by Danny Mertens
A fully automated production workflow
Brands are constantly looking for ways to stand out on the shelf. One way they can achieve this is by adding embellishment effects to their product labels, such as cold and hot foiling, spot varnishing and screen prints. This strategy is particularly effective for high end labels, such as wine & spirits, health, beauty & cosmetics.
In one go high quality labels can be enhanced digitally to create any embellishment you want.
No more analogue embellishment tools necessary
Previously digital label printers had to revert to conventional embellishment techniques, which require separate and expensive tools for each design. Not only does analogue technology limit the degree of personalization and variability, preparing the tool also results in a complex process, which introduces time delays and an increased risk of error.
But not anymore. As stated before, Fusion technology renders all extra embellishment tools unnecessary. It combines full color digital production printing with digital embellishment of labels and packaging in a single, one-pass and fully digital production process.
Fusion technology renders all extra embellishment tools unnecessary.
How does Fusion technology work?
Fusion technology, also known as digital combination printing, was first introduced at Labelexpo 2015, where it stunned audiences. It includes embellishment modules, driven by digital printing processes that are positioned before and/or after Xeikon's five-color press. The resulting configuration produces a digitally printed and embellished label or packaging in one go with the digital front-end taking care of the prepress, data processing, color management, press operation and operation of all embellishment modules.
The cornerstone of Fusion technology is Xeikon’s dry toner electro photographic five-color printing press, which is second to none for the high-end label and packaging market since it easily matches offset and flexo benchmark quality. At 1200 dpi print resolution the press delivers offset-alike quality at a consistent speed. Furthermore, dry toner is unique in that it is chemically “compatible” with other inks/toner used in the digital technologies to allow for printing on top of preprinted images without any need for priming or pretreatment. There is no other digital printing technology out there at this point that provides such flexibility.
The Fusion modules are controlled by Xeikon’s digital front-end, X-800, which ensures an automated digital printing workflow while enabling integration with existing workflows and market-leading third party applications, such as design solutions, web-to-print applications and MIS.
A print job is dropped in a hotfolder, RIP’ed and the different channels are sent to the relevant Fusion modules, including the press, without further manual intervention. Because every embellishment module is digital, every single design element in the design can be made variable or personalized, which opens up huge opportunities for new applications.
The advantages of digital combination printing
Even more than for other market segments, brand owners of luxury products demand flawless print quality, guaranteed color performance and consistently accurate brand color reproduction. Fusion technology was specifically designed with the high end label and packaging market in mind.
Fusion technology eliminates costs of conventional tooling equipment, while at the same time setting the stage for variability and personalization. As a result, label printers are presented with a whole bunch of opportunities for new applications. They can
produce virtually any label or packaging on demand. Fusion technology makes it possible to do instant reruns of previous jobs because all the necessary parameters are in one digital file. And because converters no longer need to invest in expensive tools, they will be able to produce short runs with high added-value cost-effectively.
Would you like to know more about Xeikon’s state of the art Fusion technology? Download our Fusion technology eBook here!