German packaging specialist, Schumacher, is reaping the benefits of a 25% increase in prepress speed and greatly improved reliability across its prepress process after implementing a series of Esko solutions.

Producing packaging in all shapes and sizes, Schumacher Packaging delivers customized boxes with individual print for a wide range of global customers across a number of industries, including food & drink, toys and online retail companies.

 The company has invested in Esko ArtPro+, Automation Engine and WebCenter to enhance flexibility and turnaround times when responding to customer briefs.

“A Schumacher Packaging customer knows that they will receive the very best standard in terms of quality and service,” said Dennis Lison, responsible for Workflow Administration and Optimization at Schumacher Packaging. “We chose Esko as a supplier because they think the same way we do, and because they could supply us with a complete solution. We didn’t just want a selection of editing software, we needed to look at our operations ecosystem as a whole, which is why we also chose to invest in Esko WebCenter and Automation Engine,” he said.

As a leading provider of integrated hardware and software solutions, Esko has been able to meet all of Schumacher’s prepress needs. “For me it is a big advantage that one supplier can deliver the complete prepress process,” said Dennis, “especially as they are a supplier I trust. I know Esko supplies solutions that are specifically tailored for prepress operations and are safe to integrate into any system. ArtPro+ is no exception.”

ArtPro+ from Esko is a native PDF editor which allows the user to work directly on PDF files and turn them fast and safely into print ready assets. It offers an optimal user interface and brilliant tools to enhance and control packaging content, colour and print quality.

“For us the most important thing is reliability,” Dennis said. “The system is now so stable that we can be sure that data and graphics in the transformation from PDF to printing plate do not change even slightly, but instead remain exactly as the designer intended and the customer wanted.”

Each of the five-strong teams in the prepress department now works with ArtPro+. “They are totally satisfied with the system, which runs like clockwork,” he said. “I can attest to the fact that it has worked impeccably since the first day of installation.”

By incorporating ArtPro+, Schumacher Packaging has been able to standardize its whole prepress process enabling the company to operate 25% faster than previously and generating a range of efficiency benefits.

“It is almost like ArtPro+ was developed and tailored with Schumacher Packaging in mind,” Dennis said. “The software offers exactly what we need in our work in terms of flexibility and reliability. We know that nothing will have changed when we optimize the printing data provided by the customer – unless it was something we actually wanted to change!”

“Another advantage is that ArtPro+ is surprisingly easy to learn and work with in comparison to other packages,” explains Dennis. “It has been designed specially for prepress professionals and with each update it only improves. In my opinion, it is simply the most user-friendly program I know of.”

Dennis added that while Schumacher currently uses a number of solutions, the company was keen to review its plate exposure technology with a view to incorporating more of the Esko ecosystem. “We will shortly begin a test phase as part of a planned move to Esko Imaging Engine,” he said. “Then all our plate work will be handled with Esko solutions.”

“We have a clear plan to make 70% of Schumacher automated within the next three years, and we know that Esko will help us reach that goal,” said Dennis.