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Packaging Innovations: labels and cartons success for Xeikon


by Gert Geens

Leading digital press supplier Xeikon enjoyed yet another successful Packaging Innovations show in Birmingham at the end of February. The company was celebrating the sale of its fifth Xeikon CX3 digital label press in the UK following the decision of fellow show exhibitor CS Labels to invest in its second such machine.

Eede, The Netherlands, March 10, 2016

Another recent customer for the machine, The LabelMakers of Bradford, were also exhibiting at Packaging Innovations. Further Xeikon CX3 units have been installed at Abbey Labels in Bury St. Edmunds and at Mercian Labels in Staffordshire.

Commenting on the UK success, Filip Weymans, Director Segment Marketing and Business Development Labels and Packaging at Xeikon, said: “We have a very strong installed base of label and packaging presses in the UK. They give us regular feedback on the market and their ever-increasing levels of success. Many have been saying that they are running close to capacity with their existing equipment and have been asking us for an even faster solution. We have now developed a press that can provide them with the speed that they need, and customers are showing their commitment to Xeikon and its products by investing in the new product."

The Xeikon CX3, aka “Cheetah”, is the fastest digital five color label press in its league, being able to produce up to 30 meters per minute. In real terms it is even more productive than that due to the fact that users can now take on longer run orders. This speed increase has been combined with new toner products meaning that users have the potential to open up new and exciting markets.

Commenting on his company’s second investment, CS Labels Managing director Simon Smith said, “Our existing Xeikon CX3 has enabled us to work smarter and faster and it has given us the extra capacity. The purchase of the second Xeikon CX3 was solely driven by customer demand. We’ve seen a definite transition to digital label printing from flexo and other traditional methods. Quite simply more and more customers are making the switch for reasons of lead times, quality, multiple SKU ability and personalisation.

“Digital is truly no longer confined to shorter print runs and our longest run is now 84,000 linear meters, which would have been unheard of five years ago.”

Further refinements to the manufacturing process for the toner for the Xeikon CX3 have enhanced the QA-Cheetah toner product. This latest enhancement is based on Xeikon’s groundbreaking ICE Toner development, which offered fusing at lower operating temperatures, allowing the label press to run heat sensitive substrates.

Whilst the Xeikon CX3 is the new top of the range offering from the company, there is still a choice of equipment for companies entering the sector for the first time. “Xeikon still offer the most comprehensive range of digital label presses,” confirmed Filip Weymans. “The Xeikon CX3 offers a significant advancement for customers seeking to expand their production, but other businesses may not need the full capabilities of such a machine right now. Our upgrade path, however, will allow them to develop their business and their label production over time."

Xeikon and Cartons

In addition to labels Xeikon has also been making significant advances in the digital production of cartonboard products. The Xeikon 3500 system installed at Glossop Cartons was being showcased by the packaging production company at Packaging Innovations, where it was showing samples from its digital carton printing solution. The concept of short run, personalised digitally printed cartons is one that the company were keen to illustrate to an enthusiastic market seeking new and exciting solutions.

Filip Weymans commented, “Glossop Cartons are a very innovative company. Short run, eye catching solutions are an important element within the carton sector, and our folding carton suite has been developed with that in mind. Our products are never going to compete with the volume packaging produced by offset – that’s not what we are aiming for – but we can produce short run, highly innovative packs that many companies are now seeking in order to differentiate their products from their competition.”

The Xeikon Folding Carton Suite is based around the Xeikon 3500 digital colour printing press. It is designed to deliver cut sheets of B2 format printed board, and beyond, printed in five colours, with inline spot varnishing, with application-tuned dry toner. The toner images created deliver food safe printing with lightfastness, and without the use of any mineral oils. The 1200 dpi quality delivers image quality indistinguishable of offset printing.

Further Integration with LabelTraxx

The company was hosting LabelTraxx on its stand at the show. The US based business provides fully-integrated management software for label converters. LabelTraxx is set to release its latest update incorporating further integration with Xeikon label presses. In addition to providing detailed job information to the press, the software will be capable of receiving toner usage information back from the Xeikon, allowing it to compare actual usage with the original quote.

LabelTraxx is a cross-platform MIS, running on both iOS and Windows operating systems. More than 400 label and commercial printers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean rely on LabelTraxx to manage and monitor their businesses. LabelTraxx consists of twelve modules - each a complete end-to-end solution that contains everything needed to streamline communication and manage the modern flexo and digital label printing business. Modules include estimating, order processing, job costing, accounts, and stock management.