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Esko announces Esko Software Suite 7

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), July 7, 2007 - Esko, the world leader in packaging design and preproduction solutions, announces the rollout of Esko Software Suite 7, a complete collection of Esko software tools.
Esko Software Suite 7 consists of components that packaging professionals have relied on for years, as well as some innovative new applications:
- Esko ArtiosCAD 7.30 - for structural design of folding carton and corrugated packaging and for manufacturing of die-cutting tools.
- Esko DeskPack 7.0 - the family of packaging plug-ins for Adobe Creative Suite applications, including the revolutionary 3-dX design application.
- Esko PackEdge 7.0 - a powerful PDF editor designed to efficiently prepare packaging and label jobs for volume reproduction.
- Esko Plato 7.0 - controls step & repeat operations for packages and labels, with dramatically extended functionality.
- Esko BackStage 7.0 - for workflow automation, error-reduction and JDF-based system integration.
- Esko FlexRip/FlexProof 7.0 - and associated screening options for high-quality output to the widest range of CtP devices, digital presses and proofers, and including the new FlexProof/E.
- Esko Kaleidoscope 7.0 - best-in-class ICC compatible color management for multi-color printing.
- Esko WebCenter 7.0 - for on-line collaboration and efficient approval workflows.
- Esko Visualizer 7.0 - breakthrough new dynamic packaging visualization application to reduce the need for mock-ups and proofs.
- Esko FastImpose 7.0 - JDF driven sheet layout going beyond interactive page stripping.
- Esko Digital Flexo Suite - Significant cost savings through automated flexo plate optimization, integrating Esko CDI digital flexo CtP, Esko Kongsberg cutting tables, and third party auto-mounting devices in an integrated solution.
The full value of each component becomes apparent when used as part of an integrated Esko solution, such as the new Solution Suites, which provide the full set of Esko applications required to get started in each of the main segments of the packaging industry, including Solution Suites for labels, folding carton, corrugated and flexible packaging.
7 Reasons to Buy Esko Software Suite 7
“The entire packaging supply chain recognizes the value and expertise Esko delivers. The strength of the Esko brand is that we continue to earn the respect from the packaging design and preproduction industry by building complete and useful solutions. Esko Software Suite works seamlessly with the Esko Cyrel Digital Imager (CDI) and Esko’s Kongsberg dieless samplemaking tables to provide comprehensive prepress solutions. Combined with our expert service, training and consulting, Esko Software Suite 7 delivers solutions that users can grow with, and trust,” comments Jan De Roeck, Esko Director of Solutions Management.
Any stakeholder in the packaging value chain considering an investment in packaging software will easily identify with the 7 compelling reasons to consider Esko Software Suite 7:
1.    Wide range of powerful tools for packaging design, preproduction and manufacturing
Esko Software Suite 7 brings value to each step in the production process—from design plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator to sheet layout software to drive CtP equipment, from structural design software for rigid packaging to color management software for accurate color proofing, from trapping software to 3D visualization tools.
2.    Ready for global production, with collaboration tools to connect the different functions of packaging design and production with each other. Stakeholders with different roles and responsibilities now link up globally using WebCenter. Collaboration tools like shared viewports, discussion threads, digital approval and powerful softproofing tools make this happen.
3.    Empowering the Packaging Designer: Esko design applications integrate with tools used for solid modeling of the product itself. Designs from CAD software like SolidWorks, CATIA, or AutoCAD are imported into the packaging workflow to optimize the packaging design process. With DeskPack 3-dX, graphic designers can import CAD structures into their favorite tool, Adobe Illustrator and add graphical elements to the structure—designing around die and fold marks and viewing their results with immediate feedback of creative ideas in 3D.
4.    Import virtually any design file, output to virtually any print device: Esko Software Suite 7 has Adobe’s PostScript and PDF libraries on-board for uncompromised flexibility for import and export of data. Included is full Adobe Creative Suite 3 support, ensuring each job is editable throughout the entire workflow, resulting in faster job throughput. “Flattening” during input is reduced to the absolute minimum so that jobs are processed considerably faster. At output, Esko FlexRip can rip print-ready sheet layouts to the file format that drives your output device of choice, all in a color managed fashion, including for multi-color process printing. Esko Software Suite 7 is your digital production print-ready workflow, including optional support for variable data, responding to market trends for shorter production runs and increased personalization of packaging.
5.    Cost reduction through workflow automation: Esko Software Suite 7 workflow automation capabilities reduces the risk of operator error. Workflow tickets chain mundane and repetitive tasks to each other for cost-effective and error-free automation. To-do lists and notifications inform operators automatically and immediately of job milestones and work at hand.
6.    Integrated end-to-end solution: Esko Software Suite 7 integrates easily with other business systems like ERP, PLM, or CRM tools. Improved JDF integration with MIS results in enhanced production automation, such as automated step & repeat workflows and reporting of job status.
7.    Easy to install, easy to learn, easy to maintain: Esko Software Suite 7 reduces the total cost of ownership with single-click installation procedures and an extensive library of online training movies. The Esko Configuration Manager helps system managers to supervise the entire software configuration and keep it up-to-date.
Esko has received very positive feedback from beta installations currently in the field. “We are using a number of new Esko Software Suite 7 features. The full PDF support ensures us smooth workflow integration between Adobe CS3, Esko PackEdge, Esko BackStage, and our management systems. Backstage Pilot integrates seamlessly with Mac and Windows workstations with database-driven navigation, providing a new way of creating, locating and archiving production data. We are using improved screening technologies and quality approval tools,” comments Daniel Öhman, System & Network Administrator at Miller Graphics in Sweden, one of the largest packaging pre-press services suppliers in Europe. “Our company is experiencing improved speed. Because no files are flattened early, we are assured of file integrity and reliability, allowing smooth throughput for our mission-critical operations."
“With ’Esko Software Suite 7’, we have introduced a new branding and versioning approach for our software, an approach which reflects the way our customers think about Esko. As the packaging industry evolves, Esko is changing to respond to new opportunities and needs – including the integration of Esko software in combination with a wide variety of third party products and technologies,” remarks Arjen Maarleveld, Esko’s Senior Vice President - Packaging Solutions. “We believe there is industry-wide respect for the Esko brand, and have decided to capitalize on it. Version 7 is the most up-to-date 'compatibility layer' for all Esko Software, and we encourage all our current customers to upgrade. Brand owners, packaging designers, trade shops and converters who are not yet using Esko software should take a look at Esko Software Suite 7.”
A global rollout of upgrades to Esko customers has begun, and will continue through Q3 2007. New customers can purchase Esko Software Suite 7 from 7 July, 2007.