Esko & AVT integrate to extend packaging value chain

Design and prepress to automated quality inspection

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Esko AVT
Mattias Byström, president, Packaging & Color Businesses at Danaher

Esko, a global developer of integrated hardware and software solutions for the print, packaging and label industries, and AVT Inspection Systems (‘AVT’), a global provider of print inspection, process control, and quality assurance solutions, have announced the integration of their businesses.

Danaher which is a technology conglomerate with a turnover in 2019 of over US$ 19 billion, owns both companies. It acquired AVT in 2017 and Esko much earlier and also owns Pantone and X-Rite which are relevant to the printing and packaging industries. The closer integration of Esko and AVT seems to make sense in terms of sales, distribution, and channel partners although the two have different channel partners traditionally, as is the case in India. In India at least, Esko’s channel partners tend to be prepress equipment and consumable sellers, while the AVT partner is a major seller of flexible film lines and flexible packaging and label printing presses. Both Esko and AVT have a strong presence in the country.

Adding value to packaging and label production

Effective immediately, according to the two companies, the integration is designed to deliver simplicity and extended connectivity for both Esko and AVT customers by incorporating automated quality inspection into the connected packaging and labeling value chains.

Sharing many of the same customers around the world, the combined business will see the expansion of its sales and technical service teams with enhanced local representation, ensuring customers and OEM partners receive the same level of customer service and technical excellence they have come to expect from both companies.

Mattias Byström, president, Packaging & Color Businesses at Danaher (Pantone, Esko & X-Rite) said, “We are on a mission to build trust in packaging for the long term. This means we are focused on continuously improving the specification, measurement, and communication between parties across the global packaging value chain. By removing the organizational barriers between AVT and Esko, we are expediting this vision.”

The aim of the new organization is for customers to communicate and measure print quality and color, from end to end on a global basis, delivering easier, faster, and more accurate right-first-time production to boost operational performance and ultimately customer satisfaction.

Roy Porat, president of AVT added, “Above all, this integration will absolutely deliver simplicity. It will be easier for printers to measure print quality and color, easier for operators to hit quality and color targets, easier for teams to track and share quality and color data, and easier for business leaders to buy and implement these solutions. Bringing our combined strengths together to deliver a complete solution is an exciting opportunity for our customers and our business.”

Esko and AVT’s digital link AutoSet

Esko and AVT have already released AutoSet, a digital link between Automation Engine, the Esko packaging prepress workflow server, and the AVT 100% print inspection solutions. Enabling Automation Engine to setup AVT inspection systems on conventional and digital presses, as well as on rewinders in an automated way, the development forged the path for the two businesses to work more closely together.

AVT was acquired by Danaher in 2017. Mattias Byström expanded his leadership role from Esko president to include oversight of AVT in August 2019. This latest strategic move is the formalization of the strategy to create a combined position to better serve brands and their print and packaging supply chain partners with comprehensive hardware and software solutions.

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.

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