Xeikon Reveals its Latest Line of Dry Toner Presses
Xeikon hosted the first of two planned virtual press briefings on Monday, March 30, revealing the latest additions to its lineup of dry toner based digital presses for the graphic arts and label and packaging segments. The online broadcast featured the reveal of two new digital presses — one for graphic arts and the other directed toward labels — while also announcing the launch of Sirius, the latest development in Xeikon’s dry toner technology.
While the new products were the highlight of the event, given the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, Xeikon CEO Benoit Chatelard opened the presentation with an update on how the company is handling the situation. The health and safety of Xeikon employees is the company’s No. 1 priority, he said, and stated that about 60% of the company’s employees are able to work from home. Additionally, he explained that maintenance operations are still running, but preventative maintenance activities have had to stop for now, while emergency maintenance situations are given priority. And, whenever possible, help is being provided remotely so new people are not being introduced into a customer’s facility.
“We are part of a supply chain that is important for two critical industries – the pharmaceutical industry and food industry,” Chatelard said. “All the goods that go to the supermarket, pharmacy, and hospital need to move with labels and packaging for its own safety.”
Following Chatelard’s introduction, Dmitri Van Gaever, Xeikon’s market segment manager for graphic arts, provided an introduction to the Sirius platform. Van Gaever detailed how the platform’s development centered on four pillars — toner development, imaging technology, fusing technology, and media conditioning. The first press to feature the Sirius technology, Van Gaever revealed, is the SX30000, a graphic arts press that can run at 30 mpm with a new imaging system featuring LED print heads printing up to 1200x3600 dpi.
Another key feature of the duplex press is its use of the new EkoFuse system, which utilizes foil heaters that heat up rapidly, reducing waste in the production process. Additionally, the press’s quality measurement and management system features a spectrophotometer that controls color consistency throughout the job, while a registration camera provides automatic registration control. Beyond the hardware components however, the SX30000 is cloud connected, keeping track of uptime and other important data.
“All of its data regarding uptime is available for future decisions to be based on data and not gut decisions,” Van Gaever said.
The next announcement was directed toward the label segment, as Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s VP of marketing, introduced the Xeikon CX300, which is based on Xeikon’s Cheetah 2.0 dry toner technology. The 13” press features five print stations (CMYK plus white), but Xeikon revealed it can also support expanded gamut and custom colors.
While Weymans said the press is highly versatile and can be used across several market segments, it excels in the food segment, given the strong food safety track record of Xeikon’s Cheetah dry toner technology. However, he explained that dry toner is also a good option for challenging substrates, such as natural paper label stocks often used in the wine segment, due to the difficulty liquid inks present on the material.
Additionally, Weymans added that the CX300 can utilize the Xeikon fleXflow process, which combines dry toner printing with thermal lamination to produce a flexible pouch. This allows printers to enter the flexible packaging segment with fast turnaround times, meeting essential speed to market requirements.
Overall, the flexibility provided by digital printing is the key value the technology provides, Weymans said. While press speed is important, he explained that the new opportunities and fast turnaround times that digital provides is where the technology truly shines.
“The most important thing that the label market and graphic industry has to realize, is that digital printing has been brought to the market for some decades at this point, but it’s not only about printing,” he said. “It’s about having the flexibility and doing a digital transformation of the whole print manufacturing chain.”
At the end of the presentation, Xeikon announced that it has more to reveal, and will host its second press briefing on Wednesday, June 3. Additionally, Xeikon announced that it will host two online editions of Xeikon Café, which it has dubbed Xeikon Café TV. The first will be held April 22, and will be for the labels and packaging segment. A graphic arts/commercial printing session will be held on April 23.