by Danny Mertens
Visiting the packed halls at Labelexpo Europe is thirsty work. That’s why Xeikon, located in Hall 5, has the perfect beverage to hand from Belgian Abbey Brewery Val-Dieu. In fact, the beer which is the only one in Belgium still brewed inside an abbey, has more to offer than great taste.
After thorough research and development, Belgian label specialist Label’Or, now digitally produces the high quality, wash off labels for all Val-Dieu beer bottles, a unique solution in the beer industry.
Alain Pinckaers, Director of Val-Dieu Brewery, explains: “To keep up with the growing demand for our beers, we needed to change our production process. As part of this, we decided to change the labels on our bottles. Where before we used wet-glue labels, we now switched to self-adhesive labels. As the bottles are washed and re-used, it was vital that the labels are easily removed. We worked closed with Label’Or who helped us find a solution and choose a suitable machine removable label.”
Jean-Marie Peters, owner of Label‘Or, continues: “For the improvement of the production process, we looked at enhancing the brand image and presentation of the bottles. It was also very important to have washable labels, because of the switch to self-adhesive labels. We did a lot of research and testing, also working closely with paper suppliers, and finally found the solution. The rest just comes down to proximity, service, availability and short-runs.”
Next to the traditional production process, Label’Or also produces labels digitally on Xeikon presses. “After the necessary preparations, the files are sent to the Xeikon front-end, and then produced on the Xeikon CX3 which prints most of the Val-Dieu labels. Not only do we print four or five different colours, we also add a coating. Afterwards the large reels, which sometimes carry 2.000 metres of paper, are sent to the roll slitting and rewinding machine, where the labels are cut and wound on reels for the labelling machine,” Peters explains. “Xeikon’s digital presses allow us to respond adequately to market needs for several reasons. First, because of the outstanding printing quality and secondly because of the dry toner that allows for direct or indirect contact with food. With the short turn-around time and maximum use of the press in one shift, we can react swiftly and offer the client a fast service. And that is what’s expected today: quality and fast delivery.”
Family-owned Label’Or started working with Xeikon in 2008 when the Xeikon 3300 5-color digital press was installed. The company quickly understood the potential offers by combining the efficiency of their traditional production with the flexibility of digital. Using the new technology, it could effectively meet the demand for small runs and variable output. The quick return-on-investment made it possible to invest in a second Xeikon 3300, followed by a third, the Xeikon CX3.
Watch the video on Label’Or and Val-Dieu Abbey Brewery here.