by Filip Weymans
Xeikon has announced the introduction of gold and silver metallic toners for its Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 Series, the most advanced line of digital label presses on the market, in line with the company’s strategy to focus on the label industry and develop application-tuned solutions.
The production of labels for wine, health and cosmetics typically requires specific embellishing steps. This has been traditionally achieved by either printing on a metallic substrate, using metallic inks or using a cold or hot foiling process. However, these traditional techniques involve high setup costs due to expensive materials and tools and to the high amount of waste generated to reach the expected quality. Adding the metallic color digitally eliminates these costs, avoids secondary processes and unlocks new value-added label design options such as personalization.
A few years ago, Xeikon launched its 'Creative Toner' series, a portfolio designed to enhance packaging with specific colors. Palladium Silver and Matt Silver were the first creative colors to be introduced. Today, Xeikon expands this family with Metallic Gold and Metallic Silver to provide a digital alternative to flexo printed gold or silver measuring 6-8 on the Flop Index, an index that measures the reflectance of a metallic color. These metallic colors fit in the 5th color station of the Xeikon Cheetah press. Dry toner technology allows for hassle-free color swapping by just replacing the toner dosing unit and the developer unit. There is no extensive cleaning process required as the toner is dry, and a quick brushing with a vacuum cleaner is sufficient to be up and running between jobs.
As digital printing technology continues to evolve and the uptake by the label industry accelerates, ever more processes of label manufacturing become digital. More digitization at the finishing and converting stages are changing the entire print manufacturing process. Xeikon currently offers offline digital 2D, 3D, haptic varnishing and foiling on the Xeikon Fusion Embellishment Unit (FEU) and inline embellishment with full-color digital print as haptic white on the Xeikon Panther UV-IJ Series. Now, with the opportunity to use metallic toners directly on Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 presses, it becomes much easier to produce less complex labels, while dramatically reducing the turnaround time and simplifying the production process.
Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Vice President, Marketing, explains, “The development of application-tuned toners empowers printers to create their own digital solution, so they can establish a differentiation from other print providers and achieve a competitive edge. With Xeikon Metallic Gold and Silver, we continue our commitment to innovation with leading-edge technology that provides new opportunities for the label printing industry.”
The new metallic toners will be commercially available from May 2022 for all Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 users. Visitors to Xeikon Café Europe 2022, on April 26–28, can experience live demonstrations of this new technology in the Global Innovation Center, where label printers and converters will learn how the latest Xeikon solutions can bring more value to their business. Visitors may also reserve individual sessions with Xeikon experts in advance to get in-depth insight and discuss their specific needs and opportunities.