by Danny Mertens
So what’s new in the world of labels? Pundits and Industry Influencers gave their predictions:
more investment in full production automation
enhanced variable data management
the necessity of having an effective, seamless and automated workflow
Almost twelve months down the line, a noticeable trend is taking place with many label printing and converting companies transitioning to new business models with new investments. Their focus would seem to be on extending the variety and number of possible applications but also reviewing and updating their variable printing and converting capabilities.
Keeping up to date with the latest variable data tools has become an urgent need for label and packaging printers and converters. When print becomes customised it becomes valuable, opening doors to high-end creativity and new and profitable revenue streams. With the latest variable data generation tools providing increased functionality, printers can offer brand owners and designers exceptional and creatively unique products to enable them to engage more effectively with the consumer and drive their digital marketing.
With the ever-growing demand from consumers for unique and creative products, customisation using big data enables label printers and converters to compete on the value of the brands’ communication campaign using print. Automating print production using variable data for labels and converting has to be the way forward, with ever increasing versioning and personalization brought on by programmatic print and multiple SKUs driving targets for shorter runs, faster delivery and low levels of waste.
Xeikon has built and structured its comprehensive portfolio to include the software and hardware necessary to fully automate variable label printing and converting. Xeikon has embedded a number of key tools in its X-800 digital front end. With the Xeikon VariOne variable data generation toolkit, it is possible for printers to achieve the highest levels of variable imagery available today. Xeikon’s Track and Trace capability utilises variable information on labels and packaging and combines authentication, identification and complete security at every step of the supply chain ensuring consumer trust and confidence in the brand.
For high-quality printing look to Xeikon’s new Panther 2.0 series of UV inkjet digital label presses or Xeikon’s new Cheetah 2.0 series of dry toner presses. Both can offer opportunities to produce new and variable label applications. For example, the latest Xeikon Panther 2.0 UV Inkjet PX3300 and PX2200 presses are designed to meet brand owners’ demands for high-end, durable and high-gloss print and the digital embellishment of unique labels.
What sets the Xeikon solution apart is the processes are all built into the cloud based workflow. From file to finish every label can be unique – a veritable explosion of unique creativity plus security within every single label. Xeikon’s recent launch of its new series of modular Label Converting Units addresses the automation of the finishing processes. With full cloud connection and integration. The LCU33 and LCU350 connect to the Panther series of presses, all equipped with man/machine and machine/machine interfaces for maximum efficiency and OEE. Xeikon’s LCU series offers the converter full variability for all finishing processes including lamination, die-cutting, slitting, winding, foiling and varnish.
Xeikon is seeing a much faster evolution towards digital for all sorts of applications and full variable label printing and converting is part of this evolution. Xeikon will continue to monitor global trends and take the strategic steps necessary to ensure its customers have the latest tools to hand and importantly, maximum choice. The Xeikon vision is to offer label printers and converters a clear and visible pathway to digital transformation and ‘lights out’ label production and manufacturing.