Graphic Village Installs Scodix Ultra2 Pro Digital Enhancement Press

Graphic Village is the largest, independent print marketing company in the Greater Cincinnati area. The multi-channel marketing solutions providers is a full-service provider for strategy, creative, print management, and execution.To push the limits of what the company could offer its customers, Graphic Village recently installed a new digital enhancement press: the Scodix Ultra2 Pro with Foil.

Graphic Village logo“The groundbreaking Scodix Ultra2 allows us to add striking digital enhancements and embellishments such as high-gloss spot applications, textured effects, and digitally applied foil,” said Graphic Village president Larry Kuhlman. “We really responded to the Scodix motto ‘the power of touch’.”

“The Scodix allows us to turn print into an experience,” adds Kuhlman. “We agree that having a physical element that can delight the senses is a game-changer for many campaigns. This machine is going to allow us to take that concept further, and truly create one-of-a-kind pieces that will let our customers shine.”

“Over the last year and a half, we have been making leading-edge investments in both our equipment and our people,” said Eric Kahn, Graphic Village CEO. “This is another chapter in that novel, and we are excited about what comes next.”

Kahn believes the digital enhancement press will not only open up new opportunities in commercial print, but also in other segments that Graphic Village serves: “We have a packaging division that does folding carton work, and we wanted to expand that world as well. This machine will let us do everything—print, packaging, and more. It will let us offer unique services and products that no one else in our market provides.” For example, Graphic Village plans to use the Scodix Ultra2 Pro with Foil to enhance business cards, invitations, annual report covers, and more.

To make customers aware of what’s possible, Graphic Village will start adding Scodix effects to clients’ completed work. When a client’s own product is digitally enhanced, they can see and feel how it can make sense for their business.

“We believe the Scodix Ultra2 is going to be a game-changer at Graphic Village,” said Mark Nixon, VP North America, Scodix. “They are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. This machine will help Graphic Village produce even more outstanding and unique pieces, including items with personalized, variable-data foil stamping and embossing. That will in turn help their customers stand out from the crowd.”

About Scodix

Scodix Ltd. wants to lead print enhancement into the digital age and be known for providing what customers need most—true brand differentiation for today’s highly competitive print envrionment.

Through the Scodix S Series, Scodix Ultra Series, and Scodix E106™ press, the company offers a range of applications, including:

  • Scodix Sense™, for exceptional tactile results for embossed effects;
  • Scodix Foil™, for unmatched foil-enhancement effects;
  • Scodix Spot™ for silkscreen effects;
  • Scodix VDP/VDE™ (with barcode) for personalization including variable foil;
  • Scodix Metallic™ for metallic coloring;
  • Scodix Glitter™ for a digital gllittering experience;
  • Scodix Braille™ for short-run production of braille documents;
  • Scodix Crystals™ that replace the manual placement of chatons; and
  • Scodix Cast & Cure™ for 3D holographic effects.

All applications can be manufactured on a single Scodix digital enhancement press. To see examples of how these embellishments are used, visit the Gallery on the Scodix website.


SGIA Expo: Esko Workflow Innovations for Wide Format Graphics

During SGIA Expo September 14-16, Esko (Booth 954) will demonstrate innovative Esko workflow tools that can help wide-format graphics producers get more out of their equipment and personnel.

Although the variety and volume of digitally produced signs and displays continues to grow, some graphics companies aren’t prepared to efficiently handle that growth. Many wide format workflows and finishing operations still involve too many manual steps, too much equipment set-up time, incorrect material handling, and overall lack of control.

“Esko is in a unique position to introduce new efficiencies to the wide format graphics workplace,” explains Stephen Bennett, Esko vice president of sales. New operational controls and management tools for Esko’s digital cutting workflow and Kongsberg tables can remove non-value-added time from the graphics production process: “These innovations help operators spend up to 30% less time in job preparation, and be ready for the next job 25% faster.” By integrating workflow software with Kongsberg finishing tables, users can expect overall equipment productivity increases of 10% or more.

Automation Engine Avant for Wide format Graphics Workflows

Automation Engine Avant is a new dedicated wide format workflow software bundle that can optimize wide-format graphics production from design to delivery. It includes preflighting, file editing, adding cutting paths, and nesting multiple prints on a sheet for optimal usage.

The productive workflows created by Automation Engine Avant increases throughput on digital printers and digital finishing platforms while enhancing file management and communication to customers.


The Avant bundles with Esko’s new Device Manager. The Device Manager software communicates job status and helps manage jobs based on cutting time and material. It makes precise production planning and prioritization of digital finishing jobs easier to manage. Operators can prioritize table queues, insert rush jobs and balance workloads between different tables, even at different sites.

With the new Estimating software module within Esko Device Manager, better job quotes and accurate forecasts are easy.

ArtoisCAD for Sign and Display Design

Esko’s powerful structural design software, ArtiosCAD, is ideal for designers of POP, POS, and free-standing displays designers.

The new  ArtiosCAD Display Store makes designing attractive displays possible for everyone and gives printing firms quick access to new designs.


To streamline the editing of graphics printed on signs and displays, Esko has partnered with CHILI Publish to offer online editing. This means the artwork creator can enable anyone in the supply chain to modify packaging content within established constraints.

Simplified Kongsberg Platform Choice

Some finishing operations aren’t as profitable as they could be because the equipment isn’t optimally used. There are too many manual steps. Setting up cutting tables takes too long. And, prioritizing jobs for optimal material handling is not always possible.

Esko has streamlined and improved its Kongsberg table portfolio to help customers more easily identify the systems that best suit their needs. They can choose from two primary families for either the greatest flexibility for versatile and creative jobs (Kongsberg X), or the best productivity for efficient production runs (Kongsberg C).

