Packaging is a thriving market. One of the partner exhibitors at EskoWorld, said the worldwide packaging industry will top $820 billion by 2016. That’s one reason why attendance at this user group has grown by 30% since last year. Other reasons, according to Mark Quinlan, president of Esko Americas, are a maturing product line, the halo effect of Drupa, growing recognition that software applications are the key to efficient shops, and a growing presence of commercial printers entering the packaging field.
Esko, headquartered in Belgium, employs 1,200 people and has a presence in more than 50 countries. During a time of cutbacks in the industry, Quinlan said R&D remains the lifeblood of the company. The U.S. is Esko’s largest market, but he says he sees a pent-up demand in Canada that warrants more resources from the company.
So what did attendees see? One of the most attention-grabbing technology demos was a 3D Store Visualizer. A large screen and 3D glasses let brand owners actually “see” how their package will look in a virtual supermarket and in shopping carts. While not for everyone, this could be a cost-effective service for companies with large clients.
Other products fresh from Drupa include Suite 12, a package of upgraded software tools including workflow and prepress, file sharing and collaboration, and colour management.
The CDI Spark 4835 Auto plate imager with a digital UV back-exposure now integrates back exposure, automated loading, imaging, main exposure and off-loading to the processing unit in one step.
The Kongsberg XN cutting table now serves all markets from packaging to sign making and displays. It can be used for cutting plates and can handle the heavy materials used for protective packaging. New tools include a solid board v-notching insert, a corrugated paper-core board v-notching insert and a Braille tool insert. It also sports a new milling spindle, called the MultiCUT- HP boost productivity up to three times.