Ghent, Belgium - 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.
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.