Esko, a global supplier of integrated hardware and software solutions for the print and packaging industry, has launched the latest generation of its native PDF editor for packaging and label prepress, dubbed ArtPro+ 20.0.

With advantages including 70 per cent faster trapping, significant time and material savings for staggered plate cutting, and simplification of shrink-sleeve jobs, this software delivers a significant boost to prepress operational excellence, according to Esko.

The new software premieres a new features and tools. Esko said these tools can significantly reduce the time spent on non-value adding tasks and increasing the speed of jobs to press. The company said the new software also increases packaging prepress efficiency by eliminating errors and increasing automation of the editing process.

Frank Woltering, product manager graphic editing at Esko, said with ArtPro+ 2.0 builds on its preceeding system to address the issues packaging professionals face in today’s business environment.

“ArtPro+ built its reputation by enabling prepress operators to reduce unintentional errors when editing and by allowing users to automate repeating tasks without the need for any special programming skills,” he said.

“With ArtPro+ 20.0, a new preflight tool automatically solves potential print issues, so users can safely and precisely edit only the item that needs attention. A new aesthetic trapping algorithm closes misregister gaps and accommodates individual exceptions – making trapping jobs up to 70 per cent faster. Action lists and formula-driven marks concepts also now automate repeating tasks without the need for any programming skills, benefiting those organizations struggling for skilled staff.”

Esko said ArtPro+20.0 users that need to create endless repeats (staggered cut sheet layouts) can try out a prerelease of the new optional plate cut tool, which reduces plate cutting preparation time by up to 30 minutes.

“The optimal shape to cut a plate is largely defined by the graphic content of each separation and each job needs to be addressed individually,” Woltering said.

“Not only is creating precise cutting paths to trim plates to their optimal shape both labor and skill intensive, but historically, plates are often damaged in mounting when they are hand cut. Manually cutting plates also presents a safety hazard because of the need for an open blade.

“We identified that the available semi-automated solutions are not content aware, needing input from the user to redraw and improve suggested cutting paths. ArtPro+ 20.0 introduces a new, patent-pending algorithm which analyzes the printed content and finds the optimal individual cutting path for each separation. The release version of this innovation is slated for the November release.

Woltering said the creation of cutting paths is now a one-click operation.

“Automating the task saves on damaged plates, while a special economy mode delivers rectangular cuts, reducing plate usage by 6 per cent.”

Woltering said in ArtPro+ 20.0, shrink sleeve wrapping production has also been simplified.

“Creating warp grids for non-symmetrical shapes is an iterative process and requires time and skilled professionals,” he said.

“But after pre-distortion, the PDF graphics have reduced editability, still requiring rework for design amendments. Now, users can interactively pre-distort graphics for shrink sleeve production based on symmetrical and non-symmetrical 3D shapes.

“The Esko Studio algorithm simulates the physical distortion of the material when shrinking to the container, eliminating the need for complex grid creation,” said Frank, “and because pre-distorted graphics can be edited in their original format, there is also no need to sync and manage an un-warped version of the design.”


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