Esko, Packaging & Commercial Print

Esko Offers Complete, Updated Preproduction Toolset at Labelexpo 2014

At booth 5202, Eskowill be displaying its complete preproduction solutions for label production at Labelexpo Americas, held from September 9-11 in Rosemont, IL. Highlights include the first official North American viewing of Suite 14, along with Equinox and Full HD Flexo, technologies that have recently received industry-wide acclaim.

“At Labelexpo Americas 2014, Esko will be able to show label manufacturers a complete preproduction workflow, from file to plate,” explains Rory Marsoun, Esko VP, Flexo Business Development. “This includes a wide range of applications, from exceptional expanded gamut software to 3D design tools, to outstanding flexo plate imaging to collaborative workflows that can ultimately drive any press, including flexo, offset and digital.”

Suite 14: The most complete collection of preproduction software tools for labels and packaging

A major emphasis of the booth will be Suite 14, an update of the world’s most complete collection of preproduction software tools for packaging and sign & display production. It supports and manages the packaging and print processes at brand owners, retailers, designers, packaging manufacturers and print service providers. Suite 14 focuses on five key directions supporting the future of packaging workflows:

  • Superior quality: The prepress operator’s focus shifts entirely to quality checking: once to obtain customer design approval and again just before the press starts. Interactive tools dedicated to check quality simplify the task.
  • Task driven interactive editing: Quality checking, exception handling and building smart templates are the prepress operator’s main tasks. New cross platform software apps provide a task-driven user experience. Intelligent wizards guide the operator through expert processes.
  • Improved workflow automation: Smart workflow tickets route designs automatically to a press-ready printing plate. Workflow automation stretches beyond printing and finishing and integrates with logistics. Operator interaction is limited to exception handling and quality checking. Open industry standards enable integration with business systems and data silos, regardless of location. Cloud based packaging management systems interface with prepress workflow servers openly and transparently.
  • Smart templates: The basis for a lights-out workflow, smart design templates separate content from creation: the designer determines the looks of the pack “by example” and within a brand guidelines framework. Critical content resides securely in the cloud-based packaging management system of the brand owner. No more ‘copy and paste’ in Adobe Illustrator but linking smart objects to secure and approved content in a database. This guarantees brand consistency and legal compliance at maximum productivity and shortest time to market.
  • Online supply chain integration: Smart templates and workflow tickets connect prepress to all stakeholders. Operations run virtually anywhere in the world. Integrated packaging-savvy production and asset management systems dramatically improve time to market and reduced cost.

Equinox: Printing more efficiently with expanded gamut

Equinox Expanded Color Gamut (ECG) Technology—a 2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award and PIA InterTech Technology Award recipient—is Esko’s patented technology for converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot color to seven-color process. 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 consistently. The ability to create an infinite number of colors from seven 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 labels as well as flexible packaging. This has enabled many of the worlds largest consumer product companies to convert entire product lines to expanded gamut.

Full HD Flexo for Labels

Esko will be showing examples of Full HD Flexo for Labels. Full HD Flexo is the recipient of a 2014 PIA InterTech Technology award. Full HD Flexo for Labels features adapted screening and standard operating procedures for the label and tag industry, and delivers very high quality with impactful solids, smoother highlights and expanded color gamut. Full HD Flexo for Labels delivers enhanced print stability as well as a reduction of gear marks when using gear-driven presses.

At the Esko booth, will be exhibiting an Esko CDI Spark 4835 flexo plate imager—the most popular flexo plate imager in the industry—with inline UV and Full HD Flexo. Visitors can learn about HD Flexo and Full HD Flexo through real-life production samples that demonstrate the quality and extended color gamut made possible by incorporation of Esko solutions.

Along with Full HD Flexo will be Esko Digital Flexo Suite, offering significant cost savings through the automation of the flexo plate production. The flexo plate is cut into smaller patches to reduce waste. Automatically, instantly and accurately, as a job is sent to the imager, files are created for cutting and data files are made for mounting. The Digital Flexo Suite will be demonstrated with The Kongsberg XN, easily the most versatile digital finishing device ever introduced. It is available in seven different sizes from 66” x 50” to 87” x 258”. The Kongsberg XN comes with a wide range of specialty tools. These tools offer speed, power and flexibility to automatically handle a wide variety of packaging and plate materials, including flexo plates and coating blankets.

Esko on the floor with other partners

On Esko’s booth will be CHILI Publish, featuring its professional online document editor. CHILI Publish will also be sponsoring a breakfast on September 10 at the Hyatt Rosemont. Esko is one of the scheduled presenters.

Esko partners DuPont and Agfa will be sharing booth 5403 and exhibiting an Esko CDI 2530 plate imager—a perfect size for smaller, narrow web presses that produce labels.

Labelexpo will also see the unveiling of a new proofing solution, utilizing an Esko front-end system featuring FlexProof and an HP Designjet printer, at HP booths 3226 and 3429. HP customers can benefit from simple, accurate color management via Esko Color Engine, which is integrated into both FlexProof and HP Indigo presses. The wizard-based user interface of Color Engine makes it easy to set up an accurate color match on both the press and proofer, without the need to involve color experts to maintain the system.

Esko participation in educational programs

As always, Esko will be involved in educational programs during Labelexpo.

The Inkjet Trail is a program where digital press manufacturers will be challenged by receiving identical source files for food, personal care and industrial labels, with the requirement of using identical substrates to produce them. During scheduled booth visits each day, the inkjet press manufacturers will show printed results for comparison. Esko has been asked to prepare the files from its Suite 14 workflow, showing the work they did on these files for the “Trail”, each day, from 1:00-1:20pm.

Digital printing technology and techniques have expanded the possibilities for label and package creation. Eye-catching designs and value-adding materials are now cost-effective and vastly increase the potential for customer engagement and brand development. ‘Brand engagement through packaging’: a printing technology master class at Labelexpo Americas 2014 is a series of presentations that will help educate attendees about label and package printing. On Thursday, from 10:45-11:05am, Jan De Roeck, Esko Director, Solutions Management, will present ‘Exploring digital visualization to workflow’. During the session he will discuss reinventing the artwork creation process and making it possible with 3D Visualizer software; virtually creating packaging to show a range of substrates, printing techniques and finishes; providing visibility to concept teams in remote locations; and improving approval time.

“Esko looks forward to educating attendees about how they can create high-quality labels while maintaining cost-effective workflows,” concludes Steve Bennett, Esko VP Sales, North America Central. “Whether on our booth, partner booths, or during seminars, Esko hopes to be a helpful presence.”

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