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Esko launches Scope 3, a major new release of its leading packaging software suite at Ipex 2006

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), February 27, 2006 - Esko, the global market leader in packaging pre-production solutions, announces the introduction of Scope 3, a major new release of the company's integrated software suite. Scope is the core of Esko's solution to turn the entire packaging supply chain - from brand owner to retailer - into a straightforward collaborative process. Scope enables its users to deliver consistent quality while reducing time-to-market and eliminating costs. The Scope 3 version comes with a long list of innovations and user-driven features added to its key applications. Scope 3 continues on Esko's vision to expand from pre-production to a total process view on packaging delivery, from design to finishing and beyond, integrating and linking with other systems upstream and downstream. World leading brand owners, tradeshops, printers and packaging converters today confirm this strategy having already successfully implemented Esko technology into their global operations. Scope 3 software builds onto the industry standards that are a prerequisite for advanced packaging solutions: it is JDF 1.3-enabled, offers full support for Adobe PDF 1.6 and more than ever offers direct links into the popular Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 (Mac and PC versions). Scope 3, scheduled for release early April, will be showcased for the first time during Ipex with live demonstrations and presentations on Esko's booth F50-G50 in hall 9. Esko will also feature some technology demonstrations illustrating Scope's future development directions: a designer's plug-in for Adobe Illustrator CS2 offering a totally new level of 3D interactivity in CAD and graphics integration, and examples of integration with Adobe's new Acrobat 3D capabilities. Packaging designers integrate CAD and graphics with Scope 3 Both during CAD and graphical design, a 3D representation of a package is a major advantage for testing and proofing. Many partners and handoffs are involved, and the more visually a design can be communicated, the more precise and successful the collaboration will be. "More than 90% of all packaging designs are prepared in Adobe Illustrator, which makes it the preferred de facto standard platform among designers," remarks Jan De Roeck, Esko's Marketing Director for packaging software. "With our expanded range of Adobe plug-ins, we give the graphic designers the power to perfect a packaging design right on their desktop." Version 7.0 of ArtiosCAD, Scope's structural design component, comes in with more import file formats for CAD solid models, as well as an expanded range of board characteristics now covering all packaging materials (corrugated, folding carton, plastics, foam…). New 3D export formats for creating assembly drawings and presentations include animations and background images. At Ipex, Esko will disclose new technology that changes the way packaging design will be thought of in the future. With 3-dX, a new Illustrator plug-in and a part of Esko's DeskPack product, packaging design becomes a real three-dimensional interactive process, automatically maintaining a live link between 2D production data and 3D design visualization - just as if the designer were holding the package in his or her hands while building up the graphics. Working with industry standards Once the design is finalized, the Scope 3 workflow tools all use Adobe PDF 1.6 as their native language for job editing, sheet layout and RIPping. For that purpose, Scope uses original Adobe PDF code libraries to maximally exploit the benefits of the industry's preferred file format. Esko's drive to embrace standards is not limited to PDF 1.6 only. Using Adobe XMP, all supply chain partners share production critical metadata embedded in design files, production files and RIPped output. Esko's leadership in the Packaging and Labels subcommittee of CIP4, expanding and pushing JDF developments for packaging workflows, is a token of its open systems approach. Supply Chain collaboration WebCenter is Scope's on-line platform for collaboration and approval workflows. WebCenter 6.0 truly integrates all supply chain partners - brand owners and designers as well as tradeshops and converters - on a single communication platform. The Scope 3 release adds exciting new functions such as document version tracking, version compare tools and a feature-packed web viewer. Holding a quality dot on press Scope's color management and screening technologies enable high quality results regardless of the printing technique used. Esko holds many years of experience in packaging RIPs and flexo digital imaging. Scope 3 marks the arrival of a new screening technology to optimize highlight printing in flexography. PerfectHighlights provides an answer to challenges posed for example by corrugated postprint, where soft polymer plates with high relief depth are used. In such cases, stray highlight dots are not sturdy enough to remain stable over a flexo press run. PerfectHighlights ensures that these dots remain printable and, in doing so, provides flexo tradeshops and corrugated converters a visible way to differentiate their print quality from competitors. Once more, Esko confirms its leading position in flexo prepress. Keeping customers up-to-date The Scope Configuration Manager establishes a permanent communication between the customer's Scope installation and Esko's central configuration servers. Tools like on-line monitoring and remote analysis facilitate a faster and more effective customer service. Software updates - service packs, maintenance releases and also upgrades - can be downloaded and installed instantly and under remote supervision.

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