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Belcom and Esko-Graphics Form Marketing Alliance

Press release from the issuing company

To provide Solutions to Corrugated Packaging and Display Producers September 5, 2002 -- Esko-Graphics is the result of the recent merger between Purup-Eskofot A/S, one of the world’s leading digital prepress suppliers to commercial printing firms, newspapers and publishers, and Barco Graphics, one of the leading global suppliers of digital pre-production solutions to the packaging industry. Realizing that synergies were part of the reason behind the merger, in August 2002 Belcom North America Group and Esko Graphics North American CAD/CAM Packaging Group joined forces to distribute, market and sell each others products to the Corrugated Packaging and Display markets. Belcom is headquartered in Bellwood, Illinois, USA and is a Technical Affiliate of Aprion Digital Ltd, the Israel based developer and integrator of the BEL2000 printing technology, more commonly known as M.A.G.I.C. or Multiple Array Graphic Ink Jet Color. Belcom with its roots in graphic design, pre-press prep and printing operations since 1983, is the exclusive North American Distributor of the BEL2000, a six color process, 63" x 102" flat bed inkjet printer that requires no plates or special pre-press. Since its development in October 2000, the BEL2000 has continuously provided highly profitable Short Run and Small Order Corrugated Production for a number of users in North America and Europe on a computer-to-print direct basis. The BEL2000 and the Esko-Graphic DCM22 are complementary products designed to enhance the current method of traditional printing. "There is a greater demand to get products to market faster," states Belcom CEO, Errol S. Doris Sr., " Clients today can no longer wait three to six months to launch a product in a special market. On the other hand traditional ways of printing do not provide the same alternative choice as Digital Printing does. With the current technology you could test market a product in several markets in a matter of days without spending a dime on film, printing plates or cutting dies. By eliminating the plate and die cost, the whole digital exercise is reasonable and affordable." Users of Belcom’s BEL2000 Digital Printer and Esko’s DCM22 Digital Cutter quickly adopted the themes "Just-in-Time" and "On-Demand" into their sales pitch to their clientele. Most of them have already developed a dependency on small order production for Oversized displays, Make-ups, Colorful Header Cards, Sample and Prototyping, Jobs that required multiple language or copy changes and those that are difficult to produce in any small quantity when only 5 or 10 pieces are needed in a big hurry. "That’s where the Digital Printer and Digital Die-Cutter combination makes the most economic sense", states Don Skenderian, National Sales manager for Esko Graphics, CAD/CAM Packaging Group. "A customer could launch a promotion requiring 200 – 300 full size pieces, take them to press without plates, make multiple changes with very little down time, pull those pieces off the press, cut and crease them without needing cutting dies." Skenderian emphasizes, " In many instances, the same day. But none of it is possible without Digital Printing and Digital Die-cutting." Esko-Graphics introduced the Kongsberg DCM 22 Digital Die-Cutting System for converting applications at Corrugated 2002. The DCM is for converters who are faced with the increasing demands of providing small orders. The DCM assists the converter in achieving a more profitable short run business by minimizing labor and eliminating the need for cutting dies. The DCM 22 can meet tighter deadlines, create custom packaging, and achieve low-volume point-of-purchase displays in a fraction of the time that traditional methods allow. Building on Barco's 25+ year experience and innovations, Esko-Graphics offers productive integrated solutions for the design and pre-production of packaging materials to the complete packaging supply chain such as ArtiosCAD, for computer-aided design (CAD) of folding carton and corrugated packages, featuring knowledge management and collaboration tools for all departments involved in design, pre-production and customer services. Continues Doris, "The packaging industry is becoming more agile with this type of advancement. Digital Printing and Digital Die-cutting demand is increasing along with greater client demands for "Just-in-Time" production. It means that as the amount of time in the printing process decreases the time to market becomes more competitive. Belcom and Esko-Graphics are poised to be chief contributors to this digital revolution and with complementary technologies, will present better solutions to advance the world of digital printing and packaging."