As the Printpack 22 show began we met our old friends at Esko briefly. What head of sales operations for South Asia, Karan Talwar was able to tell us in a few minutes was that the technology company that has been at the center of the packaging, signage, and POP prepress – is going even more digital. What could this mean for a company that has always sold digital software for packaging from die-design to graphics and special color substitution, and specialized trapping for packaging?
It seems that Esko’s newest offerings integrate production data so that it is not only an ERP system for various technical prepress enhancement of ‘assets’ to make them more efficiently printable but also monitoring the production workflow using the data generated by the AVT quality and defect inspection system on packaging press. This makes sense since Esko’s parent Danaher acquired AVT a couple of years ago, and it is a highly featured inspection system on flexible packaging presses that also has a large footprint in India.
Danaher also owns X-Rite so its increasing integration of measuring instruments and software, with inspection systems and software, together with Esko’s prepress software can help to close the quality loop. In addition, it can eventually mean that the entire workflow can be digitally monitored in real time.
As Talwar suggested to us, “Even the customer can monitor the quality of his packaging while it is being produced.” Thus the meaning of digital is not just analog images and die-lines and trapping are being generated by the software. The implication is that going more deeply digital means real-time data of more steps in the workflow generated and made available automatically without human intervention can make it available from anywhere. Instead of having to optimize each step and measure and coordinate with the other steps in the workflow, the production data and process can be optimized centrally as a whole.