by Filip Weymans
Xeikon, with more than 30 years of innovation and experience in digital printing, today reported it is launching a new digital label press based on next-generation Cheetah 2.0 technology. As demand grows for mass customization, shorter lead times and more product diversification, the new Xeikon CX300 digital label press is an innovative solution that keeps both label converters and their brand owner customers at the forefront of a rapidly evolving industry.
“The Xeikon CX300 delivers exceptional application versatility, designed to achieve the highest possible OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and is even more productive than the very successful Xeikon CX3 first generation of Cheetah presses,” said Filip Weymans, Vice President of Marketing. “Today’s investments need to deliver results. Printing speed is an important factor, but combining that with a low OEE would not deliver the value printers and label converters are looking for. With Cheetah 2.0 technology, we have focused on combining high production speeds with a high OEE, ultimately resulting in maximum sellable output.”
Cheetah 2.0 technology: the details
Cheetah 2.0 technology is based on the proven, scalable Xeikon press architecture that includes five print stations and a full rotary process with a variable repeat length. Also featured:
- Dry toner printing process operating at 30m/min (98ft/min).
- Web width can vary between 220mm (8.6”) and 512mm (20.3”) wide using a LED imaging head operating at 1200x3600 dpi delivering offset/gravure image quality.
- The Cheetah developer station, which holds the Cheetah toner, ensures higher color consistency across and along the web, ensuring a higher volume of sellable output with reduced waste.
New generation interfaces
- The Man-Machine interface has been designed in a way that the operator can assess the status of his press from a distance. The interface also communicates the specific actions the operator needs to perform.
- The Machine-Machine interface allows for the integration of pre and post equipment either inline or offline. Throughout this interface, relevant information about the jobs is transferred digitally to the appropriate individual module to eliminate human errors, as the information flows seamlessly through the manufacturing process, which again contributes to the overall OEE.
- Built-in technology reporting on performance, availability, etc., in real time, providing data that can be translated into information for fact-based decision making.
- In designing the Cheetah 2.0 platform, ergonomics for both service engineers and operators were a focus, plus it uses components that simply last long with the objective of reducing maintenance and repair times.
- Integrated quality management systems monitor and automatically adjust press operation. This includes the density and tone curve of the process color but also the density of identified brand colors and registration.
Xeikon CX300: the details
The Xeikon CX300 is a 330mm (13”) label press that can offer production capacity of over 50.000 square meters per month in a single shift operation. The full-color press is equipped with five print stations, including CMYK and single-pass opaque white but can also support color gamut expansion, custom or security colors.
Based on Cheetah 2.0 technology, the Xeikon CX300 can easily operate in a three-shift operation and still deliver high value work. Strong, growing end-use markets such as food, pharmaceuticals and other markets using self-adhesive labels can be supported with the Xeikon CX300. Its dry toner technology surpasses any other digital printing technology with respect to food safety. The Cheetah toner also incorporates the recently announced QB toner technology, making it even more future-proofed against upcoming legislation and regulatory requirements.
Other markets ideally served by the Xeikon CX300 are those that use challenging substrates such as natural structured papers. This includes wine & spirits, craft beer, luxury food, and more. Health & beauty labels also benefit from high-quality full-color printing and single-pass opaque white toner. These are just a few of the end-use market applications that make the Xeikon CX300 a versatile solution that can also be used for the production of heat transfer labels, in-mould labelling, wet glue, wraparound labels, and cartons.
Xeikon’s fleXflow process enables the Xeikon CX300 to produce flexible pouches, combining dry toner printing with thermal lamination to deliver a laminated construction with turnaround times never before possible, and increased sustainability driven by the fact that there is no solvent used during either printing or laminating. Xeikon fleXflow is driven by the industry-leading Xeikon X-800 digital front end and includes an innovative inline thermal lamination process.
“The Xeikon CX300 can be the cornerstone of digitizing label manufacturing,” Weymans concluded. “Its built-in technologies enable label converters to address current and future industry demands: connectivity, responsiveness, flexibility and scalability. We believe the Xeikon CX300 can be a valuable addition to any label shop floor and the spark that ignites a digitization process that is unmatched in the industry.”
The Xeikon CX300 is commercially available beginning in April 2020.