Review: Kongsberg XE10

With this “die-less” digital table, Esko has made cutting and creasing of short-run packaging production and sample-making an easy task

23 Feb 2013 | By Noel D'Cunha

In 2006, when the Kongsberg XE10 was given its worldwide launch, it was the newest and the smallest member of the Kongsberg CAM table product line – a robust, fast and precise small-format die-less cutting equipment suited for sample-making for folding carton, decal and other specialty print applications.

Its USP today hasn’t changed and the size is built to the requirements of the folding carton industry, capable of producing top quality folding carton samples as well as short-run production. Kongsberg XE10 has a maximum work area of 800 x 110 mm and it can accommodate a maximum sheet size of 1000 x 1500mm. The XE10 operates at a maximum speed is 64 m/min - 42 IPS and a maximum acceleration of 12 m/s2 - 1.2 G.

Kongsberg XE10 is built on the platform of bigger size Kongsberg XL tables. Building upon their expertise with the Kongsberg large format digital finishing systems for corrugated and other packaging materials, Esko has incorporated a number of features from the architecture of its widely popular digital cutting and creasing tables. “With the Kongsberg XE, users can expect a digital finishing solution that outclasses others in both productivity and precision,” says Karan Talwar, sales manager for North and East India at Esko.

Though the worldwide launch was in 2006, the XE10 was introduced to the market at the end of 2005. Since then the XE10 has gained tremendous popularity in the South Asian market. Kongsberg XE10 has 25 installations in South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh). In total, all series of Kongsberg machines have an installed base of 56 machines in South Asia.

Key Kongsberg users in India are Parksons Packaging, International Print-O-Pack, Manipal Printers, Award Packaging, HBD Packaging, Noble Printing, Nebula Home Products, Nutech Packaging, Singhania Offset.

A flexible solution
Kongsberg XE10 gives a flexible solution for sample making and short run production of folding cartons, fluted cartons, labels etc. It can handle a wide range of materials, which include cut and crease of folding carton, single flute corrugated board, synthetic materials such as polypropylene; partial cuts with exact depths for varnish blankets; kiss-cutting and through cutting of self-adhesive label material.

New Delhi-based Nutech Packaging, which installed the XE 10 cutting table in 2010 said it added on and enhanced its productivity after examining other products in the market. Nutech specialises in folding box board cartons, shippers, blister cards, catch covers, display stands and fluted cartons.

Changing with the times
Developments has come regularly on the machine with new tools and software added. The Kongsberg XE10 features an entirely new tooling system which has been modified to satisfy folding carton requirements - and is fast to install and maintain. Their lightning-fast motion, combined with superb accuracy, increases finishing productivity and quality.

Kongsberg XE10 can be equipped with an i-Cut camera system for automatic registration of cut profile to print. The XE 10 is offered with full set of powerful front-end features of XE guide, which according to Esko, seamlessly integrates with Artios CAD software. “Combined with ArtiosCAD and special tooling options the XE10 is also a premium choice for production of varnish blankets for the folding carton industry,” says Talwar.

According to Esko, the Kongsberg tables are built to last. “Productivity is very high as the machine can be operated by a single person and can be run continuously. Repeatability of machine is ±0.00078” (± 20 μm),” says Talwar.

Whether you use it to cut printed strips or vinyl, one of the Kongsberg's main selling points is its tooling system, which is designed for fast, trouble-free tool exchanges or replacement. “Its two configurable tool positions easily plug in electrical and automatic tool identification connections.”

The tooling system includes static knife tool, hi-force knife tool, crease tool, varicut tool, vibracut tool and hi-frequency vibracut tools. For example the hi-frequency VibraCut knife tool is a special variant of the VibraCut knife tool, which allows for cutting a lot of different materials, such as foam board and corrugated with high-recycled content. It runs at twice the frequency and four times the amplitude of the standard VibraCut knife tool. “These properties, along with a more powerful motor, enable cutting of heavily recycled board at efficient speed,” says Talwar. He adds, “To reduce material tear and also to keep the material down as the knife is pulled out, a detachable pressure foot is included.”

Ease of use
The Kongsberg XE10 is very easy to use, explains Talwar. “With the XE Guide front-end and easily accessible control panel of the machine, calibration and exchange of tools becomes very simple and quick. All the tools work in plug and play mode, recognised by machine with tool barcodes.” Besides, every machine is supported with on-site installation and training of operators by Esko’s factory trained engineers.

The other important factor to consider is the usage of electricity. “Kongsberg XE10 uses very less power (3 kW). This is because tool operations is handled pneumatically while material is held on the bed with vacuum. So, it’s very eco-friendly,” says Talwar.

In India, Esko has continued to expand its vision providing a total process view, integrating and linking packaging workflow systems, from design to finishing and beyond. “It comes as no surprise that leading tradeshops, printers and packaging converters in India use Esko solutions, including the Kongsberg XE10 into their operations,” says Talwar.


Work area: 800x1,100 mm
Maximum sheet size: 1,000x1,500mm
Maximum speed: 64m/min - 42ips