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EskoArtwork offers finishing solutions at ISA

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium) -- While digital printers have received much attention as new, productive tools for the development of signs, the cutting and finishing of signs is just as important as a component of a digital workflow. At ISA International Sign Expo 2009, April 15-18 in Las Vegas, EskoArtwork's North American sign and display division (booth #3553) will demonstrate a strong and innovative portfolio of leading products for POP, signs and displays. Highlights will include a demonstration of the new Kongsberg XP table with i-cut, new conveyor extension and scissor lift cart systems, SignUp Auto, and a new version of SignUp.

"We strongly believe that with the addition of Mikkelsen Graphics Engineering (MGE) technology and expertise, EskoArtwork is the industry reference in finishing solutions for cutting tables for sign making, screen-printing and digital printing," comments Don Skenderian, EskoArtwork Vice President, Market Development CAD/CAM. "The new solutions demonstrated at ISA 2009 take digital finishing productivity even further and will no doubt have a strong impact on the industry."

Extensive display of finishing equipment and software

EskoArtwork's North American sign and display division, formed with the acquisition of Mikkelsen Graphics Engineering, will demonstrate a number of hardware and software solutions to help sign shops become more productive, by automating the digital finishing process.

EskoArtwork will introduce SignUp Auto, a fully automated nesting solution. Together with its workflow automation framework, it increases productivity and optimizes the use of print and finishing materials. SignUp Auto is able to understand and process XML and JDF files as prepress input and its automation makes it ideal as a receiver of storefront input for Web-to-print. Along with nesting and tiling, SignUp Auto also supports double-sided displays, multi-page PDF workflows, and can easily nest irregular shapes. In doing so, digital large format printing and finishing shops get faster production throughput with little manual intervention. SignUp Auto also saves time and trouble with its preparation workflow for sign and display businesses. It offers smart automation, allowing an operation to quickly accept more very short run jobs and deliver them to an increasing number of digital presses. EskoArtwork's partner, The Pitman Company (booth 1905) will be available for SignUp Auto demos.

EskoArtwork will also demonstrate its new version of SignUp, the job preparation application for sign and display printers and finishers. SignUp takes designs created in standard graphics software products such as Adobe Illustrator, and optimizes placement on a substrate. With SignUp, one-up jobs arrive from desktop design and publishing packages, and print and finishing layouts are created based on ordered quantities and job priorities. SignUp is perfect for tiling for oversized jobs and billboards. Users can reduce the material waste down to an absolute minimum. New features include Automatic bleed to images and Offcut Manager, which can organize nesting of available images on the substrate, efficiently leaving a blank area of the board so that it can be re-used.

On display will be a production model of the new Kongsberg XP44 with i-cut digital cutting table, targeted for shops that need a fast and highly reliable solution for short to medium run production. This machine is equipped with the i-cut visual control system to match structural design with the graphic elements. Because they are the first tables to be designed to operate continuously, 24/7, production capacity can be increased up to twice as much as what is available on any machine currently on the market. The Kongsberg XP with i-cut can handle all grades of corrugated board, display carton, corrugated plastic, foam boards, and rigid display materials such as MDF, plywood and acrylics.

The Kongsberg i-XL 24 complements digital printing of sign and displays with a unique finishing solution for the widest range of materials, providing automation, high productivity and outstanding precision. Based on the Esko Kongsberg XL-Series of short-run production tables, the Kongsberg i-XL 24 finishing table, with a maximum material size of 69" x 135", integrates the i-cut vision system. A Kongsberg i-XL24 table will also be exhibited at the Pitman Company booth.

Showcased on the Kongsberg i-XL 24 is a new conveyor extension and scissor lift cart system. The Kongsberg table can be fitted with a newly redesigned AutoFeeder with scissor-lift table that expands the quantity of print runs that can be pre-stacked in a fully automatic operation. The Scissor lift on the cart, with the help of an electric hydraulic system, receives artwork directly from a digital printer off-load system and can be moved and raised to the Kongsberg sheet feeder to be immediately cut on the Kongsberg.  The seamless workflow no longer requires an operator to restack or transfer materials.

A Kongsberg table can now be integrated with a new conveyor extension, an additional half-length of the table. The extension lengthens the work area, allowing operators to remove complete, cut pieces without interfering with the operation of the Kongsberg table. If preferred, automatic stacking of finished graphics can be handled with the new i-cut AutoStacker pick and place system. Finished graphics can be collected without the need for human intervention.

Also on display will be the i-R 1530 M i-cut Graphics Router developed in partnership with AXYZ International. The table-size, 89" x 144" router combines the proven precision of the i-cut Vision workflow with an 18,000 RPM router and 2" material clearance, specifically selected for its ability to contour router-cut all kinds of rigid materials. The machine is the most cost effective, vision accurate solution for print business owners who wish to enhance their companies' digital finishing capabilities.

Tying in all its finishing pieces, EskoArtwork will demonstrate the power of a complete i-Script workflow, the interface between the digital print RIP software and the i-cut digital finishing system on a Kongsberg table, effectively connecting and automating the graphic design process and the finishing data. i-script ensures that the operator does not have to re-register the tool head for each printed element on each sheet. EskoArtwork will be receiving from partners on the ISA floor a number of different jobs printed on a variety of substrates. Printed pieces will be placed on the Kongsberg table randomly, but will be able to effectively cut each board correctly.




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