The opening of a new facility in Itzehoe, Germany, has allowed Esko to meet the business and production needs of a thriving digital flexo business. Now facets of research, engineering, product development, testing and production can be conducted under one roof.
The facility features a complete customer experience centre where customers and industry partners can immerse themselves in the technical and business details of flexography. The new centre is set up to demonstrate and teach how Esko masters the entire flexo platemaking eco-system, from design and prepress, through colour management, flexo plate preparation, imaging and exposure, right up to cutting plates ready for mounting on the printing press. Assembly of the flexo plate imaging devices CDI Crystal and CDI Spark, and of the flexo plate exposure systems XPS Crystal, will take place in this new plant.
‘We have been extremely pleased with the entire process, from the laying of the first stone through to the move and start-up of production in this brand-new facility,’ said Holger Jacobsen, Esko’s plant manager. ‘Everyone – from the architect and builder to all of our suppliers and staff – worked together to achieve a challenging schedule. It’s a modern environment, a great workplace for our staff, and a welcoming setting where we will host many visitors in the future.’
Esko’s President Udo Panenka sees a strong future for Esko’s flexo platemaking business and the Itzehoe plant, ‘Itzehoe will continue to be the epicentre of everything flexo-related, from development to service delivery. In recent years, the industry has continued to applaud innovations out of Itzehoe, such as the award winning XPS Crystal systems for UV exposure of flexo plates, which set a new standard of quality, consistency and productivity. Also, the recently introduced Print Control Wizard, a smart tool that makes it extremely easy to select the best screen set for each substrate and application, has been enthusiastically received by the market. And there is more to come.’
The move to a new facility is another indication of the investment levels Esko is devoting to the strategically important digital flexo platemaking market. ‘We are well positioned to tap into the significant opportunities to simplify and automate the entire flexo platemaking process, from design to the finished plate ready to be mounted on the press, and we are pursuing those on behalf of our customers and the industry at large. We are extremely pleased with this important milestone, and we are looking forward to a bright and innovative flexo future,’ concluded Panenka.