In close collaboration with its Aura Partners, Xeikon has developed the Self-Adhesive Label Suite, an integrated solution to print and convert self-adhesive labels.

Like any of the four applications suites, the Self-Adhesive Label Suite is centred on a Xeikon 3000 Series press, complemented with four supporting components: Software, Print media, Consumables and Pre-and post-printing equipment.

Xeikon and its Aura Partners will host a Xeikon Café from 20-22 May 2014 where they will showcase four live demonstrations of self-adhesive label applications.

The Xeikon Café will also focus on packaging innovations showing demonstrations of label printers as well as print buyers how digital production could drive and improve their business. The event will highlight game-changing innovations in digital production and showcase the complete range of Xeikon’s label and packaging application suites.

Four Live demonstrations:
• A Xeikon 3000 Series press, equipped with CMYK and security toner and integrated with an inline DCoat and a laser die-cutting unit, will be printing labels of various shapes and sizes on 3M self-adhesive label stock certified for the pharmaceutical industry. This set-up will also show the power of Vectorizor, an add-on for Xeikon’s digital front-end, that drives the laser die-cutter. By enabling the die-cutting of different jobs in one pass, without interruption, it truly supports fully automated label production.

• Labels pre-printed on structured wine label material from Raflatac will be die-cut on AB Graphic’s Digicon label converting line that will also include several embellishment features such as embossing, hot foil and raised varnish.

• Grafisk Machinery will demonstrate another wine and spirits label application with pre-printed stock that will be finished on a stand-alone hot foil stamping and embossing unit.

• The fourth live demonstration, booklet and leaflet label printing, will run on a Xeikon 8000 Series duplex press. While this Series was specially developed for the document printing market, it’s also beneficial for specific label and packaging applications.

Agrochemical booklets will be duplex-printed on 70 gsm coated paper. Pharmaceutical leaflets will be duplex-printed on 40 gsm uncoated paper. The prints will be reconditioned using Xeikon’s inline web-finishing module, cut and delivered to a stacker. These booklets and leaflets can be converted into self-adhesive booklet and leaflet labels, samples of which will be available on display.

There will also be demonstrations of the various software tools included in the Self-Adhesive Label Suite: Vectorizor, VariLane and Xeikon ColorControl. Next to the live demonstrations and displays, Aura Partners will describe their contributions to the Self-Adhesive Label Suite in detail during several technical seminars, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Director of Segment Marketing Labels and Packaging said, ‘From the myriad of product decoration techniques available, self-adhesive labels are the most commonly used as they offer the highest flexibility to meet market needs. Self-adhesive labels are available in a wide range of substrates, colours and adhesives and they are compatible with a variety of printing processes and finishing techniques. They will stick to most materials and can be applied at the very last moment, just before the products are put on the shelves.

‘That’s why self-adhesive labels are used in many different industries, such as food, beverages, health and beauty, household and pharmaceuticals, and for industrial applications in general. While these applications each have specific requirements in terms of food compatibility, substrate range, lightfastness, use of variable data and brand protection features, they all require uncompromising quality and cost-effective short to medium runs. In addition, market trends such as globalisation, increasing product variety, shortening product life cycles and just-in-time inventory policies are forcing label printers and converters to accommodate even shorter runs and faster turnaround times.’

Digital printing meets these market requirements while maintaining profitability. By nature it offers unlimited variability. Not only is it uniquely suited to the production of multi-version labels, the absence of set-up costs makes it also ideal for cost-effective short to medium runs. And because nowadays digital printing can meet the highest quality standards, it is a great complement to flexo, letter press and offset printing, while opening up a wealth of new business opportunities.

‘Having developed solutions for self-adhesive label printing since 1996, Xeikon plays a leading role in the label and packaging market. Its digital printing technology has several unique advantages in terms of format flexibility, cost, print quality, productivity, color accuracy and consistency, lightfastness, food safety and brand protection. As a result, the Xeikon 3000 Series presses, which were specifically developed for label and packaging applications, are perfectly suited for self-adhesive label printing.

The Xeikon Café will be held at Xeikon’s production site in Lier, Belgium. It will run from May 20 till May 22, with basically the same program each day so participants can choose the date that best suits them. Attendance is free but registration is required online at www.xeikoncafe.com.

The Xeikon Café is hosted in collaboration with the following Xeikon Aura Partners, who will all attend the event: 3M, AB Graphic International, ACTEGA Terra, Advanced Track and Trace, Argos Solutions, Bograma, CERM, CHILI Publish, Diamond Photofoil, Grafisk Maskinfabrik, Highcon, Hybrid Software, Iggesund, Kama, Label Traxx, Meech International, Michelman, OneVision, Rietstack, RotoMetrics, Schober Technologies, Siliconature, Stora Enso, Squid Inks, ThermoFlexX, Treofan, Tronics and UPM Raflatac.

The Xeikon 3000 Series comprises five simplex presses, differing in maximum printing speed and imaging width. They have been developed with the requirements of label printers and converters in mind:

• All presses are full rotary with variable repeat length and always print at top speed, regardless of the number of colors used. Labels of different dimensions can be printed in one and the same run, without any adjustment to the press, thereby maximising productivity.

• Depending on the model, the maximum imaging width is up to 508mm. The larger width increases the scope of applications as well as productivity.

• Dry toner technology enables printing on most conventional label substrates without any pretreatment. This helps save time and money and allows easy integration into traditional production environments.

• True 1200 dpi combined with four-bit variable-dot density offers the image quality the market has come to expect, while automated quality control ensures perfect colour registration and maintains colour accuracy and consistency throughout print runs as well as between jobs and across presses. This resolution also makes it possible to print fine details, enabling the addition of bar codes and security features, such as microtext.

• Application-tuned QA-I toner and ICE, the variant for heat-sensitive label stock, have been developed for label applications that place high demands on food safety and lightfastness. They meet FDA standards for food label packaging applications and offer a high degree of lightfastness.

• When printing labels on transparent or metallic media on a Xeikon press, one pass is all it takes to produce a perfectly opaque white base layer, offering a better opacity than ‘flexo white’.

• All Xeikon presses come with the X-800 digital front-end, combining prepress, data processing and press operation functionality. It comes with several add-ons especially developed for self-adhesive label production, such as VariLane enabling the printing of labels with different SKUs and different sizes in the same run, and Vectorizor, for the creation of die-cut profiles and the driving of a laser die-cutter.

Integrated into the X-800 are all the necessary tools to efficiently implement colour management, ensuring consistent and reproducible results. The X-800 further offers seamless integration and connectivity with any market-leading PDF, design and production workflows. As a result, it enables the implementation of fully integrated self-adhesive label production workflows.