US-based technology company EFI has signed a letter of intent with Belgium-based Esko to provide a single and integrated workflow solution for packaging companies.
Esko supplies integrated solutions for the packaging, display sign, commercial printing and publishing industries.
Under the partnership, EFI will link its Fiery digital front ends (DFE), Esko workflows and EFI ERP / MIS solutions to create a unified production eco-system for packaging firms.
Both companies aim to develop a combined workflow for digital printing by connecting EFI's Fiery DFEs with Esko's workflow automation platform.
The solution will benefit commercial printers that want to provide folding carton or label printing to their customers using their digital presses.
It be integrated with EFI's ERP / MIS and web-to-print solutions to enhance workflow from design to delivery for commercial print customers.
EFI EFI Fiery senior vice-president and general manager Toby Weiss said: "We've heard from many of our commercial print customers that their existing workflow tools, most of which were purchased with a CTP device, are just not flexible enough to help them expand the vast opportunity in digital packaging production.
"Packaging is a key area of growth for EFI and our customers and many of our Fiery partners now offer great digital printers that are suitable for packaging production."
Integration between Esko Automation Engine, EFI Packaging Productivity Suite and Fiery is planned for the end of this year.
The EFI Fiery DFE combined with the Esko automation platform and additional integration into EFI's productivity suite is scheduled to be released in 2017.