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Esko improves control on Kongsberg table with update of MGE's i-cut Vision control system

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), November 16, 2006 - Esko, the market leader in packaging pre-production solutions and MGE, the market leader in vision based cutting workflow, announce that they have released the i-cut 6.2 update to their joint i-series of Kongsberg tables (i-XE and i-XL). With further use of digital presses for short run packaging and point of sale materials, exact registration for digital finishing machines is essential. Esko partner Mikkelsen Graphic Engineering (MGE) developed the new i-cut in close cooperation with Esko. The version 6.2 release of i-cut is now able to take more direct control of the Kongsbergís robust features. Combined with tighter integration between i-cut and the Kongsberg table it delivers better support of routing and milling, a report module for distortion readings, and an Adobe Illustrator plug-in for automatic placement of optimal i-cut register marks. The i -cut Vision control system and i ñscript workflow allows die-less cutting contours to perfectly match printed images, improving overall productivity and quality for the Esko Kongsberg i -XL and i -XE series of cutting tables. The combined offering delivers a very powerful finishing solution for all pre-printed materials to produce packaging, signage, displays and POPs. The MGE i -cut Vision control system is integrated in the Kongsberg table with the i-cut camera inside of the Kongsberg cutting, creasing and milling tool head (MultiCut). With the camera, each printed object is measured, using register marks, to define the position and to compensate for any dimensional changes, distortions or material variations like shrinkage or stretching. The i-cut software automatically fine-tunes each cut contour for perfect cut-to-print. The i-scriptô software is the interface between the digital print RIP software and the i-cut digital finishing system, and connects and automates the graphic design process and the finishing data. With i-script, the operator does not have to re-register the tool head for each printed element on each sheet. With i-cut version 6.2, more than a dozen new features have been implemented. Along with tighter integration between the i-cut system and the Kongsberg table, some of the more significant new features include: - Advanced routing/milling support: Several new routing/milling features are available directly from the i-cut software. These include, among others, control of inside/outside cutting, curve direction, tool diameter, material thickness, and pass depth. By editing these simple parameters, users are able to create complex, multi-pass cutting production settings without developing additional layers, or editing curves. They will easily produce cleaner, smoother-edged graphics on virtually all materials, including acrylic, PVC, plastics, and woods. This is extremely significant with the number of wide format digital presses that are being tied to Kongsberg tables for full production systems. - Distortion reporting: i-cut is the only vision registration system that is able to compensate for non-linear distortion caused by material instability, finishing procedures, or even the printing process itself. Now, with distortion reporting, an operator can understand how much distortion is really occurring in jobs. This new feature allows the user to view and record distortions measured by the i- cut Vision registration system. i-cut is also able to save all distortions to a .CSV file that can easily be imported into Microsoft Excel or any similar spreadsheet application, for further review or systematic quality control. - ai-cutô Plug-In for Adobe Illustrator: MGEís Adobe Illustrator plug-in was specifically built to help designers prepare files faster and easier for the i-cut workflow. It allows users to automatically, with the click of a button, insert register marks in the best positions for achieving the highest accuracy, and provides a tool for quick manual insertion, if preferred. Selecting different mark types, sizes and colors is accomplished from a simple user interface. In addition, the plug-in can generate pre-defined i-cut layers and preflight check for cut files for output. The ai-cut plug-in is absolutely free, and can be downloaded from the MGE website: http://www.mge-us.com/aicut.html. Other new i-cut features include a new Kongsberg toolbar when running i-cut, providing instant access to several features; sheet feeder communication, allowing automatic loading and pre-loading of sheets on the Kongsberg table, as well as support for sheet feeding jobs longer than the table; the ability to produce drill holes, allowing for easier routing of mounting holes in various types of sign graphics; a Tool Path preview feature to help identify cut file issues before cutting expensive materials; and a pressure ramping control for kiss cutting. "The improvements to i-cut and the Esko Kongsberg table enhance the system by providing a single user interface, while improving functionality. Close cooperation between the MGE and Kongsberg development teams to provide a tight production system and an optimal workflow has been the driving force in the development of these features. The end result is a complete, well-integrated, easy-to-use system," comments Tom Naess, Kongsberg product manager.

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