by Danny Mertens
Xeikon and KURZ have announced the introduction of new cutting-edge digital metallization capabilities. Based on the recently launched Xeikon TITON toner technology, the jointly-developed solution integrates KURZ DIGITAL METAL technology with the Xeikon TX500 digital press for the production of premium labels. This unique one-step embellishment method offers a versatile, low-cost alternative to traditional hot foiling, and notably, it is the first food-safe digital metallization solution on the market.
Delivering high-quality labels in a single pass, this breakthrough innovation from Xeikon and KURZ is the perfect solution for printers serving the demanding high-end wine & spirits markets. With no restrictions on run lengths or designs, it provides a sustainable, ultra-flexible, and very cost-efficient way to create high shelf appeal. Presenting the same advantages as digital printing, it also enables new market opportunities, such as variable foiling, which can be used for personalized consumer labels, variable security elements, or paper-based packaging with metallization.
“Printers are constantly searching for better ways to add value to the labels they produce for their customers. Meanwhile, brand owners are looking to maximize shelf standout with brilliant designs that shine and sparkle. They also want to get to market faster, at a lower cost,” says Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director of Solution Design at Xeikon. “This new digital metallization process offers unlimited possibilities for the production of high-quality, highly embellished labels with Xeikon’s TITON toner technology. Metal effects are created in one process without needing special adaptations to the print file. And since it’s all done in line, no highly-skilled operator intervention or re-registration is needed. It’s as simple as adding another color!”
This digital metallization method excels in its simplicity as it does not require any additional process steps in prepress or during the converting phase. Unlike traditional hot and cold foil techniques, there is no need for stamping tools, saving significant cost, time, and waste. The job preparation time is as quick as sending a digital job to the press, meaning printers can offer much faster turnaround and shorter lead times. It also eliminates the waste of time and materials related to print registration. The robust and versatile process can be applied to a wide variety of substrates, including challenging uncoated papers (unlike cold foil), and semi-transparent metallization is also an option.
The solution is made possible by Xeikon’s new durable TITON toners, which are highly resistant to heat. After printing CMYK, the Xeikon TX500 press applies a special Transfer Toner to the designated metallization areas before the web continues to the KURZ module. This method is remarkably precise and efficient, utilizing the print file for metallization, so there are no additional requirements for the press operator.
With the full freedom of digital printing, including orders of just one label, the new digital metallization process can be used to add both solid areas and very small details (in positive and negative) in 1200 dpi resolution, anywhere in the design. Each label can be different with variable elements in print and metallization matching each other.
“Together with Kurz, Xeikon is pushing the boundaries of digital embellishment with this advanced solution which will appeal to the high-end market due to its multiple benefits and exceptional quality,” comments Filip Weymans, Vice President of Marketing at Xeikon. “The continuous advancement of Xeikon toner technology, and the new solutions it enables, are driving even more value for label printers and their brand owner customers, while also supporting sustainability by taking out more waste in the production process. We look forward to unveiling this amazing solution at Labelexpo and encourage visitors to witness for themselves how easy it can be to add metallization the Xeikon way.”