This is the second part of our article on Esko and its strategy. The first part looked in detail at Esko’s partnership with EFI and Automation Engine Lite. Here we look at how the grand plan is being put into practise, most notably with the Device Manager for the CDI flexo platesetters and Kongsberg cutting tables.
At drupa Esko also showed Device Manager for the CDI Crystal and Kongsberg cutting tables; these sell at a rate of around 800 per annum. The technology is for managing queued jobs, changing print orders and generally balancing workloads. Esko now has a version of Device Manager for the CDI flexo imaging system. It provides job tracking for files in the workflow, with queue management using a dashboard planning board. The status of different jobs is presented in a pie chart, from which all data can be extracted and shared. It includes individual machine status, showing the number of plates to be imaged.
The next step is to connect plate processors to Device Manager. De Roeck says: “We have in our sights a stick in the ground to make flexo plate making as simple as offset plate making”. He adds that “Esko has the highest market share for this technology … it’s for printers to in-source platemaking”. Efficient preproduction and device management means fewer tasks in the plateroom, more automation and so lower costs.