Esko solutions at the core of a broad packaging print ecosystem

Ghent (Belgium), May 24, 2016 – In addition to its own drupa presence, Esko will support many partner exhibits, events and seminars, underscoring its position as market leader and innovator in packaging management, design, prepress and production.

“Working with such an extensive partner network provides us with a diverse and unparalleled view of industry trends, challenges and opportunities,” states Philippe Adam, Vice President Global Marketing at Esko. “It’s a reality today that the packaging production workflow gets more and more complex. Esko solutions alone will not solve all industry challenges, but as the preferred open platform at the heart of a multi-faceted production workflow, the integrated ecosystem of partner solutions is the foundation on which our common customers build future-proof businesses.”


Partnerships in support of Packaging Simplified

Esko’s partner network ranges from systems integration, driving presses through digital front ends (DFEs), integrating color technology to imaging the best possible flexo plate for the job, and driving finishing systems, both analog and digital.

“Esko itself is always looking to team up with leading technology and solution providers,” Adam adds. “That way, we assure our solutions perform to the best of their ability and address the biggest market-driven opportunity: to simplify the packaging production process – Packaging Simplified. Together with our partners, we create the best possible end-user experience and support growth and profitability.”


Sharing best practices

Next to Esko’s presence at partner booths, listed underneath, Esko is also actively engaged in various events and seminars on the drupa 2016 agenda. In the Touchpoint Packaging booth (Hall 12, B53) hosted by the EPDA (European Packaging Design Association), Chris Stowe, Esko Product Manager, will help brands and designers to discover the future in four thought-leading presentations on the subject of 3D and Augmented Reality technologies. Jan De Roeck, Director Solutions Marketing at Esko, will moderate a debate with industry leaders on the subject of packaging serialization and customization. For the full program including timings, visit the drupa website. 

In the drupa cube, Jan De Roeck will represent Esko in an Innovation Session debate focused on The Role of Packaging in the Customer Journey, which will take place on June 7th at 15.45pm.


Esko partnerships touch every corner of the show

Apex (hall 11, booth B26) and Esko work together to simplify the implementation of extended gamut printing for flexo converters. Esko’s Equinox and Full HD Flexo, in combination with Apex’ GTT anilox technology, generate exceptional print results for the entire flexo industry. On June 2nd at 10AM, Esko and Apex are organizing an Extended Gamut Symposium in the Düsseldorf congress center that will examine why more and more brand owners are choosing suppliers with proficiency in extended gamut printing.

Asahi Photoproducts (hall 11, booth A60) is a pioneer of flexographic photopolymer plate development, supporting Esko Equinox extended gamut for flexo printing with perfect plate-to-plate registration and the Pinning Technology for Clean Transfer. The AWPTM water wash plate delivers constant ink transfer from start to finish.

AVT (hall 9, booth C60) is a specialist in on-press quality assurance and inspection, with over 4000 installations in Labels and Packaging print industries. In a world where packaging and label printing presses must handle a growing number of (very) short press runs, AVT’s Autoset solution enables setup and auto initiate of inspection jobs from the ESKO automation engine, thus offering automated optimized prepress to production workflows.

BOBST Firenze (hall 10, booth A60), formerly Nuova Gidue, and Esko joined forces in 2013 for the REVO project, optimizing the Flexo process by “digitalizing” the complete manufacturing process in order to reach new revolutionary standards in printing and converting of Labels and Packaging. Esko’s prepress software (including extended gamut printing with Equinox) and flexo computer-to–print image setter (Esko CDI) are some of the key components of this plug & play solution.

BST Eltromat (hall 10, booth D41 & hall 7 booth B22) offers a wide range of different quality assuring solutions for the web processing industry. With an Esko workflow, the setup of the BST inspection unit is overseen by prepress, resulting in a dramatically reduced press setup time and elimination of possible operator errors.

Cerm Benelux (hall 17) is a global supplier of business management software for narrow web printers. Cerm offers a total integrated workflow and teamed up with Esko to develop a fully automated business and production solution, covering one-up approval cycles and sheet layout  automation.

