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Esko-Graphics to demonstrate new productivity features for the Kongsberg DCM at DRUPA 2004

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), March 1, 2004 – Esko-Graphics, the market leader in integrated packaging pre-production solutions, is set to demonstrate new features, including an optical registration system and remote alert capability, to its Kongsberg Digital Converting Machine (DCM) at DRUPA 2004. The Kongsberg DCM is based on the successful Kongsberg XL series of cutting and creasing tables for packaging applications. Since its introduction at DRUPA 2000, more than 650 tables have been sold into the packaging industry. The Kongsberg DCM automatically loads sheets from a stack of material up to 24” thick, cuts and creases each sheet from a CAD file, and unloads the sheets – running virtually unattended. No cutting die is required, generating further savings in cost and turnaround time. Producing small runs for different sizes of 10 to 400 sheets very profitably, the Kongsberg DCM can pay for itself within a year. Successful installations of the Kongsberg DCM have taken place at packaging and point-of-display manufacturers internationally, from Sweden, Spain, Norway and Italy, to the United States. In fact, a November 2003 promotional event in Gent demonstrated prototypes of 850 point-of-purchase displays for the fictional perfume campaign “Provoke”, featuring a Madonna look-alike. The materials, produced on a DCM 24, proved the value of the DCM as a cost and time saving machine for short run production to an audience of European clients, industry experts and journalists. A natural fit exists between the DCM and large-format digital printers that make inroads into the POP display market and other, formerly screen printing applications. There is a growing tendency to consider short-run production as high-margin business opportu-nities, enabled by the new digital manufacturing equipment. The Kongsberg DCM is replacing manually operated (“clam-shell”) diecutting presses and other automated diecutting equipment especially designed for short-run work. These require the significant expense of creating a die, which can often amount to €1,000, or more, per job. Frequently the delivery time for the cutting die is several days, which can be a problem for the short-run trade - very much a “Just-In-Time” service. A lot of converters are using their existing high-capacity equipment for short-run work, spending considerable overhead expenses in the attempt to secure future, large orders. New features for the Kongsberg DCM at DRUPA 2004 Two important features will be introduced and demonstrated: Optical registration of print-to-cut: The Kongsberg DCM24 on display at DRUPA will feature camera based registration of print-to-cut, which considerably speeds up changeover time between jobs, and compensates for inaccuracy in print positioning between sheets within a production run. With camera based registration, post-laminated sheets that have not been clean-cut can be reliably and accurately finished on the Kongsberg DCM. The new registration system is ideally suited for corrugated board, permitting the material to be cut and creased with the print side facing down. Remote Alert System: The Kongsberg DCM is capable of running unattended and some existing customers are even running it overnight. To assure that the system can be monitored, it can be equipped with a simple attachment that notifies the operator when there is any stop in the production cycle, by issuing a text message to a mobile phone. For time-critical jobs, the Remote Alert System can ensure that the Kongsberg DCM runs smoothly, even when nobody stays close to the machine. Productivity and safety features The Kongsberg DCM is built with a number of features that provide significant productivity and safety benefits: Neat stacking of finished sheets in the output stack saves time during stripping. Large bed size (1.6x3.2 m) allows optimization and savings in print layout (Flat diecutting equipment is often limited to 1.6x2.0 m.). Efficient board transport: New and finished sheets are simultaneously loaded and unloaded. Large-size crease wheel provides diecut-quality folds. Automatic knife tip sensor to assure the knife blade is intact. Vacuum suction monitor in cutting bed and suction grippers to assure substrate is held and transported properly. Photo cell sensors to safeguard against obstructions in the cutting area and in-stack. Physical fence with monitored gates to safeguard operator and bystanders. Based on the Kongsberg-XL table Since 1986, Esko-Graphics has installed more than 1,500 Kongsberg samplemaking tables. Of these tables, only a handful is no longer in use today, which means that over 99% of all Kongsberg tables are still in daily production. The most prestigious names in the corrugated and folding carton industry use Kongsberg tables for their daily sample production, while many smaller shops use the table for its quality and substantial return on investment. The Kongsberg XL-Series of cutting and creasing tables for the packaging industry – from which the DCM is derived – are the undisputed market leaders, thanks to their great productivity and versatility resulting from leading edge technology. “A wide variety of shops see value in a wide variety of market applications, cutting and creasing materials from digital files. The Kongsberg DCM is perfect for small runs of customized packaging, point of sale materials, or short runs of reorders,” comments Tom Erik Naess, Esko-Graphics Product Manager, samplemaking and SRP. “Many companies need unusual packaging and in-store materials for test marketing, and are willing to pay a premium for small quantities. We have seen converters exploit the Kongsberg DCM for new, high margin opportunities.”