Esko and Highcon Join Forces
GHENT, BELGIUM AND YAVNE, ISRAEL—August 21, 2014—Esko, a packaging design and workflow solutions company, and Highcon, developer of the Highcon Euclid digital cutting and creasing machine, have expanded their cooperation with an OEM agreement. Highcon will distribute, install and support the Esko CAD Digital Front End (DFE) software as complement to the 2014 Must See 'Ems award winning Highcon Euclid. This combined solution is available immediately on a worldwide basis.
Esko's CAD software processes structural designs for production on the Highcon Euclid. It converts packaging structures to the finishing format required by the Euclid, which receives its CAD cutting and creasing information from ArtiosCAD prepared or converted DFX files. With the new OEM agreement, the Highcon Euclid now offers an on-board software tool, the Highcon Light Editor, that allows Euclid operators to take full advantage of the benefits of digital technology by editing crease and cut lines in the structural design of the job at the point of production, including the ability to incorporate last-minute changes. It also enables optimizing of nicks by increasing or decreasing their size or adding or removing them; and adding, removing or editing stripping lines.
“We are proud of the opportunity to partner with Esko, incorporating their industry-leading technology into our game-changing digital converting solution,” comments Eitan Varon, Highcon’s executive vice president. “We have been working with Esko since the beginning and are excited to extend this collaboration for the benefit of our existing and future customers. Flexibility is one of the key advantages of digital technology and by implementing the Esko CAD DFE, our customers will be able to perform a wide range of last minute edits that ensure the proper production of the package, promotional item, or greeting card that their clients require.”
“This late-stage capability is especially important in an environment where run lengths and cycle times are compressed,” adds Richard Deroo, product manager structural design at Esko. “Packaging converters accept files from a wide variety of sources, and it is essential that they have the ability to control final structures at the point of production to ensure a consistent quality product with limited waste and downtime.”
“Esko's mission is to deliver integrated customer solutions that drive profitability throughout the printing and packaging supply chain,” concludes Deroo. “By partnering with Highcon to integrate Esko’s CAD DFE with the Highcon Euclid, the packaging workflow is streamlined through the ability to perform edits to design files at the point of production, ensuring optimal digital converting in the fast-paced world of digital packaging production. This minimizes downtime and maximizes productivity. We are very pleased to be working with Highcon to bring this innovative solution to the market.”
The Industry’s Own 'Organic Movement'By Peter J. Schaefer
Dunwoody College Students Win National Packaging CompetitionBy Cory Francer
Three pieces of marketing innovation led to a team of students from Dunwoody College of Technology Design & Graphics Technology earning two first place awards in the Annual Student Packaging Design Competition, hosted by the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC).
The competition, themed “Design to an Opportunity,” required teams to construct a three-part structural and graphic design project. Stephanie Burdorf, Charlotte LaCour, Jenna Weiler, Dan Mueller, Noah Rabinowitz, and Finn Pearson represented Dunwoody College of Technology at the event. The team rose to the top of the 27 colleges that participated with its entry, which included a standing display to market the college at events or on campus, a mailing envelope to send to prospective students, and a welcome kit for newly enrolled students.
According to the college’s website, the team combined in-house photographs, archived images from the 1920s, and the school’s centennial seal. Throughout the pieces, they used the college’s branding guidelines.
“We were judged on the creativity, marketability, design attributes, manufacturing, durability, and ease of assembly for the structure of all three projects,” said team leader Stephanie Burdorf in the Dunwoody College of Technology article. “We were also judged separately on the graphics of all three projects on how well they created a brand and tied-in with each other to give them all a similar look.”
Burdorf goes on to explain how the three portions of the entry chronologically follow the school’s enrollment steps. She says the standee rotates, providing an interactive experience and a maximized use of space for information. The envelope, she says, is a visually enticing element and doubles as a folder. The welcome kit was created to hold the various items distributed to new students on their first day of school. She says it was also purposely designed to fit into a locker, therefore increasing locker sales.
In the article, Burdorf says the team improved its skills across multiple areas of packaging.
“Not only have we all become more proficient with the Adobe and Esko programs and software, but we also all had a chance to work in a real-world setting,” she said. “We had to work as a team, follow a strict timeline, research on what was in place as well as what was needed, find materials, and work with different departments as well as industry partners.”
According to Dunwoody, this is the first time the Dunwoody Design & Graphics Technology has won a non-flexographic competition and this is its first international win. It is also the first time the program has won a competition with this many teams involved.
“Because of the timing of the competition, we are obliged to compete with first-year students, as no team member can participate after graduation, and the annual AICC deadline is in late June,” Principal Instructor and Faculty Advisor Pete Rivard said in the article. “The four-year universities with their graduate programs typically field teams with juniors, seniors, and even graduate students, each with successive years of competition experience. So this is an absolute David vs. Goliath story, if you amend the details to have David surrounded by dozens of Goliaths.”
The team also received some assistance from industry partners. Esko contributed design software, Liberty Carton-Golden Valley provided free corrugated board, Ambassador Press and The Bureau provided large format printing and CAD table time, and Dunwoody admissions and marketing staff members provided feedback on the entries.
Mark Andy Announces Company Sale; Management Team, Former CEO Lead Buyout
ST. LOUIS—August 21, 2014—Mark Andy announced that an investment group formed by P.J. Desai, Mark Andy's former CEO, and the current management team has completed the purchase of Mark Andy from American Industrial Partners Capital Fund IV, L.P. (AIP). AIP will continue as a minority investor in Mark Andy along with Graycliff Partners, an independent investment firm focused on middle market investments.
As a pioneer in the label printing equipment space, Mark Andy has led the industry with award-winning breakthroughs in flexo printing technology and workflows, as well as a total solutions approach to driving profitability for converters around the world. Mark Andy has seen considerable growth in recent years with a focus on innovation and is poised to capitalize on the industry’s burgeoning shift to digital inkjet printing in the form of its recently launched inline hybrid solution, the Mark Andy Digital Series.
"This was an outstanding opportunity to purchase an established and innovative company with a strong core business of equipment, consumable products and services for the label market, as well as several exciting new products in the pipeline, including our new Digital Series inkjet press," said Desai. "Combined, there are over 10,000 Mark Andy and Rotoflex machines currently installed with a replacement value of over $1 billion. Together with our excellent management team, we are committed to growing Mark Andy's already leading market position."
Desai served as Mark Andy's CEO from 2012-2014. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Abencs, an engineering and construction company, and MECS, Inc., a global leader in the design of sulfuric acid plants and related high performance products.
Kevin Wilken, CEO at Mark Andy, said, “The management team is very excited to work once again with P.J. Desai and to be part of the ownership of such a great company. We have exceptional customers, market-leading products and services that drive improved profitability for our customers, and we have great people that love the industry and take great pride in their work. The combination of dedicated owner-managers and P.J.'s expertise and strategic thinking will continue driving Mark Andy’s success and long-term growth strategy.”
Mark Andy will be exhibiting at Labelexpo Americas, September 9-11, 2014, where the new Digital Series will be debuted to a global audience. In addition, the company continues its global market strategy and mission to be the supplier of choice throughout the product life cycle, offering high quality, innovative solutions that drive customer profitability. The company's stand at the 2014 show will focus on displaying Mark Andy’s Total Solutions Partner approach, offering complete workflow solutions to advance the converters’ business.
Source: Mark Andy.