Essentra Packaging deploys Esko Automation Engine

Cloud deployment workflow solution

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Essentra
Esko Automation Engine in the cloud photo esko.com

Essentra Packaging has become the first global packaging manufacturer to begin rolling out cloud deployment of the Esko Automation Engine workflow solution across its European prepress departments.

Esko_Essentra_Prepress_AEFollowing a successful trial at its plant in Lublin, Poland, Essentra Packaging has now begun a program to integrate automation engine at many of its locations throughout Europe, taking advantage of the SaaS (Software as a Service) deployment to simplify IT infrastructure while enjoying the efficiency and productivity gains delivered through the automation and digitization of processes.

“We had been looking to standardize our systems and processes in the prepress area for a long time,” said Mark King, technical manager packaging division with Essentra Packaging. “A SaaS deployment is essential for a business like ours because of the number of sites that we have in different locations and the fact that each site can be using different systems. We wanted a complete solution that is scalable for our business, and Automation Engine SaaS ticks all the boxes for us.”

The high-performance workflow automation solution from Esko, Automation Engine is flexible to adapt to changing business needs, scalable and customized to optimize individual prepress workflows. “It enables businesses like Essentra to automate, standardize and improve prepress workflow with accelerated benefits across their entire organization,” said Paul Land, product manager with Esko. “It automates prepress tasks and integrates with business systems, which speeds up the process and significantly reduces the error rate and need for operator intervention.

Esko_Automation_Engine_Hero“With the next-generation Automation Engine, we introduced a cloud-based deployment option,” he said. “Essentra Packaging had previously expressed a desire to move from an on-premise installation of Automation Engine to a SaaS solution that sits in a cloud-based environment, so they were invited to join our pre-release program.”

Mark King explained that Essentra Packaging has achieved some of its growth through acquisition, with the result being different systems and software levels across the business. “Our Lublin facility was selected as the pilot site as it is a multi-product manufacturer, so in terms of development, we could experience the new system across both cartons and labels. Following that successful first deployment, we now have a robust plan to roll out the system across the packaging division.

“What Automation Engine SaaS enables us to do is standardize, to bring the sites into line and work to one standard process,” he said. “The workflows are stored centrally and can be accessed from all the sites within our group. This provides us with the flexibility to share knowledge and share artwork – all in a consistent format. By creating these specific workflows for specific jobs, our operators can consistently produce the same job, day in and day out, with the same outputs, even from operator to operator. That improves efficiency and ensures that every job meets all quality standards and is delivered on time.

“For example, one of the things we’ve seen in terms of major time savings is when looking at imposing jobs,” said Mark. “When we’re using a manual process, it can take anything up to 30 minutes, but with Automation Engine SaaS that is reduced to a matter of just two to three seconds.

“Another benefit with the SaaS solution is that the software is continually updated, so we can adopt the new features more quickly,” he said. “This means that we have the agility and flexibility to adapt and change based on customer demand, with the automated workflows updated instantly based on the customer’s requirements.”

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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