On booth 923 during ISA Sign Expo 2016, held April 20-23, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Florida, Esko (www.esko.com) will show its wide range of innovative, and scalable, workflow and finishing solutions to empower sign and display companies to drive new business. This includes new, innovative software tools that will help sign shops get the most productivity out of their finishing systems.
For nearly 70 years, ISA International Sign Expo has been breaking records in exhibit sales and attendance, growing from a few hundred booths to more than 1,800 representing almost 600 companies and serving an audience of 18,000 attendees.
“Esko realizes that it’s not only fast, effective finishing hardware that makes a print shop successful, but all of the supporting software that is able to tie an effective workflow to both the printer and finisher,” comments John Giardina, President, Esko Americas. At ISA 2016 we are excited to show visitors to our booth new software features that will truly make sign shops more productive and profitable.”
A wide range of solutions to drive innovation
Esko will be showcasing two models of its Kongsberg family, the market’s most robust offering of digital finishing systems. The Kongsberg C64 is a state-of-the-art, super-wide (126″ x 126″) digital finisher that offers the highest possible performance. Precision and productivity over ten feet are guaranteed thanks to the carbon-composite traverse beam, which is unique to Esko. The Kongsberg C also is the only super-wide finisher with a 3kW continuous duty high-performance milling unit. On the Kongsberg C64 table, Esko will also be showing short run scalability with a large stack capability and automation. It is capable of four feed cycles per minute in a continuous material flow. Material is loaded with a fork truck or pallet jack–either portrait or landscape. It also is available with an optional roll feeder.
The second table, the Kongsberg XN, is easily the most versatile digital finishing device ever introduced. Whether producing vinyls, boards or wood; the Kongsberg XN brings the best quality for any job or application. It comes with industry standard print to cut registration, a camera system for vision cutting among many other features. While the Kongsberg XN24 on the booth is 66″ x 126″, the XN product family is available in seven different sizes from 66″ x 50″ to 87″ x 258″.
Increasing production throughput with new software
The i-cut Production Console (iPC) drives all Kongsberg table functionality, such as camera control, machine set up, tool recognition, calibration and tool adjustments. On display at ISA will be new features Esko recently announced the front-end operating system. With these features, precise production planning and prioritizing in the digital finishing operation becomes easier to manage.
With the integration of a complete materials database, Esko has bundled decades of digital finishing expertise. The operator gets expert advice from the system on the selection and setup of tools and knives when setting up the job. Using this information takes guesswork out of the finishing production, speeding up the changeover between jobs and the entire production and improves consistency. The risk of damaging expensive materials and quality variations is drastically reduced.
Esko has also integrated its Kongsberg tables with its workflow automation software, Automation Engine. Automation Engine’s Device Manager gives better control over finishing production. Work in progress and the status and queues of all connected devices are clearly visualized on screen. The software determines optimal sheet nesting to increase production capacity. Operators use an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to prioritize table queues, insert rush jobs and even balance workloads between tables.
Esko knows from its customers that margins on short run digital print work are tightening. When a job is estimated and quoted, it is important to know how long the job will take to produce. With accurate job estimation, companies are able to communicate better quotes and forecast more accurate delivery times to their customers, ultimately protecting overall profitability. The new Kongsberg Estimating Software module delivers against these challenges. Packaging, signage and display designs are prepared, and production estimates are generated automatically, based on production metadata such as substrate type and thickness.
Also on display will be Esko’s i-cut Suite, a collection of prepress and pre-production software solutions providing the tasks sign and display companies need, such as preflighting, file editing, cutting paths and nesting. It helps companies eliminate errors, save time and reduce waste. Adding Esko’s Automation Engine manages prepress workflow automation with dynamic workflows. Automation Engine serves as the heart of any size prepress production operation and can also offer automated color management for consistent color. Esko ArtiosCAD and Studio software for 3D design of displays offer dedicated tools to streamline structural design, graphic development, virtual prototyping, and manufacturing.
Esko can bring powerful yet flexible software solutions that support all aspects of sign, display and wide-format production, from structural design to graphics and preproduction, to finishing–all offered with automation,” concludes Giardina. “We look forward to showing visitors an integrated end to end solution that can help any business, large or small.”