GHENT, Belgium—Esko, a global technology innovator providing hardware and software for packaging design, development and production, has joined forces with Danaher sister companies AVT, X-Rite and Pantone to integrate its automation and collaboration solutions, with the X-Rite and Pantone color technology and AVT’s camera inspection solutions.
These three integrations, that digitize and connect the most advanced technologies of Esko, AVT, X-Rite and Pantone, were demonstrated during EskoWorld, the annual Esko user event taking place in San Antonio, TX June 5 to 7. The integrations are designed to preserve the digital flow of data across connected systems, addressing market demands for faster time to market and ‘Right First Time’ production in smaller lot sizes while taking cost and waste reduction into account.
Current print inspection setup and processes depend on time-consuming manual intervention by the press operator. This lengthens press setup time and, knowing that a manual inspection setup is error prone, causes additional press downtime and impacts the quality of the work produced. Furthermore, the print inspection devices are just not getting used. A digital link between Esko’s leading packaging prepress workflow, Automation Engine, AVT press workflow, and inspection systems Helios and Argos now provides data to automatically set up a job for inspection on conventional and digital presses, as well as on rewinders.
Geert De Proost, director solutions marketing at Esko, says: “Using this integration, we remove a task from the operator’s to-do list and guarantee a ‘Right First Time’ result. The impact is higher accuracy inspection, consistent usage and lower rejection rates. In addition, it simply creates 30 to 60 minutes more productive time per press shift.”
Brand owners are increasingly placing tighter color requirements on converters and want to receive print quality reports. For converters, inline color measurement can be sub-optimal due to inefficient job setups, lack of automated reporting capabilities for their own operations and their brand owner clients, and no ability to integrate offline measurement into total color performance.
With the new bi-directional integration between X-Rite ColorCert Suite, which defines color requirements and collects pressrun color data to report on color performance, and the AVT Spectralab inline color measurement device, job data is automatically sent to the spectro, which automatically sets up the job for inline color measurement. During the run, the color measurements are sent directly from AVT’s Spectralab to X-Rite’s ColorCert, which collects the data and builds a color scorecard, reporting on the color quality performance of the print run.
“This digital integration delivers better visibility into color performance based on measurable, objective results. This solution helps converters to be ‘Right First Time’ and increases color consistency for brand owners,” states Roie Moran, product manager at AVT.
Today’s operators manually and separately enter production specifications into different systems, creating redundancy and room for error. A digital link between Esko’s collaboration platform WebCenter, and X-Rite’s ColorCert Suite automatically populates color-related specification fields for job creation. When the job runs on the printing press, score values return back to WebCenter to be stored and displayed centrally for true closed-loop color control and reporting. As Betsy Van Kooten, product manager, confirms: “With this integration, operators get it ‘Right First Time.’ Job creation time can be reduced by up to five minutes per job, while improving traceability and visibility in the design workflow.”
The integrations shown at EskoWorld will be commercially available by Fall 2018.
“By integrating the communication and workflow for color specification and camera inspection, we create great efficiencies in the packaging supply chain. Packaging and color data only needs to be entered once to trigger correct communication and clear reporting,” concludes Danielle Sauvé, director of customer insights and experience for Danaher’s Product Identification platform. “With unique solutions that combine the strengths of our individual operating companies, we continue to pursue our mission to simplify the packaging value chain with digital tools, automation and connectivity.”