Pouches can be reasonably complex to manufacture because of the flexible nature of their multiple layers. It is essentially a laminated bag made from several layers of material that requires a number of different steps in production. With its new digital printing solution for pouches, Xeikon is helping to simplify the overall process to provide a fast turnaround solution.
This latest innovation has been developed for consumer goods markets such as the food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The digital process for printing on pouches responds to current trends, i.e. significant numbers of SKU’s, 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.
By firstly digitally printing the text and graphics on a thermal laminate, the outside layer of the pouch is prepared and ready for the next steps. A variety of different layers is then constructed by lamination with a series of barriers for protection before the pouch is finally put together in the manufacturing process. Xeikon’s digital printing solution offers the lowest possible complexity and the broadest lamination construction possible.
Marketers and brand owners see a lot of value in this kind of packaging for a variety of reasons, such as product presentation and functionality for the consumer. Pouches can also be sustainable: a pouch has a so-called ‘product-to-package’ ratio of 35:1, which essentially means that it can carry up to 35 times its own weight, resulting in less energy consumption to produce and to transport. Pouches can have a variety of different shapes depending on size, end-use application and functionality. Many brands are transitioning from rigid types of packaging to more flexible versions such as pouches.
Digital printing with Xeikon’s dry toner technology has many advantages. It is not only the highest print quality on flexible substrates but there are also reductions in start-up costs and no job changeover costs. Importantly, the printer has the ability to print variable data information in both single and full colour. Xeikon’s digital dry toner technology allows JIT production, versioning and last minute adaptations on the fly. For busy print operations with a high volume and complex jobs looking to assess which process and technologies will give them an advantage, the crossover point for flexo and the digital process is at least 4000lm.
Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s vice president marketing stated, ‘This is a prime example of what we call ‘customer driven innovation’. By focusing on this application, we are supporting our customers’ requirements and also responding to the current trends in consumer preference. This development takes our digital production portfolio to the next level. With its technological expertise, Xeikon is ideally positioned to provide innovative digital processes.’
Weymans concluded, ‘Xeikon continues to develop new innovations for diverse markets to meet today’s challenging and fast moving world of consumerism. With our broad technology portfolio, we are in a perfect position to respond to current market trends and develop any solution required. Our digital printing solution for pouches uses our dry toner technology, which comes with a guarantee for food safety. This technology also ensures consistency and an equal finish to offset and to flexo when colour matching is required.’