CHILI publish (hall 7a, booth F40) : Esko has integrated CHILI Publisher online document editing software in WebCenter. Together with Esko Dynamic Content, CHILI Publish is an integral online editing component of Esko's innovative solution for automated artwork creation.

Color Logic Publish (hall 7, booth C19) develops specialized Adobe plug-ins and palettes for metallic and decorative effect printing. The Color-Logic Design Suite™ when combined with Esko Studio Visualizer software, enables brands to visualize Color-Logic's special effects on packaging, labels, POP and commercial print prior to going to press. This reduces the time to market compared to traditional prototyping methods.

Comexi (hall 10, booth B20), a specialist in printing and converting machinery for the flexible packaging industry, has moved a step forward in reduction of press setup time and color matching through the CINGULAR MATCH project with partners as Esko and X-Rite. Comexi customers set new color and quality benchmarks with Esko Equinox and Esko digital flexo plate making equipment.

Domino (hall5, booth A23) N610i digital colour label presses are powered by Esko DFE and Color Engine.

DuPont (hall 8b, booth C21) is celebrating 20 years of collaboration that brought digital plate making to flexographic printing and truly revolutionized the industry. Both companies share a long-term vision to continue innovating the flexo plate making process. They will be featuring the recently announced XPS Crystal 5080, a new flexo plate UV LED exposure device that combines UV main and back exposure in a single operation.  

Durst Phototechnik (hall 6, stand D40) manufactures professional digital print systems for the label and packaging markets. Durst Phototechnik uses the Esko DFE including color management software.

EFI (hall 9, booth A40), EFI (hall 9, booth A40) and Esko partner up to deliver certified workflows focused at removing touchpoints from pre-production operations. By removing costs and allowing operators to work faster and more accurately, integrations between ERP, CAD and prepress solutions are aimed at increasing the margin on every job.

Epson (hall 5, booth A1) and Esko bring together two advanced digital technologies to provide customers with an effective way to streamline the pre-press and workflow process to print consistent, high-quality colour labels.

Fujifilm (hall 8B, booth A25) is a supplier of advanced print production systems for many different applications, and a reseller of many Esko software and hardware products throughout the world. Fujifilm’s latest development in HD compatible, water washable FLENEX plates are optimized for imaging on an Esko CDI. Fujifilm will showcase the new CDI Crystal 5080 on their booth.

GlobalVision (hall 7a, booth E20) developed the Quality Control Platform, allowing users to find and eliminate errors on packaging with automated inspection tools for text, graphics, barcodes, Braille, and printed components. Now integrated into Esko Automation Engine, GlobalVision tickets are an easy way to check the accuracy of files and provide quality control within the Esko workflow.

HP (Hall 17). Strategic partnerships with Esko combine the quality, versatility and productivity of HP digital presses with Esko's leading workflow tools. This results in an extremely efficient end-to-end workflow, which is appreciated by hundreds of active users across the world. A number of Esko software workflow solutions help drive HP and wide format digital presses, while Kongsberg tables are a perfect extension to HP's printing solutions.

Hell Gravure Systems (Hall 16, booth D10) is a long-time OEM partner and a reseller of ArtPro packaging prepress software for gravure applications (HelioCom workstations). More recently, Esko has jointly developed an automated solution that delivers fit-for-purpose TIFF output and interfaces with HelioDisk machine front ends.

Highcon (hall 9, booth C50) develops and sells unique patented digital cutting and creasing solutions, bringing all the benefits previously associated with digital prepress and printing workflow to the existing analog finishing market. Since its inception, Highcon has collaborated with Esko on the Highcon Light Editor, a last minute editing tool. The Highcon Axis Web-to-Pack software platform is powered by Esko. Highcon is an Esko OEM partner for Esko CAD DFEs, used for last-minute customization of die-lines just before digital production. Esko will be featured in the presentation program on the Highcon booth.

Landa (hall 9, booth A73) will be showing automation with Esko upstream and prepress solutions including Esko WebCenter technology as a collaboration tool for its print supply chain, and the Esko Automation Engine and Color Management as the packaging prepress solution to drive Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses through the Landa DFE.  

