The packaging market continues to grow. In particular, sustainable solutions made from fiber-based materials, such as folding cartons and corrugated boxes, are leading opportunities for offset packaging printers.
To meet the complex needs of packaging producers, ECO3 introduced the Amfortis workflow, designed as an integrated command center to streamline all prepress tasks. Now with v2, the company has further fine-tuned Amfortis by adding a host of improvements and upgrades to allow printers to streamline job preparation and deliver the highest print quality while reducing communication time with print buyers and brand owners.
“Since we introduced Amfortis in 2021, our focus on driving even more value for packaging businesses increased significantly. As with all ECO3 solutions, we respond quickly to customer feedback and current market dynamics by implementing new tools and improving existing features to allow printers to optimize their operations,” says Andy Grant, ECO3’s Global Head of Software.
He continues, “Amfortis is one of our newer solutions, so there is plenty of scope for customers to influence developments and for us to extend the software’s capabilities based on our market-leading Apogee Production Command Center technology, which has been supporting commercial printers to succeed for 20 years.”
Increased automation for more savings
Packaging printers are facing ever shorter deadlines, decreasing run lengths and multiple SKUs/versioning, along with demands for more sustainability, so they must find new innovative ways to optimize their processes and increase their value offering. By automating manual tasks with ECO3’s software solutions, offset packaging printing operations can become more economical, more ecological and extra convenient. This will ensure that significant savings can be made on consumables, time and waste, while also delivering the highest print quality and better productivity.
Adding another level of automation to Amfortis, v2 introduces Autofill, a new productivity feature aimed at enhancing the management of versioning. It works by combining different jobs in the best possible sheet layout to maximize press utilization and speed up lead times. To save on paper for increased sustainability, better handling of bleed overlaps has also been developed, whereby a manual change in one place is automatically applied to all similar overlaps in the same layout.
Maximizing process control
Automation without the proper control safeguards in place, however, can be problematic, which is why ECO3 has expanded the interface to allow users access to check any measurements within the layout. To speed up the use of these advanced tools, measurements of relative distances can be saved as a parameter set and even added to a sheet layout template.
The measurements also become part of the job report. Amfortis will automatically create a full report of the nested artworks offering an overview of the whole printed sheet with all details, such as color bars, dimensions, distances and copy count. The report is included in the job bag, making the information readily available for the customer sales representative (CSR), press operators, finishing department and dispatch.
Another key improvement is closer integration with ECO3’s innovative smart print management solutions, including the powerful combination of PressTune print standardization tool for improved quality management and InkTune for optimization of ink usage, as well as SPIR@L screening technology for more savings on ink, picture-perfect print quality and increased productivity on press.
A main focus for ECO3 is to deliver an excellent print buyer experience with tools that are dedicated to packaging. New in Amfortis v2 is WebApproval which streamlines communication between print buyers and their customers by offering an easy-to-use tool for viewing and approving print-ready files. Using a standard web browser on a laptop or tablet, the product manager and other stakeholders can review the design, barcode dimensions and colors.
Information can be added to any element that needs changing to ensure that the necessary modifications are made. All actions, such as approvals and comments, are automatically tracked with a full audit trail available, a vital feature especially for customers in the food and pharmaceuticals industries.
"The new Amfortis V2.0 functionality allows us to produce our packaging jobs efficiently and highly automated," says Sebastian Röhr, Prepress Manager at Bösmann Medien und Druck GmbH & Co. KG
“Our focus is on our customers’ needs and requirements. With version 2 of Amfortis, we have improved our offering for packaging significantly, giving printers a great competitive advantage that will help them take their business to the next level,” concludes Grant. “Looking to the future, we are now ready to take on the next challenge as we continue to build a dedicated and comprehensive ECO system for packaging.”