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Ray Schumann and Associates installs Esko-Graphics CDI Spark XT

Press release from the issuing company

Vanadalia, OH– October 30, 2003 - Esko-Graphics, the market leader in CtP and packaging solutions and world leader in digital imaging of flexo plates announces that Ray Schumann and Associates, Inc. (RS&A) has purchased the first Esko-Graphics CDI Spark platesetter in the St. Louis area, from The Pitman Company. RS&A will be replacing a large percentage of its film-based analog platemaking capabilities with the digital flexographic platemaking system and new DuPont Cyrel Fast platemaking unit. Founded in 1954 for offset prepress, RS&A is now a prepress shop focusing primarily on narrow web and wide web flexo platemaking for converters. This includes a strong capability with high quality multi color, four-color process, and hexachrome projects, as well as digital and analog proofing. Their flexo experience began in the early 1970s when, recognizing the growth of flexography, RS&A added Dupont Cyrel platemaking capabilities to their expanding services. With the rapid growth of flexographic printing processes, RS&A has continued to reinvest in equipment, enabling them to provide their clients with exceptional quality and cost efficient products. Recently, when RS&A considered overhauling their analog platemaking capabilities, they realized that technology and price points substantiated the investment in digital flexo platemaking. They decided on the Esko-Graphics CDI Spark XT after thorough research that included discussions with existing customers and the plate manufacturer. The company considered quality, consistency and ease of operation as critical benefits. “Esko-Graphics and The Pitman Company approached our ‘research period’ very professionally,” says Dennis Schumann, president of Ray Schumann and Associates, Inc. “There was no pressure whatsoever and they were very competent in presenting the package.” The Dupont Cyrel Digital Imager Spark XT is an external drum imager with a solid granite machine base. It features a long-life, low-maintenance fiber laser (1070 nm wavelength, 5000 hrs projected lifetime) and the same 4 beam optical system that is used with the CDI PowerBeam models. CDI Spark XT is delivered with a built-in plate loading/unloading table and with EasyClamp to easily apply and securely hold down plates up to 6.35 mm thickness on the drum. CDI Spark XT images DuPont Cyrel and other brands of digital photopolymer plates in sizes up to 48” x 35” – the most popular flexo plate format. “We have a very clean plant but, just like other companies, we still have our own problems with dust, remarks Mr. Schumann. “With analog platemaking, you still find a plate every once in a while that ends up with a dust spot. That will be eliminated with our CDI Spark XT platesetter.” Repeatability of plates from job to job has also been very important. RS&A does a lot of reorder work. Until now, they have kept their films and plates on file, burning a new plate when necessary. Esko-Graphics has proven that when RS&A produces a digital plate to update an older job, it will fit perfectly with the other plates. RS&A also expects faster press makereadies, coming up to color faster. The CDI Spark will be integrated with a third-party workflow, receiving 1-bit TIFF files. Because the CDI Spark integrates well with other systems, RS&A does not expect that the platesetter will require them to reinvent their workflow. “It should be a very comfortable fit,” comments Mr. Schumann. RS&A expects to be able to improve what is already considered high quality prepress platemaking for its customers, with added cost efficiencies. “An early part of the decision process was establishing what even higher quality digital flexo would cost our customers,” remarks Dennis. “We’ve figured that with the CDI, costs should be 8-9% less for us. There is a faith to be had in digital. We’re excited about it.”