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EskoArtwork Announces new Inline UV Main Exposure technology

Press release from the issuing company

Gent (Belgium), September 9, 2008 – EskoArtwork, the world leader in digital imaging of flexo plates and sleeves, introduces another step forward to improve quality and consistency in digital flexo platemaking, while reducing cost of operation and environmental impact. At Labelexpo Americas, the company announces a new Inline UV Main Exposure option for its smaller format CDI Spark 2530 and CDI Spark 4835 CyrelTM Digital Imagers, making this unique approach – introduced before for the larger format Cyrel Digital Imager models – available also to the tag, label and narrow web flexible printing markets.

Inline UV Main Exposure technology allows digital flexo plates to receive the UV Main Exposure within the same device where they are imaged, rather than requiring a subsequent separate exposure step on an offline light frame. Combining these two process steps on the same device provides both economic and quality benefits.

"Today's announcement is another example of EskoArtwork's innovation power, and also illustrates how we extend our many years of flexo expertise beyond the pure imaging step, into the complete platemaking process", comments Jürgen Andresen, Vice President Flexo Business. "Integrating as many platemaking process steps as possible within a single imaging platform is key to have a more productive, reliable and cost efficient operation. The innovative Inline UV Main Exposure capability, available only from EskoArtwork, is a strong contributor to that strategy."

UV main exposure improvements add to digital plate quality and consistency

"The imaging quality of our CDI is already second to none," explains Dr. Thomas Klein, EskoArtwork R&D Manager, Flexo Business. "For the next step in the platemaking process, our Inline UV Main Exposure technology offers a precisely controlled environment, in which every dot imaged on the plate is receiving exactly the same amount of UV radiation. This control of dot formation further increases the level of repeatability and consistency of the plate – leading to significant higher quality and stability on press."

Any lack of stability and uniformity of the main UV exposure leads to inconsistent dot formation and results in color accuracy and color balance deviations on press, especially in minimum dot areas.

As a consequence, there may be unproductive fine tuning on press, color variability over long runs, dissatisfied customers, and ultimately waste and rework.

A plate imaged and exposed on a CDI with an Inline UV Main Exposure unit will provide the same printed result today, and a year from today. On-press color fluctuations due to UV inconsistency can completely be eliminated, which may reduce the total job-to-job color variations in half.

A marked advantage over offline UV exposure units

Compared to offline UV exposure units, the new CDI Inline UV Main Exposure light source is more stable, lasts longer and guarantees improved plate consistency. The CDI Inline UV Main Exposure system requires less energy and produces much less heat.

UV light bulbs in offline devices deliver UV radiation that is not uniform over the exposure area. Their output power also degrades over time, causing the replacement of a full set of UV bulbs every couple of hundred hours of use.

"Requiring less energy and cooling, eliminating frequent lamp replacement and reducing production waste and time, EskoArtwork's unique Inline UV Main Exposure technology is a much more attractive value proposition for the tag and label printer, both from an economic and an environmental perspective", concludes Andresen.

A legacy of digital flexo innovation

EskoArtwork introduced the first flexo computer-to-plate imaging device at drupa in 1995. In the ensuing years, EskoArtwork has continued to be leader in digital flexographic imaging technology development and implementation - for both plate and sleeve imaging. The EskoArtwork CDI family of CtP solutions fits the size needs of the narrow, mid and wide web flexography markets, and can be configured with various optics solutions that tailor imaging speeds to the user's productivity requirements.

The CDI Spark 4835, capable of imaging digital flexo plates up to 48" x 35" (1200 x 900 mm), and the smaller CDI Spark 2530, which can image plates up to 25" x 30" (635 x 762mm), are both versatile imagers that provide digital imaging for all printing processes used for tags and labels, such as flexo, letterpress, silkscreen, chemistry-free offset and dry film.

Inline UV Main Exposure in the CDI Spark 2530 and CDI Spark 4835 is going to beta immediately after Labelexpo Americas, and is expected to be available for customers during Q4, 2008.