Esko Kongsberg C

Visitors to the Esko booth at SGIA will see the Kongsberg X24 and Kongsberg C64 finishing tables with some new features:

Multizone Production lets operators divide the surface of the Kongsberg table into two or more zones. While the table head is working on one zone, an operator can use the other zone to clear the finished piece and load a new sheet. This allows the machine to operate continuously without waiting.

Auto Tool Adjust on Kongsberg tables uses camera inspection and digital image processing to make sure knife blades and router bits are still sharp and correctly installed. Operators get feedback on set-up or replacing of the bits and blades.

i-BF Board Feeder is part of a new family of high-capacity sheet feeders for the Kongsberg tables. It feeds corrugated, paper-core boards, and plastics from pallets quickly and accurately. The i-BF Board Feeder is indispensable for the automation of all jobs that involve medium-to-high run lengths of rigid materials.

“With our integrated software and hardware innovations, Esko closely aligns the performance of digital finishing operations and prepress workflows with the faster digital presses, effectively eliminating an important bottleneck,” concludes Bennett. “We simplify the workflow process for sign and display facilities—or as we say, ‘Sign and Display Simplified’.”

About Esko

Esko is a global supplier of integrated solutions for producers of packaging, labels, signs, and displays and the commercial printing and publishing industries. Esko products and services drive profitability in the packaging and printing supply chain by reducing time-to-market and raising productivity.

Esko Offers Automated Finishing Solutions for Sign and Display Shops

At ISA Sign Expo 2016, Esko showed highly automated digital finishing systems that can convert large-format graphics into signs, creative displays, and packaging. The systems include software features that can make sign shops more productive and profitable.

According to John Giardina, president, Esko Americas, the integrated end-to-end systems can help businesses large and small.

Automated Digital Finishing Systems

Esko showcased two models from its Kongsberg family of digital finishing systems.

The Kongsberg C64 is a state-of-the-art superwide (126 x 126 in.) digital finisher. Its unique carbon composite transverse beam supports the precision and productivity required to cut printed graphics that over 10 feet wide. The Kongsberg C64 is the only superwide finisher with a continuous-duty high-performance milling unit.

Esko Kongsberg C64 with Autofeeder
Esko Kongsberg C64 with Autofeeder

At ISA Sign Expo, the Kongsberg C64 was demonstrated with an automated system that feeds printed or blank boards onto the cutting table. Material is loaded with a fork truck or pallet jack—in either portrait or landscape mode. The Kongsberg C64 can also be equipped with an optional roll feeder.

To see the different types of finishing processes that the Kongsberg can handle, with this video: YouTube: Esko Kongsberg C Cutting and Milling a Range of Materials

The Kongsberg XN is built for versatility. Its wide range of specialty tools can be used to cut and mill many types of materials, including vinyl, corrugated, folding carton, foamboards, solid boards, wood, and a long list of plastics.

Kongsberg XN 1
Kongsberg XN


It comes with industry standard print-to-cut registration, a camera system for vision cutting, and many other features. The Kongsberg XN24 shown in the Sign Expo booth will be 66 x 126 inches. The XN product family is available in seven different sizes from 66 x 50 inches to 87 x 258 inches.

i-cut Production Console

The i-cut Production Console (iPC) drives all of the functions of the Kongsberg table, including camera control, machine set up, tool recognition, calibration, and tool adjustments.

Kongsberg HP Milling Spindle600p


Esko recently announced new features to the front-end operating system that will make production planning for digital finishing operations easier to manage. The new features makes it more efficient to run a higher number of short run jobs.

With the integration of a complete materials database, Esko has bundled decades of digital finishing expertise into a system that can take some of the guesswork out job set-up. The system advises the operator on which tools and knives to select for the type of materials to be finished on the next job. This advice can reduce the changeover time between jobs, improve consistency over time, and lessen the risk of damaging expensive materials.

Esko has also integrated its Kongsberg tables with its workflow automation software, Automation Engine.

Automation Engine’s Device Manager gives better control over finishing production. On the display screen, the operator can clearly see the status of work in progress and queues of all connected devices. The software determines optimal sheet nesting to increase production capacity. Operators use an intuitive drag-and-drop interface to prioritize table queues, insert rush jobs, and even balance workloads between tables.

The new Kongsberg Estimating module can give business owners a more accurate estimate of how long each job will take to produce. This is important when preparing quotes for customers — particularly in an environment in which the margins on short run digital print work are tightening. With accurate job estimates, companies can communicate better quotes and forecast more accurate delivery times to their customers.

The new Kongsberg Estimating Software module generates production estimates automatically based on production metadata such as the substrate type and thickness of materials specified in designs for packaging, signage, and display jobs.

Esko’s i-cut Suite is a collection of prepress and pre-production software solutions. The i-cut Suite helps eliminate errors, save time, and reduce waste by automating tasks such as preflighting and editing design files, nesting graphics, and setting up cutting paths.

Esko ArtiosCAD and Studio software supports the 3D design of displays made from rigid sheets. Dedicated tools streamline structural design, graphic development, virtual prototyping, and manufacturing of the approved designs.

Automation Engine isn’t just for finishing operations. It can also serve as the heart of prepress production and manage workflows that are constantly being updated or rescheduled. Automation Engine can also be set up for automated color management on multiple types of printers.

Esko believes all of their innovative and scalable workflow and finishing solutions can empower sign and display companies to attract new business. Their newest workflow improvements are designed to take digital finishing efficiency and simplicity to the next level.