Esko at Printpack 2022 – Hall 9D Stand H22C

Digital means closing the workflow loop with real-time data

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Karan Talwar Esko India
Karan Talwar of Esko India at the Esko stand at Printpack India in Greater Noida Photo Packaging South Asia

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?

Esko Printpack 22
Esko demonstrations at Printpack India
Photo PSA

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.

PrintPack Show Daily

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.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.

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