At Labelexpo Europe 2019, Xeikon will be showcasing new technologies and solutions. Labelexpo Europe will be happening from 23 to 27 September 2019 at Brussels Expo in Belgium.
According to Benoit Chatelard, CEO of Xeikon, the company alongside Flint Group will have the biggest booth in its history with Labelexpo.
“We are number one in narrow web, number two in flexo, and number two worldwide in digital. We are also the fastest imager supplier in the world with the ThermoFlexX technology,” said Chatelard, highlighting Flint Group’s position in the labels industry.
Honing in on Xeikon’s business thus far: “The overall business of Xeikon grew 15% in the past year. This was in particular with the expansion in China and US. 21 months ago when we first merged with Xeikon, there was a big transformation in Asia and in the US. The label industry in those regions are in a very unique position and its most important to follow their needs,” said Chatelard.
According to Xeikon, the digital equipment manufacturer is the only player to develop both dry toner and UV inkjet print technologies.
“The CX500 was sold out last year, and is expected to sell out this year too,” said Chatelard. “Every five years, we evolve our toner technology. It’s an absolute linear curve with five, ten, 15, and now 30 metres. We are balancing with inkjet now, but the dry toner technology has always been strong. We want to reassure customers that their investments in our dry toner technology is protected.”
Xeikon announces a new flexible packaging solution for pouches with very fast turnarounds. Xeikon developed this solution with its customer, CS Labels. The UK-based company is a totally digital establishment, having gotten rid of its last offset press in 2012. The solution 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.
“We’ve come up with a solution with very fast turnaround due to a dry laminating process. Conventional takes up to 8 to 10 weeks - in flexo this is the normal turnaround time. The dry laminating process with the new solution shortens this considerably,” said Filip Weymans, Xeikon VP.
Pouches can be reasonably complex to manufacture because of the flexible nature of their multi-layers. Xeikon’s new solution simplifies the process by firstly digitally printing the text and graphics on a thermal laminate the outside layer of the pouch is prepared and ready for the next steps. 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. Xeikon’s digital printing solution offers the lowest possible complexity and the broadest lamination construction possible.
Xeikon also unveiled a new ‘Label Discovery Package’ that consists of the Xeikon 3030 and DCoat330. The two systems make up the entry level solution that can print and convert in one package.
The package supposedly has the lowest production cost: “It outperforms other systems out there that combine print and converting, even inkjet systems,” said Weymans.
The Xeikon 3030 digital label press is capable of producing offset quality labels using standard flexo substrates, without needing specially-treated substrates. It is equipped with standard CMYK-W printing to cover 90% of print applications, with a possibility of colour gamut expansion. The DCoat is a converting unit consisting of a varnish, semi rotary diecut and rewind station.
Xeikon launched a high capacity version of the Panther series in response to customer requirements of reducing substrate costs and improving overall equipment effectiveness. It utilises a high capacity unwinder and is powered by the latest version of the X-800 DFE. The new version is equipped with new Panther functionalities like automate ink optimisation and tactile printing. The high capacity Panther is available now.
A new Panther DuraCure UV curing technology combines LED and mercury technologies to optimise curing. DuraCure achieves maximum performance with the lowest amount of energy for PantherCure UV inks. Panther DuraCure curing technology is a unique technique achieving optimal gloss effects in all colours as well as ultimate durability for multiple applications across multiple sectors. Key benefits are consistent curing performance, long-term durability and the lowest possible energy consumption.
“In response to industry demand, DuraCure is the next step forward in our strategy to provide a portfolio of complimentary solutions. Good curing performance is an important factor when looking to invest in UV Inkjet printing technology. The quality and durability of DuraCure expands the capabilities of this printing technology and makes it a very attractive opportunity. The new DuraCure curing technology can achieve optimal curing for a variety of applications. Used in conjunction with our PantherCure UV inks and substrates the technologies combine to achieve the highest quality results providing added value business opportunities for our customers,” said Jeroen Van Bauwel, director product management.
Working with the Panther UV-Inkjet series of digital presses, the Panther DuraCure curing process works in a number of ways. UV ‘pinning’ of white keeps the ink from spreading and bleeding into the CMYK inks. This ensures the quality of the CMYK image is kept at the highest level: UV ‘pinning’ after the black following CMYK transfer means DuraCure ‘freezes’ all colours across the image and maintains a uniform optimal colour brilliance and gloss.
The use of LED curing with its ability to go deep into the ink layers combined with HG or mercury curing for lightly but effectively curing the surface of the UV ink offers the best of both worlds. The intelligent use of these existing technologies is what makes the difference. Combining them in an optimal way to use less energy has a positive impact on the lifetime of the curing lamps.
ThermoFlexX launches next generation plate imagers, the ThermoFlexX Woodpecker NANO. This technology is touted to be a breakthrough because it is a completely open technology in LAMS imaging which can be applied to any plate in the market.
The technology requires a standard 1-Bit TIFF file at 2000 dpi, and is applied during the ThermoFlexX during the imaging process. The ThermoFlexX Woodpecker NANO technology provides the finest, and an extremely consistent nano SuS pattern over the entire job. Dot bridging is also reduced.
“One of the biggest advantages, because it uses a 2000 dpi file, is that the job file sizes will be much smaller. This will make the network bandwidth traffic much more responsive, so everything is faster. This also translates to higher imaging speeds,” explained Christophe Lievens, director of sales and marketing, ThermoFlexX.
The new generation of the ThermoFlexX Woodpecker series are available now. Upgrading of existing imagers to the version with Nano screen technology is possible.
ThermoFlexX has more than 20 years of experience in the production of CtP systems. There are more than 7,000 CtPs installed worldwide, with recent successful installations in Asia at Toppan Printing in China and Digital Process in Pakistan.
First published in Issue 03/2019 of Print Innovation Asia.