Esko puts Automation Engine in the cloud

Jo Francis
Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Esko has described the latest release of its Automation Engine as a “very important milestone” for the product, which is now available via the cloud.

Automation Engine: multi-site operations are able to tap into a central toolset
Automation Engine: multi-site operations are able to tap into a central toolset

Its pre-media workflow system has a large user base among packaging firms – Esko claims that packaging for nine out of ten major brands is produced by its customers – and the firm's popular Automation Engine is now available for the first time as SaaS (Software as a Service). 

The new offering and features have come about as a result of extensive customer feedback, Esko said. 

Jan De Roeck, director of marketing, strategy and industry relations at Esko, said the major new release came with “a tonne of goodies… to deal with the very pertinent challenges that exist today. 

“For us, this really is a very important milestone,” he said.

De Roeck said customers would benefit from the operational benefits of automated, standardised workflows, “while embracing the freedom of cloud-based computing” such as known monthly costs, the ability to flex capacity either up or down, guaranteed uptime, and security.

New features include an “intuitive” web-based user interface, and an easier way to launch specific workflows, action files, and edit parameters by having the necessary tools all in one place using the ‘drop zone’ feature. 

There is also a browser-based viewing tool, while multi-site operations are able to tap into a central Automation Engine toolset. 

Esko said that feedback from early adopters had been very positive. 

Essentra is among the companies to have trialled the system. Mark King, divisional technical manager at Essentra Packaging commented: “With Automation Engine SaaS we can centralise resources in terms of expertise, software and hardware, delivering cost and time savings and reducing operational risks.”

Pricing for the system is via a tier-based subscription model. 

“With the price including a storage allowance and no bandwidth charges, the SaaS model guarantees a low step-in price and faster ROI for customers,” explained Esko product manager Paul Land. 

He said that IT and licensing costs were “reduced through automation and outsourcing, delivering “a flexible pricing model that scales with the needs, size and growth of a business”.

Esko is headquartered in Belgium and is part of the Danaher group of companies, which also includes Pantone, Videojet, Linx and X-rite. 

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