Thursday, May 26, 2016

Enfocus and Esko bring the power of preflight to the packaging industry

At drupa 2016, Enfocus and Esko are showcasing solutions that use the ISO/DIS 19593-1 processing steps draft international standard to enhance the packaging preflight process. This results in improved efficiency, increased quality and reduced costs for the packaging production supply chain. At drupa, attendees can see demonstrations of solutions that utilise this new standard, including Esko ArtPro+ 16, the Esko Automation Engine 16 workflow system and Enfocus PitStop 13 update 2, which will be released on the 30th of May. Esko and Enfocus are in Hall 8b, stand A23 at drupa from May 31 – June 10, at the Messe Düsseldorf.

The packaging challenge

When it comes to creation and preflight, packaging production can be very challenging. The PDF files used in this process are built on different layers (optional content groups), according to the PDF specifications. Those layers include all the things that precede or proceed the actual printing, such as production instructions, proofing for validation, dielines, ink specifications, embossing and braille.

As a result, PDF files used for packaging production typically include a lot of structural and finishing information. These multiple layers can pose several issues when trying to preflight packaging PDF files, resulting in delays and increased mistakes in packaging production.

Setting the standard

To solve the challenges that come with these complex PDF files, the packaging subcommittee of the Ghent Workgroup released a specification on storing non-printing contour data in a PDF. The goal of this specification was intended to bring conformity to how the layers and objects of a PDF should be managed or constructed.

This specification has rapidly moved to ISO, and is in the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, where it is now called the ISO/DIS 19593-1 processing steps draft international standard. The specification is moving through the ISO process, with the goal of becoming an official international standard in the near future.

Both Esko and Enfocus believe that the ISO/DIS 19593-1 processing steps draft international standard will greatly enhance the packaging production process and have as first companies incorporated it into the latest releases of their technology.

"By standardising the way the non-printing, digital data included in a PDF is communicated through the entire packaging pre-production workflow, this new specification will take away the need for manual intervention and dramatically reduce human errors. This standard represents a major step forward in increasing the productivity throughout the packaging supply chain, which is why we have chosen to include it in our solutions."

Lieven Plettinck, Director of Software Development, Esko


Simplifying packaging with preflight

Both Esko and Enfocus have collaborated to implement this standard into their products. Esko solutions users can now perform packaging-specific preflight checks on the PDF files created with Esko applications using this standard. Enfocus PitStop can preflight any PDF against this new ISO 19593-1 processing steps standard and can also perform new packaging preflight checks on PDF files created by Esko applications.

The Esko ArtPro+ 16 is a new high-end packaging editor that includes full support for processing steps outlined in the new draft standard. In PDF files generated by Esko ArtPro+, non-printing data are stored as processing steps conformant to ISO/DIS 19593-1. The editor will also check conformance with the draft standard on the fly.

Enfocus PitStop 13 update 2 is the latest release of the PDF quality control software from Enfocus. New features included in this preflight product check the conformance of a PDF to the ISO/DIS 19593-1 draft standard. It can also perform preflight checks like checking text x-height within the boundaries of the cut contour as defined by the cutting processing step.

Additionally, PitStop 13 update 2 can convert PDFs with non-printing data stored as layers or technical separations to a PDF with processing steps.

Finally, using the Esko Automation Engine 16 workflow system, users can automate each of these steps, leading to greater effectiveness in automated preflight and in the entire workflow.

“Enfocus is a firm believer in the value of standards – and for good reason. Standards enable a level of stability and conformity that ensures that everyone is working the same way and everybody knows what they are receiving. Adopting the ISO/DIS 19593-1 processing steps draft international standard into our technology enables the improved PDF communication and extended sharing. These enhancements permit the vendors, printers and brand owners, involved in the packaging supply chain, to optimise the entire preproduction process and produce better quality output.”

Andrew Bailes-Collins, Senior Product Manager at Enfocus


Visit Enfocus and Esko at drupa

To see demonstrations of these technologies, visit to schedule a time at the Enfocus booth in Hall 8b, booth A23. You can visit for more information about Esko at drupa.