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Esko-Graphics and Mikkelsen Graphic Engineering announce strategic partnership in digital cutting

Press release from the issuing company

SGIA ’04 – Minneapolis, October 6, 2004 – Esko-Graphics, the market leader in Pre-production solutions for the packaging industry, and Mikkelsen Graphic Engineering (MGE), the market leader in complete cutting systems solutions for short-run printing in the sign-making, screen-printing and digital printing marketplaces, announce a strategic partnership to integrate MGE’s i-cut vision control system and i-script workflow with Esko-Graphics’ Kongsberg XL series of cutting tables. These solutions will be primarily targeted at finishing digitally printed rigid materials for the sign- and display market. The first product resulting from this new cooperation is demonstrated at the Specialty Printing and Technology Imaging Show 2004 (SGIA 04, October 6 – 9, 2004) at the MGE booth (# 939) and is immediately available for purchase. Esko-Graphics has set the standard in larger format heavy-duty cutting solutions with its Kongsberg line of cutting tables, the XL-series, the market leading solution in the cutting of corrugated materials. Recently it has again expanded its reach with the introduction of the new MultiCUT head, which features a 1000W milling tool, ideally suited for cutting and milling a wide range of rigid sign-making materials. MGE today is the industry reference in vision controlled finishing solutions for cutting tables in the sign-making, screen-printing and digital printing marketplaces with its patented i-cut vision system. Its i-script workflow has become the de-facto standard through its integration into the RIPs of all major digital flatbed presses. At SGIA MGE demonstrates the Esko-Graphics’ Kongsberg XL20, equipped with a belt feed mechanism that links to the MGE’s i-feed automatic feeder. The table is equipped with Esko-Graphics’ new MultiCUT head, in which the MGE i-cut camera is integrated. MGE’s i-script workflow allows the RIP of the digital press to automatically generate the cutting contour of the graphic image. It also automatically adds registration marks to the print image. After printing the i-cut camera will read a RIP generated barcode containing the cut file name, retrieve this file via company network, recognize i-cut register marks – also inserted by the i script compatible RIPs - or in prepress, followed by automatically aligning the cutting to the graphic. The result is a very precise cut, following the graphic contours, even compensating for image or media distortions. “Digital flatbed printing is one of the strongest growing applications in the sign and display making industry as well as in the packaging industry. The integration of Esko-Graphics and MGE products brings a breakthrough solution for more precise and productive finishing of digitally printed rigid materials.” says René Delbar, Senior Vice President Marketing of Esko-Graphics. According to Steen Mikkelsen, President of MGE, “By partnering with Esko-Graphics, and utilizing the Kongsberg XL tables’ higher cutting pressures, high system rigidity and stronger drive system, MGE’s i-cut digital finishing solutions will dramatically expand the opportunities for Graphic Producers and digital printers permitting them to efficiently convert any printing media produced by any digital printing device, while increasing productivity and throughput.” MGE will distribute these joint solutions in North America to the sign-making, screen and large format digital printing markets. Esko-Graphics will distribute the systems to the packaging market.