Digital Magazine

Esko-Graphics Installs 400th Cyrel Imager at Leading Packaging Prepress Service Provider Southern Graphic Systems

VANDALIA, OH, USA—Officials at Esko-Graphics report "an industry milestone" for the package-printing prepress system manufacturer. According to Esko, it recently installed its 400th Cyrel digital Imager (CDI) Advance at Southern Graphic Systems in its St. Louis, MO, operation. The company adds it is one of three CDIs recently purchased by SGS, the Louisville, KY, USA-based prepress service provider well-known for its service to North American package printers.

According to Esko-Graphics, SGS's St. Louis facility services the most prominent consumer packaging companies and converters in the region, with a complete, digital workflow.

A Bit of Background
In 1995, Esko-Graphics introduced the CDI, the first digital platesetter for flexographic plates. A Graphic Arts Technical Foundation and Flexographic Technical Association award winner, CDIs represent 75% of all digital platesetters installed globally—imaging 90% of all digital flexo plates worldwide, says Esko-Graphics, adding:

The most recent CDI installed at SGS, the CDI Advance, produces the highest quality flexo plates, primarily for flexible packaging and folding cartons. Until recently, three productivity levels were available: Optics 15, Optics 25 and Optics 40. Optics 80, to be introduced at Drupa, doubles the productivity of the CDI Advance.

By imaging a full format 50"x80" plate in 19 minutes, it matches the industry's fastest plate processing equipment. The CDI images Cyrel and all other makes of digital flexo plates, ablative film, and letterpress plates, both film and steel backed. The CDI Advance platesetter, to be demonstrated at Drupa, can soon be delivered with a semi automatic-plate-loader, capable of holding 16 similar or different-sized plates.

Other CDI models include the CDI Compact for medium web flexo applications; the CDI Spark for tag and labels, folding cartons, and small flexo plates; and the CDI Spark XT for small- and medium-sized plates, suitable for the label and folding cartons.

"Our value proposition into the flexo and gravure market segments is to reduce or eliminate the gap with respect to time, cost, and quality between these two processes. Design, development, and deployment of pure digital workflows have allowed us to eliminate the gap in graphics. Our internal goal is to eliminate this gap between gravure cylinders and flexo plates by the end of the decade," states Hank Baughman, SGS president.

"Esko-Graphics' CDI has become an integral part of our strategy to improve the quality and time to execute the flexo prepress process. The next decade will find consumer product companies making their print process decisions based on branding and distribution strategies and not cost, quality or time required by the flexo or gravure prepress processes. The only other driver of this decision would be the print suppliers' infrastructure and talent pool," adds Baughman.

"It's only fitting that SGS purchased our 400th CDI platesetter," adds Mark Vanover, Esko-Graphics director of marketing, North America. "SGS was one of the first to adopt digital flexo by installing a CDI Classic SingleBeam in 1997. That CDI is still a workhorse today and joins a total of 13 CDIs system-wide, the most owned by any customer in the world."

Visit Esko-Graphics at esko-graphics.com.

Subscribe to PFFC's EClips Newsletter