by Danny Mertens
We are defining a pathway to full digitization of print production and manufacturing. Responsiveness has become key for any business and can only be achieved effectively by digitalizing all print manufacturing processes, and not just printing. The foundation for a digitalized environment lies with collecting data in a digital manner. The data volume, captured in real time, creates the information that is required by label converters to make fact-based decisions. Another aspect is the interfacing connections in production between machines and operators, helping to transfer job information between the different production processes or drawing the attention of operators when it is really required. The cloud-connectivity, machine-machine and man-machine interfaces of our UV inkjet presses will enable label printers to take operational excellence to the highest levels. They offer great potential to maximise OEE, increase sustainability and make an operation robust for any future challenge.
The new Panther 2.0 series also offers new opportunities for label printers to expand their applications portfolio. Xeikon’s new robust substrate handles technology featuring a new splice table, web detection capability and cooled roller at the curing section. This makes it possible to print high-quality labels on a wider choice of substrates, including clear-on-clear facestock, which requires a high-quality opaque white to make the design stand out. Both presses can be configured with a fifth print station for white ink and can print on a wide range of self-adhesive media in addition to clear-on-clear, including coated paper, vinyl, PP, PE, PET, and metalized.
The Xeikon PX2200 and PX3300 presses leverage the advantages of dedicated PantherCure UV inks, which meet the demands from brand owners for high-gloss, durable labels with high scuff resistance. The Panther DuraCureTM UV technology produces high-gloss effects and stands out across the widest colour gamut while delivering exceptional long-term durability for multiple applications such as industrial, chemical and household labels, as well as high-end labels for the premium beer, spirit, beverage and health & beauty market sectors.
Driven by the powerful Xeikon X-800 digital front end (DFE), the new Panther UV inkjet presses offer superior and consistent print quality in combination with industry leading productivity. The cloud connectivity is achieved through the X-800, providing access to both machine data and job data, e.g. ink consumption, printing time etc. The latest generation of Xeikon’s X-800 enables unique applications on the Panther series, such as haptic printing. This tactile layer of white delivers the sought-after embellishing effect inline with full colour printing for designing labels with enhanced tactility and luxury feel. Also for variabilization, starting from black and white and going to colour numbering and to the most complex full colour variable data application through Xeikon’s new Vari-One option.
With the addition of 2 new presses, the Panther 2.0 series now comprises of 7 different UV inkjet press. This includes the Xeikon PX30000, available with 6 (CMYKOV) or 8 (CMYKOV+WW) print stations. It will now be accompanied by the Xeikon PX2200, 220mm wide, available with 4 or 5 print stations, and the Xeikon PX3300, 330mm, available in 4 and 5 print stations or HC-high capacity. With high-performance levels and low-energy consumption, Xeikon’s Panther series of presses are now equipped with cloud connection and next-generation HMI. This helps operators monitor the workflow to maximize productivity by avoiding downtime and bottlenecks and make changes on the fly while maintaining full colour control. It gives label printers complete quality assurance on every job. Xeikon’s new interfaces also allow presses to communicate with other equipment such as Xeikon’s finishing and embellishments units.
Weymans concludes, “Xeikon’s UV inkjet presses can address any request from label converters. This can mean replacing an older UV flexo press to be more effective, being cost competitive within the high-end to medium-run label market, expanding the digital application space of existing liquid toner businesses, or providing entry-level investments that allow any printing company to embark into the digital label space. By being part of Xeikon’s broader label portfolio (press, consumables, workflow, converting, embellishing, services), converters can over time expand their investment in width and colour, or expand their workflow capabilities with ERP or MIS systems. With over 30 years of experience in digital innovation, Xeikon has a deeper understanding that enables them to offer not only the latest innovations and technologies but also a full suite of support services.”
Available for demonstration at the company’s Global Innovation Center in Lier, the Xeikon PX2200 and Xeikon PX3300 – as well as the Xeikon PX3300 HC model – are now commercially available in Europe and North America.