Professional software for packaging design and prepress

Color management, trapping and RIPing

Kodak’s range of solutions offer control over all production stages – from the design phase, working with a corporate designer, budgeting, approvals, production, digital proofing, color control and screening

Automated prepress workflows are key to quality and time-to-market improvements. Pre production systems for packaging refine the highly automated prepress workflows of commercial printing and adapt them for package production by emphasizing speed and supply chain collaboration. They also add tools to meet a variety of packaging-specific technical challenges, such as the handling of spot colors, step-and-repeat or trapping specifications, and other labor intensive, front-end, and RIP-based tasks. Here are some of the popular packaging prepress software.

Kodak Prinergy connect workflow

Kodak has a rich history in packaging. Its range of solutions offer control over all production stages – from the design phase, working with a corporate designer, budgeting, approvals, production, color control and screening, digital proofing, and eventually the final output on offset or flexo or potentially digital devices. Kodak’s Prinergy Workflow lies at the heart of its workflow solution set. All of the components that hang off that, whether it be Pandora or Preps, for imposition of labels or diecut objects, are part of a complete solution as are Color Flow and Spotless technology, to control the color in the job, or automation components through Packaging Layout Automation (PLA).

Arden Impact CAD Software allows users to design the structural box. For a structural design, understanding the type of material that’s going to be used, how it’s going to be folded, when it’s going to be folded, the angles, how the thickness and rigidity of the substrate will affect the folding and creasing. And being able to send it fortooling and die-making.

Kodak’s Creative Workflow allows the creation of a project that contains multiple assets, and each one of those assets is approved or viewed, downloaded and uploaded, by each of the people or resources that collaborate. It allows a collaborative environment providing the prepress supplier, printer or converter the ability to deliver a service to the final buyer – a design and collaboration environment that allows for approvals at the appropriate time. It works hand-in-hand with Kodak’s asset library.

InSite Creative Workflow and InSite Asset Library are twinned, related products, a place to store the asset, to approve it and put it into a different phase in workflow. Often assets such as logos or photography may be used over multiple packages or different campaigns for a specific corporate environment. InSite Asset Library also allows users to integration with Kodak’s PLA product that automates the creation of final layouts before they’re produced. Whether the offset, flexo or digital process is used, PLA enables storage for not only the PDF files, but also raw or native files, such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, within a particular asset library for approval and storage.

Kodak’s PDF Platebuilder enables the creation of specific bump plates for a white or a rich black, or metallics or a varnish, by simply choosing an object. An example is a cola can with bubbles dripping down the side of the can and being able to select that bubble and automatically select all the others to create a bump varnish for that specific set of objects.

InSite Prepress Portal around since 2002, extends the production environment, allowing a brand owner to really participate in the production of their art work, to allow them to actually upload their files, to approve files, and to track and trace its progress – who approved it, when they approved it, and any comments that were made on that file. In many cases it is important to be able to do color-accurate previewing ona remotemonitor – being able to see not only what the content looks like, butthatreflexblue really looks like reflexblue on the screen, or specific Pantone colors that are going to be part of the job are accurately represented on the screen. What’s also important for any Portal Solution is to allow real-time collaboration without sending physical or hard copy proofs.

Prinergy PDF Processing and Editing is a PDF-based workflow. With PDF File Editor, users are able to open PDF files in Illustrator, use the power of Illustrator and Photoshop to manipulate the PDF and check it back into the workflow, and be able to validate that file. There are also tools to compare and merge files. These two are critical to the packaging space where operators often spend a lot of time doing sophisticated traps, and customers request minor changes at the last minute. Comparing the two PDFs – the original that was received from the customer and the updated or edited file helps find the differences and to merge only the changes that have been made since the original submission into the original file.

PDF Platebuilder enables the creation of specific bump plates for awhite or a rich black, ormetallics or a varnish,by simply choosinganobject andlike objects.Anex ample you can think of is a cola or soda can with bubbles dripping down the side of the can and being able to select that bubble and automatically select all the others to create a bump varnish for that specific set of objects. And a separate plate can then be output for production.

Packz Software

PACKZ Trapping
Packz has an intelligent trapping algorithm that performs fast, interactive and automatic trapping

Packz was first launched in India at Pamex 2013. The software is completely built around Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) and has a versatile set of dedicated prepress functions to make designs ready for any printing process. “We have a couple of customers in India now. The market penetration has just started six months ago and we have a lot of interested customers in the flexo-labels, gravure, flexo and offset packaging,” said Luc Buttiens recently, international sales director at Packz Software.

