ArtPro+ reduces errors, improves efficiency and boosts productivity for Stratus Packaging Group

One of Europe’s leading printed label manufacturers, Stratus Packaging Group continues its long relationship with Esko, incorporating ArtPro+ into its prepress operation. Using ArtPro+ for prepress editing immediately led to a reduction in errors, in turn improving efficiency and productivity.


The customer

Stratus Packaging Group, Viriat, France

With a workforce of more than 300 people and a turnover of €50 million euros, Stratus Packaging Group (‘Stratus’) is one of the leading manufacturers of printed labels in Europe. Boasting six dedicated sites in France, Stratus provides integrated label solutions to clients from a range of industries, delivering a host of products from adhesive labels, through to sleeves and in mold labels.

Three prepress services on three different sites guarantee responsiveness and security for Stratus customers, while the company’s size, dynamism, responsiveness and adaptability has made Stratus the preferred industrial partner for an impressive portfolio of customers. Delivering Flexo, Digital, Screen Printing, Offset and combination printing solutions, Stratus serves a number of leading names in four market sectors – food and beverages, health and beauty, industrial and chemical.

Stratus has enjoyed a successful relationship with Esko for more than 25 years, integrating software and solutions such as Automation Engine, WebCenter, Imaging Engine and Equinox multicolor solution into its operations. The company is also proud to be one of the first label printers to have incorporated a CDI flexo plate imager into its production obtaining ‘HD Flexo Certified’ recognition from Esko, underlining its keen commitment to quality.


Its ease of use, its simplicity to learn and integrated control tools combine to help eliminate the risk of human error.

Jean-François Perret, Prepress Manager, Stratus, France

stratus_the challenge
The challenge

Investing in technology to support quality and consistency

Stratus prides itself on following a strategy of staying ahead of the market by continually innovating, and so invests in the latest technology to help the business deliver on this.

“In today’s climate, one of our main business challenges remains being able to respond to the technical demands presented by producing labels in a mix of small, medium and large quantity, without affecting the quality of the finished product,” said Jean-François Perret, Prepress Manager at Stratus.

“This applies both to our in-store brand customers and for those specializing in e-commerce products. Standardizing reproduction and being able to repeat the color target whatever the printing process – be it digital, conventional or multi-color – and all while maintaining the expected quality threshold, is an everyday challenge.”

Having used Esko ArtPro for a number of years, Stratus looked to upgrade to the latest ArtPro+ software, enabling its team to work across different sites to benefit from the latest innovations and prepress tools, while all collaborating on a centralized server. “The move to ArtPro+ enabled us to switch to the native ArtPro+ PDF editor, while simultaneously allowing us to migrate the entire client history of ArtPro files,” explained Jean-François. “With our lengthy history of working with Esko – either as a customer, online via the user community where ideas are shared, or through working directly with the developers – meant that we were supremely confident in our decision to adopt ArtPro+.”


Confidence in the accuracy of our processes boosted the efficiency of our production chain to the maximum.

Jean-François Perret, Prepress Manager, Stratus, France

The solution

Next generation prepress editing

ArtPro+ is the latest generation native PDF editor for packaging prepress from Esko. Not only does ArtPro+ reduce unintentional errors when editing, but it also enables users to work directly on PDF files with a solid set of editing features. Compliant with all latest PDF for packaging standards such as ISO 19593, it imports normalized PDF and ArtPro files, saving metadata such as barcode information or screening information. PDF files edited with ArtPro+ are also self-contained, holding all image, font and profile information for trouble-free output and file sharing.

“Being more modern in navigation and design, the new ArtPro+ interface immediately proved popular with our new recruits; the millennial generation,” said Jean-François. “Its ease of use, its simplicity to learn and integrated control tools combine to help eliminate the risk of human error. With the increasing pressures, short deadlines and just-in-time orders in the industry today, prepress processing with ArtPro+ is a significant support in ensuring operator tasks are undertaken correctly.”

He explained that despite being familiar with ArtPro+ from previous iterations, the latest version exceeded all expectations. “With text recognition, latest generation dynamic marks, conical warping, shrink sleeve and resumption of ArtPro warp grids,” said Jean-François, “together with the ability to convert CMYK to spot color from PackEdge and a full PDF Action list, ArtPro+ 18.1 was everything we had hoped it would be and more!

“PDF is our multi-platform and multi-site file format, reducing the risk of reference errors, and we use it for order renewals via our StratusWeb. Use of the Native PDF format to associate the processing steps and content data with the ISO PDF (Processing Step) database structure is therefore invaluable to us.”

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stratus_the solution


From a productivity point of view, we have complete automation and connectivity in our business software, and not only with our digital presses but also our conventional connected presses.

Jean-François Perret, Prepress Manager, Stratus, France

stratus_the benefits
The benefits

Increased throughput and efficiency, greater customer satisfaction

Since introducing ArtPro+ into its prepress process, Stratus has benefited from an immediate reduction in operator errors. “Confidence in the accuracy of our processes boosted the efficiency of our production chain to the maximum, while in terms of quality - from processing through to the finished product - we were able to reliably secure the greatest level of customer satisfaction,” said Jean-François.

ArtPro+ works seamlessly in combination with our web platform and the PDF workflow of Esko WebCenter, Automation Engine, Color Engine and DFE digital presses, ensuring that we have full data centralization. So, from a productivity point of view, we have complete automation and connectivity within our business software, and not only with our digital presses but also our connected conventional presses.”

He explained that due to the company’s strategy to maximize its Overall Equipment Effectiveness and global productivity, Stratus is continuously increasing the number of files processed by the flow, and the size of the operator team is constantly growing.

“The digital transformation of our processes accompanies and complements that of our customers,” said Jean-François. “With the challenges related to e-commerce in particular, such as ever-shortening deadlines and requests for more flexibility from our customers, tools like ArtPro+ are nothing short of essential to us today.”

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