Xeikon adds force to inkjet; reassures commitment to dry toner

Detailing its Labelexpo Europe 2019 agenda, Xeikon hosted a press conference in Antwerp on Monday before it kick-started its flagship Xeikon Café user conference-cum-exhibition.

29 Mar 2019 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

The three-day event saw 252 label converters among more than 1000 unique visitors from 55 countries in attendance at its Lier factory in Belgium.

Xeikon CEO Benoit Chatelard indicated that the company grew by 15% last year thanks to the expansion in China and the USA. He also said that half of Xeikon R&D in terms of CAPEX and people is now dedicated to UV inkjet.

Xeikon CEO Benoit Chatelard Xeikon released its UV inkjet technology, Panther series presses, in 2017 and further strengthened the inkjet portfolio by acquiring the Jetrion business from EFI later that year. Addressing the customer requirement of reduced substrate cost and improved Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), Xeikon has introduced a high-capacity version for the Panther series.

“The high-capacity version is a combination of hardware in the form of high-capacity unwinder and software enhancements in the new X-800 DFE increase the OEE by up to 20%,” said Jeroen Van Bauwel, director product management at Xeikon.

The new feature in the X-800 DFE includes automated ink optimisation that intelligently reduces the density of white layer wherever the density of process colours is high.

New for Panther series is the DuraCure curing technology for PantherCureUV inks that combine the LED curing and mercury lamps curing bringing out the optimum benefits of the two technologies.

“LED UV source helps with deep curing and surface bonding whereas the mercury lamps enable surface curing. As a result, we are able to reduce the energy consumption, the heat exposure to the substrate and achieve uniform gloss over different ink layers," added Van Bauwel.

On the dry toner front, Xeikon has introduced the Label Discovery Package that consists of a Xeikon 3030 web-fed digital label press and its new Entry DCoat, a digital converting line that can be used inline or offline with the Xeikon 3030.

The Xeikon 3030 is a five-colour dry toner printer suitable for producing labels for a wide range of applications using standard flexo materials. It features CMYK plus white or a special spot or gamut-extending colour.

“The objective is to deliver lowest production cost by providing printing and converting in one package,” said Filip Weymans, vice president marketing at Xeikon.

Filip Weymans, vice president marketing at XeikonThe Entry DCoat is a compact converting unit which consists of a varnish, die-cut and rewind station. “The die-cut unit uses semi-rotary die-cutting technology and therefore reduces costs by as much as 50% with no need to acquire special tools and no set-up time as required with conventional die-cutting,” added Weymans.

Xeikon has positioned the Label Discovery Package to offer an entry-level type of solution for label printers that have not yet taken steps into digital and who probably don’t want to step in at the higher end of the market.

The key advantage for Xeikon in the packaging space especially food packaging is that its dry toner technology comes with a guarantee for food safety. In collaboration with CS Labels, Xeikon has introduced a digital printing solution for producing pouches.

“This innovation has been developed for consumer goods markets - food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The digital process for printing on pouches responds to current trends such as significant numbers of SKUs, shorter lead times and the rising popularity of pouches in store. Brand owners looking for shelf impact for their products are drawn to flexible pouches for their ability to stand, their light weight and their sustainability. Xeikon has simplified a key part of the overall production process to provide a fast turnaround solution,” said Weymans.

Explaining the printing and converting process, Simon Smith, managing director CS Labels, said, “This involves reverse printing onto 23 micron PET at 30 metres per minute on CX500 followed by application of water-based thermal adhesive to PET using GM UCoatpress. Then heat laminate on to PE, metPET, aluminium to PET. A variety of different layers are then constructed by laminating with a series of barriers for protection before the pouch is finally put together in the manufacturing process.”

Simon Smith, managing director CS LabelsXeikon is probably the only digital equipment manufacturer to research and develop both dry toner as well as UV inkjet technologies for print-packaging applications. It uniquely positions the two series – Cheetah dry-toner and Panther UV inkjet-based on the applications for the need of gloss and tactile finish.

In India, Xeikon has four installations namely Webtech Labels, Thomson Press, Tasveer Digital, and Kwality Offset Printers. Vikram Saxena,  sales general manager for India at Xeikon is confident to achieve a few more installations by the end of 2019.