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Esko WebCenter receives prestigious PIA/GATF 2006 InterTech Technology Award

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), August 8, 2006 –- Esko, the market leader in packaging pre-production solutions, is pleased to announce that WebCenter has received a 2006 Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) InterTech Technology Award. WebCenter is part of Esko’s Scope suite of packaging pre-press software. It basically is a communication platform that brings together all packaging supply chain partners—from brand owner to retailer—to discuss jobs, perform approvals, and view 3D models of products with their packaging. WebCenter is the second recent Esko product recipient of an InterTech Award. The FastVariants suite of workflow tools received a 2003 Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) InterTech Technology Award. The Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), now known as The Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) created the InterTech Technology Award as an industry service to promote an understanding of advanced technology in the graphic arts, honoring innovative excellence. The criteria for nomination stress that the technology be recently developed, proven in an industrial application, but not yet in widespread use. For over a quarter of a century, the recipients of this prestigious award have not only proven to have a major impact on the graphic communications industry, but they have also consistently been commercially successful in the marketplace. Of the prior award recipients, 80 percent have proven commercially successful in the marketplace. A special committee comprised of industry technical experts carefully reviewed the nominations and made selections. While package printing, touchless workflow and automation were a common theme for many of this year’s product entries, judges specifically had praise for WebCenter, noting, “With its seamless, end-to-end hands-free production, the packaging industry has needed this.” Judges also cited the product’s ease of use, and the customer-focused front end. “Everyone can look at the same package at the same time.” Just as important, WebCenter’s ability to create 3D product views was deemed significant, particularly with its packaging focus. “WebCenter has enabled us to easily integrate the system into three different business areas—for package, commercial, and large format printing. Key for us was availability of on-line collaboration tools, and the ability to utilize 3D structural viewing, as well as individual separation viewing,” noted Craig LaBossiere, Packaging Manager, OPTIUM, in his testimonial letter that accompanied the award application. “When a CSR releases a file to WebCenter, anyone in the chain—a printer, creative director, or brand owner, for example—will receive an email invitation to log in, review the file, make any annotations and send comments. Critical for us will be the resultant action history, a record of edits and job approvals.” In the packaging supply chain, it is important to supply the ‘glue’ between all parties—making it easy for everyone to communicate, collaborate and share files easily. Using a standard web browser, WebCenter resolves a number of customer pain points, such as tracking and maintaining different versions of files; supporting approval workflows on virtually any file from structural and graphic design files to Office documents like Word, Excel, or even palletization files; and the ability to ‘speak’ multiple languages to communicate around the globe. With strong features designed for specifically for packaging, WebCenter can automatically create 3D models on-demand to accurately communicate a product, complete with packaging, to a wide variety of stakeholders. If the 3D model also contains animations, WebCenter will use them to accurately show folding sequences and entire assemblies for multi-part packaging or displays. “We are very pleased that PIA/GATF’s panel of independent judges has acknowledged the importance of packaging prepress tools, and has honored WebCenter. The judges agree with us that it is an exceptional tool to facilitate collaboration between all partners in the packaging supply chain,” comments Jan De Roeck, Esko Marketing Director Packaging Software. ”WebCenter tools are not only innovative—they also deliver very tangible benefits and prevent typical problems simply by enabling the right communication. Packaging is a mission-critical component for a consumer product company. Reduced packaging costs of a fraction of a cent can significantly impact the bottom line. Meanwhile, packaging errors can be financially devastating. Delays in a product’s launch can affect shelf space, market share and competitiveness—and result in losses of millions of dollars for the consumer product company. WebCenter makes the difference.

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