, please visit www.xrite.com. For the latest news, information and conversations, connect with X-Rite on LinkedIn, Vimeo, Twitter, and Facebook.