Esko targets end-to-end automation with Suite 12

Suite 12, which comprises the latest versions of Esko’s ArtiosCAD, ArtPro, PackEdge, DeskPack and Studio software, aims to speed time to market for new products through greater automation.

This includes the introduction of “intelligent dielines” in ArtiosCAD, whereby box panels of a structural design can be tagged such the the dynamic content tool in Adobe Illustrator identifies the panel.

“The dynamic placeholders come from a new concept that is the intelligent dieline, which is a structural file with placeholders that can be filled in automatically with content,” explained Esko director of software development Frank Adegeest.

“Within Suite 12 we have a dynamic content engine, which is an online tool that the brand owner or retailer can use to input and manage the content for a specific brand.

“That takes a lot of the responsibility and work away from the prepress process, where conventionally people will cut and paste and potentially make a lot of errors. So it will be a lot less errors and fewer touches.”

Further improvements in Esko’s 3D visualisation software allow prototypes to be viewed “in context”, while the WebCenter online collaboration and approval tool has been expanded into a “true packaging management solution”.

This enables retailers and brand owners to remotely specify packaging requirements, manage packaging assets and oversee the entire design and production process.

Adegeest said that one of the goals with Suite 12 was to allow users to design in a holistic way across all elements of packaging, including primary, secondary and tertiary.

“Previously people would work in isolation but brand owners and retailers have recognised that if you design in a holistic way you will make much better packaging in a shorter space of time,” he added.

Esko has therefore added the ability to view multiple components together to its Studio Designer module, embedded in all Esko editors: ArtPro, PackEdge and DeskPack.

Esko has also implemented its Automation Engine (AE) technology further upstream to allow design automation in addition to its previous focus on pre-press and plate production automation.

“Within Suite 12 we will also introduce automatic artwork creation that can be done through AE scripting, also out of work stations and tools around the workflow,” said Adegeest.

“This means I can take the text files that are coming from the dynamic content engine and the automation engine will automatically start loading the right content into the primary, secondary and tertiary packs and make a 3D file that is sent to WebCenter for approval.”

This is not restricted to the text, but also applies to images, barcode and nutrition panels, all of which can be updated automatically.

Commenting on improvements to Esko’s 3D visualisation software, Adegeest said: “One of the drivers of the brand owner is to move the first moment of truth when they see the package as early as possible in the process and ideally you do that in a retail environment.

“In Store Visualizer 12 you will have true walkthrough capability so you can benchmark the product against your competitors’ in a live 3D environment.

“All the products created with Studio Designer can be placed in the 3D environment for benchmarking and approval and it’s not restricted to single boxes – you can take the entire SKU.

“The software includes a whole physics engine so the weight and shape of the packaging is taken into consideration as well. These true 3D viewing capabilities allow brand owners and retailers to rotate, browse, annotate and approve packagin in context.”

This article originally appeared at printweek.com

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