Fusion Technology Expands Automated Digital Label and Packaging Production Possibilities
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Following its highly successful launch at Labelexpo,Xeikon is delighted to present its new Fusion Technology concept to a widerprint production market.
It brings the promise of fully automated, unattendedlabel and packaging production closer to reality, from customer order through delivery.It combines full color production printing with digital embellishment of labelsand packaging in a single, one-pass and fully digital production process.
Fusion consists of a series of embellishment modulesreleased over time that are not just placed in-line with the press, but arecomponents of an entirely new modular system with the digital front end managingprepress, data processing, color management and press operation as well as fullcontrol and operation of all embellishment modules, without manualintervention.
Potential digital embellishment modules would presenta digital alternative to hot / cold foiling; Screen printed white, Tactilevarnish, spot print; and Braille.
Filip Weymans, Director Segment Marketing Labels andPackaging of Xeikon, says, “Our Fusion Technology offers converters the trueflexibility to produce virtually any label or package on demand. It will makeinstant re-runs of previous jobs easy, since all necessary parameters are in asingle digital file. More importantly, converters will no longer need to investin offline embellishment solutions, nor will they incur the time delays andpotential for error inherent in both offline and manual processes.
“At Labelexpo the feedback was overwhelming. Visitorswere very interested in how the modular approach could help them choose thesolution the best fit their production needs. The ability to handle more SKU’s,increasingly complex jobs, ever shorter runs and faster turnaround times get tothe heart of everyday pressures and demands and we are excited to help moreoperations enhance their operational effectiveness.”
Jesús Glaría, CEO, Zaforsa – a Spanish client ofXeikon – endorses, “Fusion technology will allow us to tap into a totally newmarket – delivering high end labels fast and unique. Today when we produce highend wine labels, we have to combine digital printing with conventionalembellishments. The flexibility and speed of digital is compensated by the timeconventional takes. We see Fusion technology as the ideal answer to thischallenge.”
The concept, and how it works
The goal of Fusion Technology is seamless, end-to-endproduction of labels and packaging that require high quality, fast turnaround,possibly variable information and any enhancements to increase a brand’s shelfappeal – in short, it targets the high-end label and packaging market segment.With Fusion Technology, a print job containing multiple channels and definingeach aspect of production is dropped into a hot folder and RIP'ed, after which eachchannel is sent to the relevant modules including the press – and all of thiswithout manual intervention.
Every conventional embellishment module requires specifictools e.g. hotstamping plate for hotfoil, flexo cliché for coldfoil and spotvarnish, screen for white/braille and tactile varnish. The value of a digitalsolution liesin, (1) no tooling required eliminating their cost, (2) everysingle design element can be variable or personalized, which opens up enormousopportunities for new applications. Depending on requirements, these digitalembellishment modules can be positioned before and/or after the Xeikonfive-color digital press. The resulting configuration produces a digitallyprinted and embellished label or package in a single pass.
The cornerstone of this revolutionary concept isXeikon’s dry toner electrophotographic five-color printing press, which issecond to none for the high-end label and packaging market since it easilymatches offset and flexo benchmark quality (accurate image dot deposition &consistent dot quality). Xeikon’s application-tuned dry toners have beenspecially developed to meet the print quality requirements of this market, includingcolor gamut and accuracy, light fastness, food safety and brand integrity. TheXeikon X-800, its in-house developed digital front-end, ensures a seamlesslyautomated digital printing workflow while enabling integration with existingworkflows and market-leading third party applications, such as design solutions,web-to-print applications and MIS.
“Fusion Technology addresses what we see as a criticalemerging need in the labels and packaging market,” Weymans adds. “Our initialfocus will be on self-adhesive labels where we project significant growth indemand for short-run high-end labels, especially for luxury goods likecosmetics, wine & spirits, and confectionary, or for products likepharmaceuticals where these embellishments can also be used in counterfeitprevention. Building a recognizable brand and protecting it is one thing;trying to win share of mind and wallet in a fiercely competitive andincreasingly information-cluttered environment is another. We believe FusionTechnology will be a key driver in the future that will help brands toaccomplish both.”