In Packz, PDF documents are directly opened without intermediate conversion into an internal file format, and are displayed as color managed previews. The intuitive user interface gives access to amultilingual work environment in which the operator can customize shortcuts, define workspaces and access standard prepress editing features. Packz has the ability to create barcodes, such as EAN8 and 13, Quick Response, Data Matrix, Laetus, UTF-14 and others. It has an intelligent trapping algorithmthat performs fast, interactive and automatic trapping. Trapping can be applied on the entire file or on a selection, using the same technology. All traps are stored in a database and are marked on a separate layer, which provides easy handling, repeatability and user friend liness.

solidThinking and HyperWorks from Altair

solid Thinking Evolve allows industrial designers to develop forms faster, using either Windows or Mac OS X. It enables capture of an initial sketch, exploration of styling alternatives and visualization of products with realistic rendering generated inrealtime. Evolveprovides organic surface modellingandparametric control,with NURBS-based surfaces and solids and a unique ConstructionTree history feature. It frees designers from the constraints of engineering-oriented CAD tools, while allowing the export of digital models required by others in the product development process.

solidThinking Inspire allows product and packaging designers to investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily especially when light-weighting materials. This can lead to reduced costs,developmenttime,material consumption and product weight.

Altair HyperWorks enables rapid design exploration and innovation by examining and validating sustainability of packaging applications by studying and improving structural, environmental and/or mechanical attributes of the entire product or packaging system. It looks at the entire value chain – from concept to retail – evaluating product behaviour in manufacturing such as a new bottle design on your existing manufacturing line; developing and validating product shipping and handling from a palletized load in transit to final handling in distribution and retail. Hyperworks simulates product performance in use such as a washing machine cycle to misuse and abuse conditions such as drop impact of a product or package – virtually simulating manufacturing processes including material extrusion, blowmoulding, polymer and sheet forming, metal forming and casting.

“In India we have over 700 customers. Of them, roughly 100 use Solid Thinking solutions,” says Rajneesh Shinde, senior director, marketing and channels, Altair India. “We have a dedicated 50+ member sales and support team in India since the last 10 years servicing over 700+ customers comprising leading OEM’s design consulting organizations in consumer goods, automotive, aerospace, heavy engineering, AEC, Oil and Gas to name a few,” Shinde says.

Metamation’s IMP for folding carton industry

In a packaging converter’s workflow it is very common to reuse the older dies for newer jobs. The bottleneck in this process is to identify the die that matches the profile of the current job. IMP software achieves a significant breakthrough in this process. IMP allows packaging printers to dynamically search tens of thousands of existing dies to find geometrically matching dies for a new job. Apart from a metadata-based search, IMP is capable of comparing geometry of the current job with thousands of jobs in the database and finding close matches.

Simply put, the user can superimpose 1-Up geometries and graphically see how close the match is. The sophistication level is such that the software also makes the necessary cost calculations to see if the printer is better off using the existing die or making a new one. Unique reel sheeting feature suggests sheet sizes form paper or board reels in the inventory, resulting on paper savings.

Estimators need not depend on CAD departments for creating estimates. This easy-to-use application can be used to generate quick estimates of complex nested jobs. There are some finer features such as resolving bleeds and inserting single blades or cuts at specific areas (sides) like glue flap automatically in layout. Breakthrough technologies are developed to automate such tasks minimizing human intervention and human errors. IMP software completely eliminates the task of step and repeat nesting in the prepress department and stream lines planning and layout creation in one step.

Esko’s packaging prepress software

The Esko product portfolio supports and manages the packaging and print processes at brand owners, retailers, designers, packaging manufacturers and print service providers. For 9 out of 10 retail packages, Esko solutions are used in packaging management, artwork creation, structural design, prepress, 3D visualization, platemaking, workflow automation, quality assurance, sample-making, palletization, supply chain collaboration and the production of signage and displays. Esko is the most well-known packaging design and prepress solution and is often considered the benchmark for professional or industrial strength packaging software.

For 9 out of 10 retail packages, Esko solutions are used in packaging management, artwork creation,
structural design, prepress, 3D visualization, platemaking, workflow automation, quality assurance, sample-making, palletization, supply
chain collaboration and the production of signage and displays

Packaging prepress editors: ArtPro and PackEdge are full-featured packaging preproduction editors offering unique technologies and dedicated tools focused on the major prepress pain points (for example CAD, graphics alignments, trapping, distortion, screening, barcodes). ArtPro supports all industry standard file formats and can be integrated in any packaging workflow but due to a seamless integration with ArtiosCAD and Automation Engine, ArtPro turns Esko’s packaging software into a complete packaging solution. Pack Edge can reduce the cost of errors and increase the efficiency of PC-based preproduction department. The Instant Trapper and PowerTrapper modules of PackEdge offer interactive and automatic trapping functionality.

Packaging prepress in Illustrator and Photoshop: Deskpack is a collection of packaging prepress plugins for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. With these plugins, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop become full-fledged packaging prepress applications. The DeskPack plugins import structural design files (CAD data), create production trapping files and imposition for print-ready production files.

Sheetlayout: Plato is a powerful tool for the creation of print-ready layouts for the packaging and label industries. A powerful module for the creation of print-ready layouts for the label and flexible packaging industries, it adds control and reduces errors and cost for optimal plate layouts.

Proofing and output: Based on open industry standards, Imaging Engine is the RIP solution for output devices and the FlexProof option includes color management enabling contract proofs to be made ona variety of digital proofing devices, including accurate spot color matching. Screening and calibration technologies adapted to flexo are integrated, allowing users to make optimum use of their digital flexo imager.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

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