Jan 24, 2011
In the Color Digital Label & Packaging (CDLP) service we concentrate mainly on primary packaging such as prime labels, folding cartons, and flexible packaging. Converters in each of those applications use software from EskoArtwork, for graphic design of labels and for both graphic and structural design of folding cartons and flexible packaging. A recent news item reminded us that EskoArtwork is also a top vendor to converters for an adjacent application, corrugated containers. In corrugated packaging, EskoArtwork seems to repeat its role in enhancing design and speed as seen in converting for primary packaging.
York Container, the subject of the coverage, is a single source supplier of corrugated shipping containers, as well as retail packaging and point of purchase displays. York, which has nearly 200 employees, deals with the entire packaging production workflow, from providing raw materials and structural solutions to creative graphic design and in-line production of printing, die-cutting, coating, folding, and gluing.
York uses Esko’s ArtiosCAD software for structural design of corrugated boxes and POP displays. As in primary packaging market’s folding carton application, ArtiosCAD allows the user to see the corrugated carton’s design interactively in 3D. This allows the structural designer to check if print has been placed correctly, and if the key parts of the structure such as flaps have been oriented correctly. (Check out this related video from EskoArtwork)
Another key feature is the software’s “parametrics” design capability, which allows the user to automatically resize designs. Thus if the user has an existing drawing, and wants the same design but 15% larger, ArtiosCAD can convert the existing design quickly. Similarly, if an original corrugated design was created in B flute, the parametric feature can create a design in C flute; instead of redesigning the packaging allowances in the different flute, ArtiosCAD automatically resizes the scoring allowances. Other bits:
– Job specifications with customer style requirements are added to the ArtiosCAD Standards Catalog, further speeding production and time to market.
– Once changes are applied globally to a standard, all drawings generated to that style will reflect the newer style, with all the revisions.
– York uses HRMS business management system software, and it connects easily to ArtiosCAD through EskoArtwork’s SpecLink.
On the bi-directional connection to the HRMS, a hard copy HRMS work order accompanies every job throughout the facility; every work order must be accompanied by a drawing of the packaging, it can’t be on a separate attachment. York’s preprogrammed product codes are sent from HRMS through SpecLink to ArtiosCAD. If ArtiosCAD receives a code it recognizes, it automatically knows what to draw. If not, as for a new product, the designer creates a new drawing. This in turn is sent electronically from ArtiosCAD to the HRMS system, so that HRMS system can reproduce it and information does not need to be re-entered into the HRMS system.
Overall the story about EskoArtwork at York has reminded us that the Belgian software company has essentially no near competitor for its specialty, structural design and graphics design for packaging. The closest one was probably Artwork Systems, which merged with Esko NV in late 2007 and is now part of EskoArtwork.
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