Xeikon Reveals Latest Packaging Innovations Spanning Corrugated, Labels, and Prepress
Broadcasting live from Belgium, Xeikon hosted a news conference on Wednesday, June 3, in which the company shared its latest developments in prepress, graphic arts, and labels, while also announcing plans for its first foray into the corrugated segment.
While Xeikon has become an established presence in the label and folding carton packaging segments, and the commercial printing industry, it had not yet launched a product for the burgeoning high-graphic corrugated segment.
But according to Sebastien Stabel, Xeikon’s market segment manager for carton packaging, prevailing trends among consumers, brand owners, and retailers have led to the rapid rise of corrugated, and with it, opportunities for high-quality digital print. In the broadcast, Stabel explained that the growth of e-commerce, increased sustainability awareness, and the digitization of the consumer experience have led to shorter lead times, shorter run lengths, and more segmentation, which are all key components to the growth of digital printing.
So, with the decision in hand to make a move into corrugated, Xeikon announced the launch of the IDERA platform. The platform will utilize water-based inkjet technology to provide high-quality single-pass, direct to corrugated printing. While the broadcast did not reveal a specific product launch, Xeikon has announced that the IDERA product lineup will include a press that can print on sheets up to 63” wide by 110” long, and can print at speeds up to 492 fpm.
The decision to implement water-based inkjet technology was centered on food safety advantages over UV and hybrid inks, sustainability attributes, and cost effectiveness, Stabel said. He added that Xeikon developed its own inks in house for IDERA, and was able to benefit from being part of the Flint Group, which brought extensive experience to the table.
“We leveraged Flint Group’s expertise in the corrugated market,” Stabel said. “This is a match made in heaven and should give us a solid base and give us the right insights into the market.”
In another new technology announcement for the packaging market, Uwe Stebani, GM of Xeikon prepress, joined the broadcast to share the latest product offering under the ThermoFlexX brand. This series of flexo platemaking products has been dubbed Catena, the Latin word for “chain,” and Stebani explained that the product launches within the Catena line are all connected to one another.
The first product Stebani discussed was the Catena E-80 exposure unit, which he said is a redesigned UV-LED exposure unit designed for constant high-quality UV-LED exposure, a result of the product’s auto calibration feature.
Joining the E-80 in the Catena line of products are the Catena-W and Catena-DL. The W, Stebani said, is a high productivity plate washing unit and the DL is a dryer/light finisher. He also announced the launch of the Catena-DLS, a dryer/light finisher stagger module that incorporates robotized plate transport.
The modules are linked together with Catena cockpit software, and provides a zero-touch flexo plate processing line. Additionally, Stebani said that with Catena, users can access real time data in the plate production process, allowing for continuous monitoring of efficiency, maintenance needs, and other important machine attributes.
To expand on the March 30 launch of the Xeikon CX300 for the label segment, Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s VP of marketing, conducted an interview with Carl Parkander, CEO of Interket, a label printing company with multiple locations in Europe, which will be among the first companies to install a Xeikon CX300, the latest Xeikon offering based on the company’s Cheetah dry toner technology. The new press will be installed at Interket's location in Sweden.
Parkander explained that historically, Interket has been a volume-based business, but has since evolved to provide more value-add products. In particular, he said the company is placing its attention on security and traceability applications, in which the CX300 will be beneficial.
“We are in continuous dialog with our customers and the more we talk to them, the more we focus on service and innovation,” Parkander said.