Xeikon Café Exploring The Future Of Printing

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Printers, service providers, publishers and marketing specialists at the Xeikon Café can find the answers to questions such as: How can digital production cater for these needs? Where is it heading? And how can it turn short to medium runs of ever more complex designs into profitable business? The event is organised by Xeikon and Xeikon Aura Partners and is taking place from 7-8 October 2014 at Xeikon’s production site in Lier, Belgium.

This edition of the Xeikon Café centres on the digital production of all sorts of documents and commercial printed materials, and offers a unique opportunity to discover and explore how digital production could drive and improve business. The programme will be the same each day, so participants can choose the date that best suits them. Attendance is free but registration is required online.

Danny Mertens, Xeikon’s Director of Segment Marketing and Business Development Document Printing said, ‘Digital printing answers many of the challenges today’s print producers and print buyers face. But there is more to print production than printing. Print buyers have little use for unfinished cut sheets, let alone rolls of prints. They want the finished product. This is why we have gone one step further than developing state-of-the-art digital color presses. All along we’ve been listening closely to what our customers need, and so have our Aura Partners. Together we have developed total solutions, or suites, carefully selected and thoroughly tested combinations of equipment, technologies and capabilities, enabling our customers to produce not only head-turning prints, but fully finished products as well.’

Mertens added, ‘So far we have developed four production suites, targeting different applications: the Document Production Suite, the Book Production Suite and the Large Format Production Suite are built around a Xeikon 8000 Series press, while our Wall Covering Suite comes with a Xeikon 3500.’

In addition to the Xeikon digital colour press, which is the centrepiece, each suite has four supporting components: workflow software, print media, consumables and pre and post-printing equipment. These components are either developed in-house or offered by Xeikon Aura Partners.

Depending on the finishing equipment chosen, the Document Production Suite is a fully integrated solution for the production of direct marketing material of virtually any size or format, ready for mailing or short-run high-quality transactional printing. Built around two Xeikon 8000 Series presses, the Book Production Suite offers two solutions, one to print and finish book blocks in a single pass and one to produce finished covers.

This suite can be easily integrated with online ordering systems and prepress tools, turning it into a full-fledged web-to-print book production system. The Large Format Production Suite is ideally suited to support unbridled creativity, format flexibility and productivity on an unmatched range of print media, which is why it is mostly used for POP/POS displays, non-standard format mailings and art reproductions, banners and panels. And finally, the Wall Covering Production Suite is an all-in-one solution for the production of customised and/or short-run high-quality wall coverings. Like any of the suites it can be easily integrated into a web-to-print workflow, or any existing workflow.

Participants will see the complete range of production suites in action, featuring live job preparation, production and finishing of real-life applications.

The capabilities of the Document Production Suite and the Book Production Suite will be demonstrated through the live production of a full-bleed mailing, cookbooks and coffee table books on a Xeikon 8800. These applications will also feature an inline cut and stack solution as well as an offline casemaker and bookmaker from Unibind.

Retail posters will be printed and finished on a Xeikon 8500 combined with an inline Web Varnishing Module, giving a flavor of what the Large Format Production Suite could bring to the table. The Wall Covering Suite, a Xeikon 3500 with a roll-to-roll slitting and rewinding solution from Tecnau, will be producing designs from Rebelwalls on Felix Schoeller satin and matt wallpaper.

Moreover, for each of the production suites, Xeikon customers will talk about their business and about how their suite fits in. Several Aura Partners involved in the development of the suites will also be present. And of course there will be plenty of opportunity to network, ask questions and exchange ideas on digital production.

‘We’re looking forward to welcoming printers, service providers and print buyers as well as publishers, brand owners, product or brand marketeers, agencies and other marketing communication professionals,’ said Mertens. ‘Whether you’re new to digital production or have already integrated digital printing into your workflow, this event promises to be the ideal opportunity to discover the huge potential of digital printing and automated production workflows, and to learn how integrated digital production solutions can help even established print producers grow their business further.’

To those looking for yet more reasons to attend, Mertens added, ‘It’s not often you get the opportunity to see all four production suites in action in one place at the same time. And what better way to find out what digital production could mean for you than by listening to and exchanging ideas with print producers who know from personal experience how to turn digital production into a success.’

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