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Stevenson invests in an Esko-Graphics CDI Spark XT Flexo Platesetter

Press release from the issuing company

Kennesaw, GA - March 6, 2003 - Esko-Graphics, the graphic arts supplier created in last year’s merger between Barco Graphics NV and Purup-Eskofot A/S, announces that Stevenson the Color Company (Stevenson) has installed a CDI Spark XT digital flexo platesetter with the assistance of the Pitman Company, Esko-Graphics’ exclusive CDI reseller in the United States. Stevenson was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1926 by Thomas Stevenson to fulfill the need for quality craftsmanship in the filmwork supplied to area lithographers. Over the next seven decades, Stevenson's son and grandson expanded the business through consistent performance and development of relationships in the art print, publishing, commercial printing and packaging industries. Now under fourth generation family management, Stevenson, headquartered in an 80,000 square foot facility Cincinnati, Ohio, continues to raise the standard of excellence with craftsmanship and technical skill in image/data management, digital photography, sheet fed printing and both digital and conventional prepress services. Most of the company’s packaging work is done directly with major consumer goods marketers. Recently, the company had seen tremendous growth opportunity in flexography. About half of the company’s packaging separations are created for flexography, and the company’s customers had been inquiring about plates. It caused Stevenson to discuss flexo platemaking with the Pitman Company, who recommended the Esko-Graphics CDI Spark XT platesetter. Stevenson was influenced by Esko-Graphics’ dominant market share in flexo platemaking, promising long-term security and technical expertise. Stevenson wanted to operate free of environmental issues. With the Esko-Graphics CDI Spark XT platesetter and Dupont Cyrel Fast plates, Stevenson can process flexo plates in an office setting without recovery equipment. “People see the environment we’re operating in, and are amazed because it’s worlds away from conventional trade shop flexo platesetting,” remarks Jeff Stevenson, Stevenson Color president. “What really made this possible is that we’re not working with solvents.” The Esko-Graphics CDI Spark XT with Optics25 is an extremely fast platesetter that fits Stevenson’s plate sizes well. It is connected to a third-party workflow system, receiving one-bit tiff files for output. Stevenson is particularly pleased because imaging the digital plate directly eliminates dot gain. The CDI Spark XT platesetter uses a YAG laser with a deep focal length that cleanly ablates the mask. Printed results are sharper, and plate quality is uniform. Makereadies are faster and presses use less ink. “Pitman did a great job selecting the system and putting together a great training program,” adds Mr. Stevenson. “We had a sense of trust that they would take care of things, and that bore out well. Rob Baker, our Pitman representative, gets a lot of the credit for leading us in the right direction.” "Esko-Graphics' Flexo Implementation Quality (FIQ) training was instrumental in ensuring the quickest possible return on investment of the CDI Spark. FIQ enabled Stevenson to utilize their vast depth of digital experience and color knowledge to quickly grasp the training and start producing premium quality flexo plates for their customer base,” adds Rob Baker, Pitman sales representative. “Stevenson was well prepared for this next extension of their business with a sound infrastructure to support the project. They had knowledgeable personnel, the right equipment and an excellent facility.”