Brad Montgomery delivered the keynote presentation, titled “Laugh-O-Nomics: Connecting Happiness at Work to Business Success.” The first day of the event concluded with a panel discussion designed to drive debate between partners and the Esko management team. Other presentations focused on MediaBeacon’s presence in Esko’s operations, roadmap sessions, Automation Engine and WebCenter functionality, and a Kongsberg display that demonstrated the custom-cutting of labels and carton plates with Digital Flexo Suite.
In addition to the presentations, the Esko Partner Pavilion allowed partner companies to showcase their products. DuPont, EFI, Flint Group, HP, MacDermid and X-Rite were among those in attendance.
Udo Panenka, president, presided over EskoWorld 2015 for the first time since taking over for Carsten Knudsen on January 1, 2015. “We’re doing pretty well here, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the customers for really giving us the confidence and trust and using us as the partner of choice,” said Panenka. “This is the success of Esko, and without the customers, we would not be here.”
The first day’s closing session not only featured a panel discussion, but it gave attendees the chance to meet the new Esko leadership team. In addition to Panenka, Jon Giardina, vice president for the Americas, Philippe Adam, vice president of global marketing, and Thomas Klein, vice president, hardware business, were all appointed in the past year.
EskoWorld 2015 featured the theme, “Improve Today. Dream for Tomorrow.” In addition to displaying new technologies, the company discussed how it could better work with clients to provide a more fruitful partnership. In the spirit of collaboration, users gave presentations and explained how Esko software has helped their business.
In speaking about the value of an efficient prepress solution, Panenka stated that one mistake can cost a converter $1 million. Therefore, discovery workshops can improve integration with MIS systems, Automation Engine and WebCenter. In a presentation entitled, “Streamlining Your Business Process,” Stephanie Graham, solutions architect project manager at Esko, said that discovery workshops have the ability to cut wait times from seven days to 2.5 days, all while increasing visibility and standardization.
Panenka emphasized that there is zero tolerance for faults and mistakes in the entire process, which ranges from Esko’s software to the converters doing the printing. “We have a couple of initiatives along the way to improve quality,” he said. “First is PPM (Parts Per Million), which is a quality measure to thoroughly analyze all the calls coming from our customers for equipment that is newly installed. We work with the R&D teams to get all of our quality issues under control. We also look at the quality of the equipment because that is of very high importance, so we are designing new products to become more sensitive to errors. We are already working on concepts where we can use the intelligence of the hardware devices to foresee errors that might come in the future.”
MediaBeacon and Digital Asset Management
MediaBeacon is an asset management company that provides brands with media management, search and re-use solutions. Its goal is to facilitate automation in the digital supply chain and maintain cost-effectiveness. When Esko acquired MediaBeacon in March of 2015, it appointed the company’s CEO, Jason Bright, to chief technical officer. Bright was on hand at EskoWorld 2015 to give an in-depth look at Digital Asset Management.
“Digital asset management allows you to do semantic searches and have absolute distribution control and rights management,” explained Bright. “DAM is the center of the media world; it’s the way that you control print and broadcast and web and social. It gives brand owners a center place to look in this continually integrated society where a mistake in China is a mistake in the US.”
Overcoming color challenges
Amanda Webster, prepress manager at Century Label, talked about how her company found success with Esko’s prepress software. Century Label is a custom label converter that specializes in pressure sensitive labels and shrink sleeves. Webster’s presentation highlighted the color challenges and solutions often faced in labels and packaging.
The Bowling Green, OH-based company conducted a case study to increase efficiency and productivity with its color matching. Century Label went through three steps when diagnosing inconsistencies with its color: hiring a color management professional, consulting with HP for services, and researching solutions and tools that included Esko software. “Yes, it does work,” explained Webster. “We went through years and years of not having any kind of color management, and today, we are in such great shape, there are rarely any issues in the pressroom.”
For Century Label, using Esko software led to repeatable results, including color matching between flexo and digital. Century Label was also able to create spot color books for its customers. The company utilizes a HP Indigo 6600 and 6000 presses at its facility.
– Greg Hrinya