Faster lead times help label converters to respond to brand owners demand for higher market responsiveness
Ghent (Belgium), September 26, 2017 – Esko is showcasing a wide range of innovative solutions for brand owners and label converters at Labelexpo Europe 2017, September 25 to 28. These solutions address various business challenges faced by brand owners as well as converters across the end-to-end label workflow. Esko is joined by X-Rite and Pantone on Stand 3C50 at the show.
“All industry trends confirm that the label industry continues to enjoy healthy growth, with a shift towards more short runs that need to be turned around faster. At Labelexpo, visitors will see solutions on our stand that address this trend and simplify many steps in the process of label production throughout each stage of the workflow,” said Udo Panenka, President of Esko. “Our range of solutions, together with those from the Product Identification Platform of Danaher, shorten the lead-time by cutting time out of processes, reducing the risk for errors and assuring consistently high output quality.”
Labels Simplified — Innovations that help overcome growing complexity
Sixty percent of respondents to a recent CMO Council study sponsored by Danaher companies identified product labels and packaging as a critical touchpoint in their omni-channel engagement strategy. In fact, the study suggests that physical touch points like product packaging and in-store displays are seen as more important to the success of the overall customer experience than channels like email, direct mail and mobile apps. At the same time, consumers expect brands to be responsive to trends, suggestions, complaints and more.
As a result, brand owners need to be able to adapt their labels and packaging ever faster, and to print lower quantities “just in time.” In fact, many brand owner respondents to the CMO Council study looked to be able to achieve a 14-day turnaround for packaging changes. Converters need to respond to these requirements with a more efficient and integrated production workflow that can involve a mix of print environments. And they need to do so with as much automation as possible in order to deliver profitably against these demands.
For label and packaging converters, Esko solutions are designed to improve lead time and equipment utilization, reduce errors, and ensure consistently high output quality regardless of the printing technology used. The result is an overall improved efficiency in the entire operation, from incoming order to the delivery of the printed and finished materials.
Bringing Productivity and Profitability to Prepress and Platemaking
At Labelexpo Europe, Esko is demonstrating how its innovations bring efficiency to each of the workflow steps of a prepress and flexo platemaking operation. Key workflow steps of focus are:
- Project management: Manage assets, approvals and projects from the initial concept to print-ready design, and connect ERP/MIS systems to workflow for smooth throughput and single data entry. Innovations on display at the show include:
- Project management for label converters: WebCenter QuickStart for Labels is a turnkey out-of-the-box project management and communication bundle for label production with pre-configured – and thus easy to adopt – process flows targeted at label converters of any size. It manages a database of centralized digital assets, allowing easy search for assets and re-ordering of existing labels. It comes with a dashboard and built-in operational reporting. It makes it easy for both converters and their customers to always know exactly where jobs are in the process.
- Project management for label brand owners: Developed in collaboration with MediaBeacon, an Esko company, Esko Platform for Brands is a fully integrated packaging and marketing process and digital asset management solution for brand owners. It enables brands and their marketers to deliver consistent content across customers touchpoints, including digital, social and packaging.
- A Content Management Solution for Nutrition Labels that offers brands an efficient and automated means of updating nutrition labels across all products in order to comply with new nutrition label legislation, eliminating the need to manually cut and paste information into the new format.
- Design: Hyper-realistic 3D mockups for presentation, proofing and quality assurance, including:
- Virtual mockups with a hyper-realistic view of materials, substrates, printing and finishing effects. Integration with Luxion Keyshot improves appearance of physical goods such as plastics, liquids, metals and glass within Studio for realistic pack shots that can be used in a variety of ways, including ecommerce. This can often eliminate the need for expensive photo shoots of the final printed packaging, making images available earlier in the product development process.
- Accurate shrink sleeve design, automating the distortion required for quality images.
- 3D simulation of how packaging will actually look on store shelves.
- Prepress editing: Intuitive PDF editing with packaging-specific preflight functionality. Esko innovations include:
- Automation Engine QuickStart for Labels, a turnkey out-of-the-box workflow bundle for label prepress workflow automation. This easy to install and learn solution gives label converters of any size a powerful automated prepress workflow, with the opportunity to grow the solution as needed in the future. Its ease of use and leveraging of best practices gathered over many years means label converters can get up to speed rapidly.
- ArtPro+, a next-generation PDF editor, is now optimized for prepress production of labels and flexibles. Packaging Preflight with Enfocus PitStop is an integral element of ArtPro+ and/or Adobe Illustrator, ensuring rapid identification and correction of any file errors.
- Flexo platemaking: An innovative, highly simplified, automated and coordinated platemaking process with guaranteed quality and consistency, including:
- Flexo platemaking and Device Management for CDI Crystal XPS offers streamlined, accurate creation of flexographic plates. Many operations can be managed and monitored from the desktop.
- Award-winning XPS Crystal flexo plate exposure unit, introducing unmatched efficiency and quality into the flexo platemaking process. It automatically moves plates from the imager to the exposure unit and improves plate consistency with UV LEDs, where the back and main exposures occur nearly concurrently. Now also available in the smaller 4835 size.
- Printing and Ink: Color management supporting all printing processes and ink sets, even in mixed environments. X-Rite, a Danaher partner company, will be co-exhibiting with Esko at the show. Innovations include:
- The ability to reduce clicks and create additional capacity on HP Indigo presses with Color Preflight, helping in the selection of the optimal print color space and process.
- Support for mixed printing environments, ensuring consistent appearance across digital, offset, flexo and other printing technologies.
- Real-time process control, tracking and reporting in the pressroom using the X-Rite eXact next-generation spectrophotometer and the X-Rite ColorCert Suite.
- Integration of Pantone physical and PantoneLIVE digital standards for uncompromising print quality across even the most sophisticated plant or complex supply chain.
Esko joins forces with key industry suppliers
New to Labelexpo Europe is the Automation Arena, held in collaboration with Cerm, Esko, Xeikon, MPS, Kocher + Beck, AVT, Rotocontrol, Matho and Wasberger, featuring two automated press lines for digital and conventional label production from job creation through prepress, printing, finishing and invoicing. The Esko software platform, with a focus on cost control and productivity optimization, shows support for an end-to-end label workflow with hyper realistic 3D viewing, web collaboration, PDF editing, content management, and quality assurance tools.
Esko is also teaming up with the widest range of industry partners ever at Labelexpo Europe 2017, ranging from digital printing, ERP/MIS integration and color management to flexo platemaking. Worldwide Esko sales and support experts will also be present to handle all enquiries.
Panenka concluded, “Our presence across the Labelexpo floor clearly demonstrates how Esko’s end-to end prepress solutions are essential to the future of the industry. We are looking forward to having meaningful discussions with visitors to our stand about how Esko solutions, and those from our Danaher sister companies and partners, can benefit the specific needs of their businesses.”