October 31, 2022

Jens Scheel - a great man, whose legacy is the way we do business today

We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Jens Scheel (19 September 2022, aged 93), a key figure in the print industry - and in the long history of Esko itself.

In 1961, Mr. Scheel founded Jens Scheel Sondermaschinen GmbH, which would go on to innovate a number of techniques and technologies still used today. Initially building machines for letterpress printing forms and seamless rollers for mechanically milled wallpaper printing, Mr. Scheel’s business evolved through four decades before it was acquired during the formation of Esko.

In 1975, the German business became the first in the world to introduce laser engraving for continuous rubber printing rollers, before achieving another first just five years later, working with Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation on the development of ceramic anilox rollers

In 1989, Mr. Scheel introduced a UV-laser exposer for gravure and textile, and in 1990 began using a new YAG-laser ablating technique for engraving gravure and technical rollers. In the same year, Mr. Scheel introduced the use of a CO2-laser for direct engraving of photopolymer plates. He also signed an R&D agreement with DuPont to develop Computer-to-Plate flexo plate production - a process still used to this day.

Mr. Scheel went on to develop and introduce the Cyrel Digital Imager in 1995, which originated the cutting-edge Esko CDI plate imaging machines and that remains the technology basis for state-of-the-art flexo platemaking to this day. In 1996, Mr. Scheel retired and Jens Scheel Sondermaschinen GmbH was acquired by Barco Graphics, becoming a key part of the storied history of Esko.

For more than a century, Esko has continually invested, innovated and invented in order to improve efficiency and productivity without any compromise on print quality – an ethos that Mr. Scheel brought to his own business for so many years.

The thoughts and sympathies of everyone at Esko are with Mr. Scheel’s family and friends. We are all proud to be a part of this great man’s legacy and to honor his memory with the way we do business today.

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