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Esko Makes Hybrid Printing a Piece of Cake

October 5, 2017

Permapack experiences faster and more secure print workflow with Hybrid Press Support within Automation Engine

With Esko Hybrid Press Support, leading Swiss manufacturer of high-end packaging Permapack has been able to achieve flexibility and standardisation at the highest level. The tool is a component of Esko Automation Engine, designed to automate the prepress workflow of jobs using different printing processes. This means that now only one production file is required for hybrid print jobs, containing the parameters for the various printing processes. These are recognised within the workflow and take their own individual, predetermined path in order to automatically obtain the specific print settings. With this solution, Esko has been nominated for this year's ‘Award for Innovation’ at the Label Industry Global Awards.

"Process reliability in comparison to manual production is disproportionately higher with the Automation Engine and Hybrid Press Support,” says Mark Lehmann, Chief Technical Officer at Permapack. “Since implementing the solution, our packaging production speed has increased by 25%.  As there are fewer manual settings required, the amount of operator errors has also decreased. This is an absolute must in our industry today.” Permapack took an important step towards process security and automation in its packaging production process a year ago, when it implemented Automation Engine and WebCenter for online approvals.

For Permapack the investment in automation solutions as a modern packaging manufacturer is essential, especially as the price situation is still critical at the Swiss production site due to the high exchange rate for the Franc. This means that solutions from Esko help to compensate for this disadvantage of location thanks to the benefits of automation. Permapack deploys Hybrid Press Support for flexo, screen, book and digital print jobs. This includes labels and sachets for food and cosmetics applications as well as laminate tubes for beauty care products. Simplifying its prepress workflow has led to significant standardisation and flexibility for hybrid print jobs at Permapack. Each printing process would otherwise require its own production file to be guided separately through the workflow. This has previously taken up precious time and been a source for errors, compromising the production flow, particularly for smaller runs and tight delivery deadlines.

Secure workflow for all parties with Automation Engine and WebCenter

Permapack has installed a solutions package with Esko to cope with the rapid increase in print design work being carried out with the help of an automation software package. An important advantage for Permapack is that all internal and external parties involved in the project – customer, advertising agency, sales, work preparation, pre-press and production – are working with one and the same file. This means a high level of reliability in the correction and approval process. Via the Viewer, all parties involved have the opportunity to compare the versions optimally.

Labels, tubular laminates, sachets, bags, films as well as wrap-around labels and much more are produced in the in-house print shop (77 conventional printing units and two digital printing systems from HP Indigo). The special challenges include data preparation for the sophisticated designs from the large range of customers with multiple individual versions as well as the varied finishing types that are possible on the 10-colour hybrid machines. The database stores far in excess of 5000 cutting dies, as well as around one thousand format drawings for flexible packaging options. Once the SmartMarks have been created and approved, they can be retrieved over and over again without errors.

Automation Engine

The core of the Esko prepress workflows is the Automation Engine, a modular workflow server that automates projects and processes in pre-press. It not only ensures a higher level of efficiency, greater throughput, but is designed in all aspects for the daily challenges that printing professionals are confronted with, by increasing quality, reducing the likelihood of errors and lowering process costs. The Automation Engine has a scalable and easy-to-operate client/server architecture. It can also be seamlessly integrated into any business system.

About Permapack

Permapack is a successful Swiss production and supply firm under family ownership. Permapack, based in Rorschach, is multi-faceted: In the six application areas of non-food, food, cosmetics, construction, industry and retail, products such as self-adhesive labels, composite and packaging films, laminate tubes, adhesive tapes, sealants, DIY and garden items are produced and marketed. With 400 employees, Permapack achieved a turnover of around 112 million Swiss Francs in 2016. www.permapack.ch.

About Esko (www.esko.com)

Packaging Simplified. Esko helps its customers to make the best packaging for billions of consumers.

The Esko product portfolio supports and manages the packaging and print processes for brand owners, retailers, designers, premedia and trade shops, packaging manufacturers, and converters. For 9 out of 10 retail packages, Esko solutions are used in packaging management, asset management, artwork creation, structural design, prepress, 3D visualization, flexo plate making, workflow automation, quality assurance, sample-making, palletization, supply chain collaboration and/or the production of signage and displays.

The Esko solutions consist of an extensive suite of software and two hardware product lines: CDI flexo computer-to-plate imagers and exposure units as well as Kongsberg digital cutting systems, complemented with professional services, training and consultancy.

Enfocus, with its suite of automation solutions and PDF quality control tools for printers, publishers, and graphic designers, is an Esko subsidiary. MediaBeacon, with its digital asset management (DAM) solutions is also part of the Esko family.

Esko employs about 1,500 people worldwide. Headquartered in Gent (Belgium), its sales and service organization is in daily contact with customers all over the globe.

Esko is a Danaher company (www.danaher.com).

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