EskoArtwork investments at Cal Poly State University's Graphic Communication Department offer not only digital print and packaging learning opportunities in the classroom, but cutting edge printable electronics research in the laboratory.
The leading program of its kind in the western United States Cal Poly State University's Graphic Communication Department is one of the best-known programs of its kind in the nation. The program is the largest in the western United States with over 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories, including two cutting-edge laboratories: the Design Reproduction Technology Laboratory and the Electronic Publishing Laboratory. The department has one of the largest industry support programs in graphic arts education with the vast majority of its equipment and facilities donated by industry. The department maintains an enrollment of approximately 300 students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Communication with concentrations in Graphic Communication Management, Web and Digital Media, Design Reproduction Technology, and Graphics for Packaging. The Electronic Publishing Laboratory (EPL) is a state-of-the-art graphics imaging laboratory used during regular classroom instruction with open lab time for the Graphic Communication Department.
"Partners in Education" has been the theme of Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department's ongoing relationship with industry. It is the driving concept that brings the industry and university together for the benefit of both. Through laboratories supported by industry, students become acquainted with the companies and technologies that drive the graphic communication profession. Through cooperative education and internships, industry has access to some of Cal Poly's finest Graphic Communication students who can immediately contribute on-the-job while learning from company leaders.
Through the Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly (GrCI), industry has access to research, testing, product evaluations, consulting, seminars, workshops, and conferences. Established in 2001, GrCI is an outreach effort of the university's Graphic Communication department, created to provide industry professionals with access to Cal Poly's state-of-the-art resources via workshops, custom training programs, consulting, laboratory testing and research initiatives. GrCI educational programs involve the participation of Cal Poly faculty, leading industry experts and advanced students from the Graphic Communication program.
Kongsberg tables, a CDI and software in use in the classroom "The Cal Poly education emphasizes hands-on learning by doing. Students get experience using professional equipment, which is a key to success of the program at Cal Poly," explains Harvey R. Levenson, Ph. D., Department Head, Graphic Communication. A wide range of EskoArtwork software and hardware technology can be found in two lab areas. An extremely high resolution CDI with SecuFlex and HD Flexo technology and a Kongsberg finishing table are devoted to packaging work, particularly from flexo and gravure. Along with the CDI and Kongsberg XL 20 table in the flexo and gravure imaging lab, Cal Poly operates the EskoArtwork Digital Flexo Suite, allowing them to position many images on a plate to save plate material and automate the plate cutting process. The graphic pieces are cut, drilled and mounted on a cylinder. "Students at Cal Poly are able to explore some of the latest productivity advancements because the EskoArtwork CDI has inline UV capabilities," adds Levenson.