MacDermid Graphics Solutions (hall 05 / A39) is a manufacturer and marketer of flexographic photopolymer plates used in package printing. MacDermid and Esko have enjoyed a long partnership focused on innovative collaborations aimed to maximize print quality and overall productivity for their mutual customers. (hall 9, booth E14) and its C3 ERP/MIS software for labels, flexible packaging and folding carton delivers out-of-the box integration with Esko Automation Engine for maximum efficiency in prepress and production workflow for shared Esko customers.

Strip Plate (hall 3, booth EO4) will demonstrate on its stand how a Kongsberg XE10 digital cutting table cuts and trims its coating plates.

X-Rite Pantone (hall 8b, booth A23). Esko is co-located on the same booth with its sister company. Both companies cooperate in communicating, formulating, measuring and managing color. Esko’s deep expertise in color management combines naturally with the industry leading color instrumentation of X-rite and color language of Pantone. Both companies support customers to help meet color standards and color expectations on a wide range of substrates and with a broad array of printing technologies. Color experts will demonstrate Esko and X-rite Pantone integrated solutions in several Inspiration Zones on the joint booth.

Windmöller & Hölscher (hall 15, booth A41) manufactures machinery and systems for the extrusion, printing and converting of flexible packaging. As a manufacturer of flexo presses, the company works with Esko to create an integrated flexo system branded under the name PRO FLEXO. At drupa, Esko Automation Engine communicates with W&H’s MIRAFLEX printing press to support the press setup. This communication between Esko Automation Engine and WINDMÖLLER & HÖLSCHER MIRAFLEX press and the Esko plate making equipment are great solutions that will help customers deal with pressure to print shorter runs effectively. Ulrich Harte, Division Manager Marketing Printing and Finishing at Windmöller & Hölscher confirms: “We share a vision with Esko to go beyond today’s flexo plate making and printing technologies and establish an environment where each step of the flexographic printing process is integrated and optimized, providing maximum up-time and print quality. This solution enables our customers to create a competitive differentiator, grow their businesses and protect their operational margins. It just shows one example of our vision of PACKAGING 4.0 for intelligent, intuitive and integrated production technology.”

Three other companies deserve recognition for their special relationships with Esko:

Esko subsidiary Enfocus will have its own zone on the Esko booth, featuring its highly rated software solutions for PDF preflighting and editing and modular workflow automation, including the latest Switch, PitStop and Connect developments. Enfocus will also show a number of Cloud applications for their current integrations including PitStop Server subscriptions, Asset Syncing for Switch and a move towards HTML based user interfaces, in order to maximize flexibility and user experience for users. Enfocus experts will be on hand to explain how these solutions can deliver additional efficiencies.

A growing number of digital assets are being produced within the packaging supply chain. These assets need to be shared with marketing departments combining the physical and digital world, or need to be part of content or product information management. Integrating Esko’s MediaBeacon DAM system with WebCenter makes assets in all relevant file formats beyond packaging available in the right version at the right time to the right stakeholders in the packaging workflow. This integration supports better design, helps protect brand integrity, ensures regulatory compliance and speeds up time to market. MediaBeacon’s full scope of capabilities and benefits will be demonstrated in Esko’s drupa stand.

Worthwhile mentioning is Esko’s long standing relationship with Adobe. Esko is a long-time Adobe OEM partner using Adobe Creative Cloud as the host platform for the Esko DeskPack family of plug-ins, which enable Illustrator and Photoshop to be used as full-featured packaging editors. Esko also uses Adobe PDF technology, including the Adobe PDF Print Engine, which features as the RIP kernel of the Esko Software Platform. The company affiliation goes back more than 10 years and enables us to deliver immense value to customers.


Exciting times

Adam concludes: “It is great to see so many leading industry suppliers endorse the strength of 'Packaging Simplified' and value their partnership with Esko. By providing mutual access to our technology and solutions, we set defacto industry standards and make waves in our industry. Taking time, cost and errors out of the entire production process while ensuring top quality and consistency is the primary goal of all print operations today.”