Joe Tuccitto, FTA education director, Mark Samworth, Esko, and Shelley Rubin, FTA.
Esko announces that Esko Equinox received the prestigious Flexographic Technical Association Technical Innovation Award in the category of Prepress-Graphics during the gala awards banquet at FTA's Annual Forum, April 27 in Baltimore, MD. Equinox is Esko´s solution for the implementation of extended gamut - or fixed inkset - printing.
“Esko has always been committed to advancing the effectiveness of flexography and packaging graphics. Our development of Equinox was really an investment in flexography. It’s great to see the specific recognition this unique technology is receiving as recipient of the 2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award,” comments Tony Wiley, President, Esko North America. “It’s also great to see the general recognition Equinox is receiving from a wide range of flexo industry professionals. Esko’s commitment to our customers is to add economic value throughout the value chain. From brand owners and design at the front end to press and finishing at the end, Esko is committed to linking that chain. Equinox is an excellent example of a technology that does just that.”
The Technical Innovation Award recognizes companies and/or individuals whose visions and perseverance bring new products and technologies to the flexographic marketplace. For nearly 20 years, FTA has recognized and celebrate those creative thinkers and risk-takers who seek ways to further refine and advance the flexographic printing process and who bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture.
Esko Equinox: Economic and quality benefits from extended gamut printing
Equinox Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) Technology is Esko’s patented technology for converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot color to seven-color process. It is applied in the prepress department when preparing jobs for press. Converting entire files results in extremely close matches to spot colors, improved pictorial images, and the ability to print more colors than available ink stations on the press, resulting in improved image quality and brand impact. The major benefit, however, is realized in the pressroom as jobs print more economically and more consistently. The ability to create an infinite number of colors from 7 process colors promotes “gang” press runs – and the economic savings can surpass a million dollars per press per year. Customers using Equinox ECG technology report that they use 7-color process profitably in a production environment for flexible packaging as well as labels. This has enabled many of the worlds largest consumer product companies to convert entire product lines to expanded gamut.
Equinox is the only commercial product in the world to make use of a truly superior 7-color profile technology. By quantifying only subsets of four-color combinations, Equinox 7-color profiles contain hundreds of times the amount of color data as a 7-color ICC color profile. These profiles are used to convert industry standard ink books into tint build books for a specific flexo press. Equinox also benefits from Esko HD and Full HD Flexo platemaking, which is able to extend the gamut by producing plates that can print dots from 0-100% while delivering consistent and reliable printing results from job to job.
Esko Equinox is a major achievement because it moves flexographic printing a giant step closer to being the economical manufacturing process that the major CPCs of the world are demanding. Esko predicts that the amount of fixed inkset printing will likely surpass the volume of spot color and CMYK + spot color printing within the decade.
“While we have been touting the economic and visual advantages of Esko Equinox for a few years now, it’s been in the past year or so that we’ve seen the accelerated growth we’ve long anticipated,” remarks Mark Samworth, Esko Senior Color Specialist. “It has to do with the proliferation of brand extensions resulting in shorter runs – as well as the continuing economic interest in reducing print and inventory costs. Brand owners are also beginning to realize that extended gamut printing can improve the visual impact of a package on a shelf. In short, Equinox improves the competitive position of flexography, both economically and visually.”