Miamisburg, OH (USA) September 20, 2016 - Esko and Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) today announced that Esko has donated a new Esko CDI flexo plate imager to the school. The gift in kind donation of an Esko CDI Spark 2530 flexo plate imager, replacing the one they have had for a few years, will help Ryerson students continue to learn and practice flexographic platemaking processes which are widely used in the packaging industry. It will be used in conjunction with a complete Esko packaging workflow that is also in place at the university.
The printing industries are Canada’s fourth-largest manufacturing employer: an $11 billion dollar industry with 60,000 employees working in more than 4,000 different establishments, according to Statistics Canada. The Ryerson School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) offers Canada’s only degree-granting program for the printing industries. The school’s four-year degree offers opportunities in all areas of digital imaging and print production leading to a management career in this rapidly growing field. In recent years, the number of students at GCM going to packaging companies has increased rapidly. Throughout the program, students network with potential employers and gain practical experience in the industry through formal internships or part-time work. They also work alongside dedicated and knowledgeable faculty members in a state-of-the art facility equipped with industry leading equipment.
"Esko always tries to offer solutions to top tier graphic, design and packaging schools so that their students are working with the latest technology and ready resources for the industries we serve," explains Larry Moore, Esko Vice President, North American Partner Programs. "Ryerson, in my opinion, is an extremely important and valuable resource for packaging companies across Canada. I have met many Ryerson graduates and they have always been key players."
The CDI Spark 2530 flexo plate imager is used by companies that particularly produce tags and labels and folding cartons. It images digital flexo plates up to 25” x 30” (635 x 762mm) and comes with an incorporated plate loading table and an EasyClamp II drum for easier and faster plate loading.
“This major donation will allow our 600+ GCM students to learn platemaking on the most up-to-date equipment. The process creating packaging requires challenging, evolving technology and the tools our students use are on the cutting edge," says Natalia Lumby, Associate Professor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at RyersonUniversity. "Students are introduced to platemaking in their first year. By the third year, they produce flexo plates on the CDI on their own."
The Esko CDI also allows Ryerson to participate in competitions—most specifically the Phoenix Challenge, where Ryerson has received awards both in 2013 and 2015. "It's an opportunity for our students to challenge themselves, and to see what it is like to design and create packaging for a real company," says Lumby.
"The use of Esko solutions also helps the faculty achieve very important goals for the program. The Esko CDI Spark 2530 is very accurate and is an important component. Our faculty is increasing our involvement with color certifications, such as G7. We are serious about color," adds Lumby. "We also have conducted research in various areas, such as labels; and Amanda Whyte, a GCM student and I recently delivered a presentation at EskoWorld about “Opportunities and Challenges of using 3D Virtual Mock-Ups.”
GCM this past year introduced a brand new curriculum with a packaging concentration and will be launching consumer packaging courses—including workflow—this academic year. The curriculum encompasses the theory of design and production. "We work with Esko products and plan assignments according to the equipment so that the students can send projects to the CDI. The result is that GCM graduates who are entering packaging roles in industry will do so holistically."
"What we find really important and significant working with Esko is that their participation with our program is not a 'one-time drop off' donation," concludes Lumby. “The ongoing support is significant. Esko helps us maintain a top level standard in software and equipment. We are grateful to Esko for its continued support."