Ryerson’s School of Graphic Communications Management receives new flexo plate imager from Esko

Third-year Ryerson GCM students Jewel Bolasco (left) and Alisha Campitelli image and evaluate flexo plates using Esko technology.
Third-year Ryerson GCM students Jewel Bolasco (left) and Alisha Campitelli image and evaluate flexo plates.

Esko has donated a new Esko CDI Flexo Plate Imager to Ryerson University’s School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) in downtown Toronto. The donation, replacing the one the university has had for a few years, will help Ryerson GCM students continue to learn and practice flexographic platemaking processes which are widely used in the packaging industry. It will be used in conjunction with a complete Esko packaging workflow that’s also currently in place at Ryerson.

The Ryerson School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM) offers Canada’s only degree-granting program for the printing industry. The school’s four-year degree offers opportunities in all areas of digital imaging and print production leading to a management career in this rapidly growing field. In recent years, the number of students at GCM going to packaging companies has increased rapidly. Throughout the program, students network with potential employers and gain practical experience in the industry through formal internships or part-time work. They also work alongside dedicated and knowledgeable faculty members in a state-of-the art facility equipped with industry-leading equipment.

Larry Moore.
Larry Moore.

“Esko always tries to offer solutions to top-tier graphic, design and packaging schools so that their students are working with the latest technology and ready resources for the industries we serve,” said Larry Moore, Esko Vice President of North American Partner Programs. “Ryerson, in my opinion, is an extremely important and valuable resource for packaging companies across Canada. I have met many Ryerson graduates and they’ve always been key players.”

The CDI Spark 2530 flexo plate imager is used by companies that primarily produce tags and labels as well as folding cartons. It images digital flexo plates up to 25” x 30” (635mm x 762mm) and comes with a plate loading table and an EasyClamp II drum for easier and faster plate loading.

Natalia Lumby.
Natalia Lumby.

“This major donation will allow our 600+ GCM students to learn platemaking on the most up-to-date equipment. The process creating packaging requires challenging, evolving technology and the tools our students use are on the cutting edge,” said Natalia Lumby, Associate Professor at the School of Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University. “Students are introduced to platemaking in their first year. By the third year, they produce flexo plates on the CDI on their own.”

The Esko CDI also allows Ryerson to participate in competitions – specifically the Phoenix Challenge, where Ryerson has received awards both in 2013 and 2015. “It’s an opportunity for our students to challenge themselves, and to see what it’s like to design and create packaging for a real company,” Lumby added. “The use of Esko solutions also helps the faculty achieve very important goals for the program. The Esko CDI Spark 2530 is very accurate and is an important component. Our faculty is increasing our involvement with colour certifications, such as G7. We’re serious about colour. We also have conducted research in various areas, such as labels. Amanda Whyte, a GCM student, and I, recently delivered a presentation at EskoWorld about Opportunities and Challenges of using 3D Virtual mock-ups.”

This past year, GCM introduced a new curriculum focusing on packaging and will be launching consumer packaging courses – including workflow – this academic year. The curriculum encompasses the theory of design and production.

Lumby added: “We work with Esko products and plan assignments according to the equipment, so that the students can send projects to the CDI. The result is that GCM graduates who are entering packaging roles in industry will do so holistically. What we find really important and significant working with Esko, is that their participation with our program is not a ‘one-time drop off’ donation. The ongoing support is significant. Esko helps us maintain a top-level standard in software and equipment. We’re grateful to Esko for its continued support.”




Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.