EskoArtwork Installs 1000th Cyrel® Digital Imager at a Matthews Group Site in Germany


Gent (Belgium), September 17, 2007 - EskoArtwork, the market leader in packaging pre-production solutions and world leader in digital imaging of flexo plates, proudly announces that the 1000th Cyrel® Digital Imager (CDI) has been shipped and installed at German based Scholler GmbH & Co KG in Nuremberg, a member of Matthews International GmbH.

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Since its introduction as the world's first digital imager for flexo plates at Drupa in 1995, The Cyrel® Digital Imager has established itself as the clear market leader. Today over 70% of all flexo digital imagers sold globally are CDIs, and an estimated 90% of all digital flexo plates worldwide are imaged on Esko CDI equipment.

"We are proud that the CDI has helped flexography to develop into a significant printing technology - not just in cost but also in quality. And we see plenty of room for growth in digital flexo. Only 20% of platemaking facilities worldwide are digital, and the demand for flexo related packaging is growing due to significant increases in quality, reliability and consistency," says Jurgen Andresen, EskoArtwork Vice President Flexo Business. "Brand owners and converters specifically ask for digital flexo because of the enhanced print quality, increased productivity and consistent results from plate run to plate run, all of which help reduce time to market."

Jurgen Andresen pioneered the development of the imager, spurred by a successful technology and business partnership between EskoArtwork and DuPont. He still leads a dedicated team of experienced engineers and assembly technicians in EskoArtwork's Itzehoe, Germany facility, assuring that CDIs continue to produce the most consistent, highest quality plates.

"DuPont and EskoArtwork have worked together for more than a decade to bring innovative systems to the packaging market - systems that enhance both quality and productivity. We're delighted that the market has embraced our technology so energetically, and we anticipate that the industry will continue to move to a fully digital prepress workflow," says Lisa DiGate, Global Business Director, DuPont Packaging Graphics.

Matthews International - Seamless Customer Service and State of the Art Technology

Matthews International GmbH, the proud owner of the Esko Cyrel® Digital Imager number 1000, a CDI 5080 built by EskoArtwork in June, 2007, is one of the leading international packaging prepress suppliers. This globally active company provides seamless services with 1,900 specialists in more than 30 locations worldwide.

Matthews International has a long history with EskoArtwork and DuPont, having also purchased the 500th CDI for Rudolf Reproflex in Goslar in 2004. "Matthews has been extremely pleased with the quality and productivity of the Esko CDI. It has certainly played a major role in our successes," comments Franz Joseph Schwarz, President of Matthews International GmbH. "We purchased the new CDI system for several reasons. First, it harmonizes our technologies; second, EskoArtwork offers us approved standards; and third, EskoArtwork and DuPont are the market leaders in this field. A final reason to maintain a close relationship is the recently announced consolidation of Esko with Artwork Systems."

"As an international group we can not afford any interruptions in the packaging workflow," Schwarz continued. "The installation at Scholler took place literally on the fly with no disruption of production."

EskoArtwork and DuPont - A Commitment to Innovation

EskoArtwork maintains its market and technology leadership through relentless product development and enhancements. For example, Esko's Optics 80 laser technology features twice the productivity of its predecessor - the CDI Advance - making it the fastest plate imaging device available in the industry. EskoArtwork also introduced semi-automatic plate loading which increased productivity and reduced plate damage due to operator handling. Screening technologies such as stochastic and mixed AM/FM transitional screens have considerably improved print quality, offering a tonal range that allows for smooth vignettes and better highlights and shadows. And, as converters continue to embrace 'in the round' technology, Esko CDIs provide the widest product line able to produce sleeves to serve these markets.

The production of exceptional flexo plates and sleeves takes more than just CDI hardware, however. The Esko Software Suite 7 provides dedicated tools for optimal plate quality and consistency, and all CDI models are driven by Esko's outstanding Grapholas front-end software, which provides software and integrated workflow solutions that specifically optimize plate productivity and repeatability.

DuPont also has maintained its commitment to innovation for the packaging graphics market with an eye toward quality and speed as well. The most recent examples are the introduction of the DuPont(TM) Cyrel® round continuous sleeves and the DuPont(TM) Cyrel® FAST plate system - the industry's first flexographic platemaking system that thermally processes flexo plates without water or solvent washout steps. DuPont(TM) Cyrel® FAST is an environmentally smart process that offers great time savings by eliminating the washout and subsequent drying steps, resulting in total plate access times of less than one hour - a reduction of as much as 75-percent compared to conventional solvent-based systems.

Since its introduction, Cyrel® FAST has become one of the fastest growing technologies for flexography, and now has more than 700 installations in 40 countries on six continents. In addition to very rapid access, customers also report that Cyrel® FAST plates run longer, faster and cleaner than solvent plates.

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