Drupa review: EskoArtwork
EskoArtwork are claiming Drupa 08 a huge success. Their relatively recent partnerships with Artwork Systems, Enfocus and Gradual and a further two partnerships announced at the opening of the show: With Presstek, they will offer EskoArtwork’s Odystar workflow solution under its own Latitude brand; and then the SmartColour group at Sun Chemical will cooperate with EskoArtwork to bring innovative solutions for brand colour management to the entire packaging supply chain.
On the closing day, EskoArtwork also announced signing a Letter of Intent regarding the acquisition of Mikkelsen Graphic Engineering, Inc. (MGE), the industry reference in vision controlled finishing solutions for cutting tables in the sign-making, screen-printing and digital printing marketplaces.
“EskoArtwork’s innovative solutions for professionals designing, producing and managing packaging and print products greatly appealed to visitors of drupa 2008,” reflects Carsten Knudsen, EskoArtwork’s President and CEO. "The interest for increased efficiencies, higher quality and colour consistency, faster growth, better margins and a more competitive position were strong motivators among those who visited the EskoArtwork stand — and invested in our solutions."
Visitors to EskoArtwork’s “colour for Everyone” demonstration were impressed by the company’s end-to-end colour management solutions for proofing and output. Through a variety of samples, EskoArtwork demonstrated its unique capabilities in professional colour for packaging and printing professionals, focusing on Equinox, a solution for extended gamut printing, and the Esko KaleidoScope colour management platform.
The new partnership with Sun Chemical adds further to EskoArtwork’s expertise. By offering access to the Sun Chemical SmartColour ink database into EskoArtwork KaleidoScope colour management software, printers will produce colour-accurate proofs without needing to fingerprint the press.
For commercial printers
EskoArtwork Pro and Enterprise Workflow solutions—based on Odystar and BackStage PDF respectively— received great attention from medium and large commercial printers.
There was also high interest for the Enfocus PDF pre-flighting, editing and certification tools, even more after the announcement that Enfocus has decided to open its Certified PDF specification to other software developers. Finally, there was the Switch product (from recently acquired Gradual Software) now integrated within the Enfocus portfolio, increasing efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and connecting with other key graphic arts applications.
EskoArtwork and its flexo partner DuPont demonstrated the new Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI) solutions for flexo sleeve imaging (CDI Advance Cantilever) and automated flexo platemaking (CDI Spark 4260 Auto). Sales of CDI imagers already exceeded expectations after the first week of drupa; by the end of the exhibition more than 70 new CDI orders were confirmed.
Drupa 2008 marked the worldwide launch of a number of other new EskoArtwork products, including the new high-performance Kongsberg XP dieless cutting tables, optimized for short-run digital converting for packaging and POP displays. By the end of the show well over 55 new table orders have been booked.
New packaging software products include SignUp, a prepress layout tool that reduces preparation times, optimizes press time and substrate usage for sign & displays; Visualizer, which creates and shares ultra-realistic on-screen mock-ups and soft proofs of complex packaging and label designs; Studio, a new product line that integrates Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and graphics design for boxes and flexible packaging building onto Adobe® Illustrator®; and Studio Toolkits, a new line of structural design tools that supplies the basic packaging shapes for Studio.