Esko Equinox has received the prestigious Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) Technical Innovation Award in the category of Prepress-Graphics during the gala awards banquet at FTA’s Annual Forum which was held on the 27th of April 2014 in Baltimore.

Esko’s Equinox is a solution for the implementation of extended gamut or fixed inkset printing. ‘Esko has always been committed to advancing the effectiveness of flexography and packaging graphics. Our development of Equinox was really an investment in flexography. It’s great to see the specific recognition this unique technology is receiving as recipient of the 2014 FTA Technical Innovation Award,’ commented Tony Wiley, President, Esko North America. ‘It’s also great to see the general recognition Equinox is receiving from a wide range of flexo industry professionals. Esko’s commitment to our customers is to add economic value throughout the value chain. From brand owners and design at the front end to press and finishing at the end, Esko is committed to linking that chain. Equinox is an excellent example of a technology that does just that.’

The Technical Innovation Award recognises companies and/or individuals whose visions and perseverance bring new products and technologies to the flexographic marketplace.

Equinox Expanded colour Gamut (ECG) Technology is Esko’s patented technology for converting packaging graphics from CMYK and spot colour to seven-colour process. It is applied in the prepress department when preparing jobs for press.

Converting entire files results in extremely close matches to spot colours, improved pictorial images, and the ability to print more colours than available ink stations on the press, resulting in improved image quality and brand impact. The major benefit, however, is realised in the pressroom as jobs print more economically and more consistently.

The ability to create an infinite number of colours from seven process colours promotes ‘gang’ press runs and the economic savings can surpass a million dollars per press per year. Customers using Equinox ECG technology report that they use seven-colour process profitably in a production environment for flexible packaging as well as labels.

This has enabled many of the worlds largest consumer product companies to convert entire product lines to expanded gamut. Equinox is the only commercial product in the world to make use of a truly superior seven-colour profile technology. By quantifying only subsets of four-colour combinations, Equinox seven-color profiles contain hundreds of times the amount of colour data as a seven-colour ICC colour profile.

These profiles are used to convert industry standard ink books into tint build books for a specific flexo press. Equinox also benefits from Esko HD and Full HD Flexo platemaking, which is able to extend the gamut by producing plates that can print dots from 0-100% while delivering consistent and reliable printing results from job to job.

Esko Equinox is a major achievement because it moves flexographic printing a giant step closer to being the economical manufacturing process that the major CPCs of the world are demanding. Esko predicts that the amount of fixed inkset printing will likely surpass the volume of spot colour and CMYK plus spot colour printing within the decade.