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Xeikon introduces the Label Discovery Package

– Consists of a Xeikon 3030 web-fed digital label press and its new Entry DCoat, a digital converting line that can be used inline or offline with the press.

Hosting a press conference in Antwerp, Xeikon kick-started its flagship Xeikon Café user conference-cum-exhibition with the attendance of over 1000 visitors to the show at its Lier factory in Belgium. Presenting to the press a day before the start of the event, Xeikon CEO Benoit Chatelard informed the journalists that last year the company grew by 15% contributed mainly by its expansion in China and the USA. For Xeikon, inkjet is the future, complimented by the UV technology embraced by them. The new Panther series is the DuraCure curing technology for PantherCure UV inks that combine the LED curing and mercury lamps curing bringing out the optimum benefits of the two technologies.

On the dry toner front, Xeikon has introduced the Label Discovery Package that consists of a Xeikon 3030 web-fed digital label press and its new Entry DCoat, a digital converting line that can be used inline or offline with the Xeikon 3030. The machine is a five-colour dry toner printer suitable for producing labels for a wide range of applications using standard flexo materials. Filip Weymans, vice president marketing at Xeikon emphasised that the sole objective is to deliver lowest production cost by providing printing and converting in one package. “The die-cut unit uses semi-rotary die-cutting technology and therefore reduces costs by as much as 50% with no need to acquire special tools and no set-up time as required with conventional die-cutting,” he said.

Xeikon has a choice for the new entrants with the offer of the Label Discovery Package offering those who don’t want to step in at the higher end of the market. Xeikon’s dry toner technology comes with a guarantee for food safety. In collaboration with CS Labels, Xeikon has introduced a digital printing solution for producing pouches. This latest innovation has been developed for consumer goods markets – food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The digital process for printing on pouches responds to current trends i.e. significant numbers of SKU’s, shorter lead times and the rising popularity of pouches in store. Brand owners looking for shelf impact for their products are drawn to flexible pouches for their ability to stand, their light weight and their sustainability. Xeikon has simplified a key part of the overall production process to provide a fast turnaround solution.

Simon Smith, Managing Director CS Labels, UK, who was also a presenter and was brought in specially to speak to journalists at the press conference said, “The process involves reverse printing onto 23 micron PET at 30 metres per minute on CX500 followed by application of water-based thermal adhesive to PET using GM UCoatpress, then heat laminate on to PE, metPET, aluminum to PET. A variety of different layers are then constructed by laminating with a series of barriers for protection before the pouch is finally put together in the manufacturing process.” There were a number of samples kept at the press conference for the visitors. One of the pouches on display, as per Simon, was turned around in 48 hours flat from the receiving the order on Tuesday, the 19th of March, Printed and laminated on Wednesday the 20th of March and converted on Thursday, the  21st of March. Incredible, isn’t it?

Speaking on the occasion, Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director Product Management at Xeikon, said, “The Panther series of Xeikon digital machine was released in 2017,a UV inkjet press for SAL applications in H&B, Chemical & Durable sectors.” Panther series uses PantherCure UV inks and is driven by X-800 DFE. Talking of X-800 DFE with the new Panther functionality, the printer benefits by its Automated Ink Optimization capabilities resulting in reduced prepress time along with improved uptime and reduced ink consumption, all of which is what a printer looks forward to. In addition it also helps in tactile printing for high-end labels for further embellishment and that too notably without any extra prepress of print operator effort. “The Panther DuraCure technology with a combination of UV and Mercury source surface curing helps in lower energy consumption, provides uniform gloss and reduces heat exposure to the substrate which is a major issue with many machines,” concluded Mr.Jeroen

Coming to the Xeikon prepress, with an installation base of over 7000 CtPs – with about 300 in the packaging arena and the rest in newspapers – and with an existence of over 20 years, Thermoflexx according to them is the right solution for any flexo prepress. Mr.Uwe Stebani, General Manager at Xeikon Prepess said, “We have had a very successful 2018 with considerable increase in market share (new installations in Germany, China, Pakistan and Brazil) and ambitious goals for 2019”. Thermoflexx has imaging speed up to 12 sq.mtrs. per hour along with Automatic Resolution switching and reduced down-time and improved productivity for thick plates (> 3,94 mm / 0,155”). Thermoflexx also claims to give moiré free plates with the New generation TFxX –Woodpecker Series.

Later the next day, the tour to the factory at Lier, Belgium where Xeikon Café was undergoing, was a pleasure to see the technology in action. In fact our correspondent met a few Indian printers in attendance with special focus being on the digital cup printing machine. “It was interesting to see the first demonstrations of the Xeikon 3500 dry toner digital press printing on Kotkamills ISLA Duo paper cup stock which according to the paper manufacturer is not only sustainable, being plastic-free but is ideal for food packaging since the toner used is edible,” commented one of the visitors.

Kotkamills board production technology and the raw materials used in the ISLA Duo production offer a high stiffness cup with a smooth and pleasing tactility. The barrier properties needed for the paper cups are produced with water-based dispersion, making it a plastic-free alternative. Unlike traditional PE coated paper cups, the water-based dispersion barrier layer of the ISLA Duo does not become charged by static electricity. This is the innovative key to achieving high printing speeds and excellent stackability properties.

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