Me & My: Esko Software Suite

By 04 Jan 2019

Rajiv Bhargava of HBD Packaging, which recently invested in Esko’s Automation Engine and Imaging Engine, swears by its reliability

Rajiv Bhargava of HBD Packaging

Please describe your company. 
HBD Packaging is a family-owned company started in 1985, primarily for paper and paperboard packaging. We are based in Greater Noida at present. We have multi-colour offset presses with coating, UV, supported by automatic lamination, coating, die-cutting and folder-gluers. We believe in long-term associations with our customers, suppliers and employees due to our ethical and transparent business practices. Our biggest strength lies in our ‘people’. At HBD, every employee is a stakeholder.

When did you start using the pre-press software from Esko?
In 1999-2000, when we started with Barco’s Artios CAD. Around four-five years later, we opted for PackEdge, Plato, ColorTone from Esko’s (formerly Barco Graphics) product range.

What are the properties of the Esko pre-press software you like?
I used to follow Barco Graphics from 1990, as I used to get a magazine and all the points of concern to me as a board printer were already there. In fact, I was manually using the trapping function in the software that we were using at that time. So every thought that was there to print a job correctly were addressed beautifully by Barco Graphics.

How are you benefiting from it?
Nowadays, more and more short-run jobs are coming. Even the medium-run jobs have some changes in the artwork in all print runs. Packaging involves a lot of steps and repeats, besides other important features like trapping, ink-eating zones, station numbering which prompted us to look for specialised software. 

Did you look at other similar software? 
I knew the features of this software and when Barco came to India we decided to go for it. We were working on the graphics software and were not aware of any other special packaging software.

What are the features that tilted the scale in Esko’s favour?
The complete solution, from structural design to production of plates.

How much have these features helped you in your makeready?
Immensely I would say. It’s time-saving and reliable.

For what applications are the software used?
We use it for pre-press work for producing folding cartons, labels, special packaging for FMCG, pharma, confectionery, liquor and for electronic industry.

Is there anything that you do not like or can be improved about this? 
We were having some issues of ink balancing and were managing somehow when a software development person visited us from Esko, Belgium, some five-six years ago and questioned as to why we were doing that particular thing on the Plato. He said they were already working on this and then the feature of the ink-eating zone was introduced. This shows the pro-active approach of the developer team at Esko.

If there’s a critical print job that has come your way, would you rely on this software to see it through?
Yes, without an iota of doubt. We opted for Esko Imaging Engine RIP as we were facing some issues in our RIP and the process was aborted after one hour or so because of complex designs. The Esko Imaging Engine RIP executed the same job without any issue.

How easy is it to use? 
You need trained manpower, which comes at a price.

Would you say that it offers value for money?  
It’s a costly software with a high ownership cost. It does the work that we require quite efficiently.

Who do you think the software is right for?
It’s a must for the packaging industry and above all the creative agencies which design graphics.

Under what circumstances would you recommend it to others?
Esko has been changing with time and trying to adapt to the market realities in India by listening to their users like us. I would like to recommend it to every packaging company.


User’s verdict    
Speed                        *****
Quality                      *****
Reliability                 *****
Value for money     ****

Supplier’s response
Karan Talwar, regional business manager, North & East India, Esko India, says, “HBD Packaging is one of the oldest customers of Esko (formerly Barco Graphics) in India. A folding carton converter par excellence, HBD Packaging has always been at the forefront of technology adoption. Understanding the importance of right pre-press tools for packaging pre-press and adoption of more automated systems as per the needs of the industry has been HBD’s mantra of business. HBD Packaging recently added Automation Engine and Imaging Engine software technologies from Esko has taken out redundancy in their pre-press operations, reducing pre-press costs, increasing job turnaround and is helping them in their business growth.” 

Karan Talwar
regional business manager, North & East India, Esko India
Mobile +91 98109 12279
Email - 

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