The production of labels for wine, health and cosmetics typically requires specific embellishing steps. This has been traditionally achieved by either printing on a metallic substrate, using metallic inks or using a cold or hot foiling process. However, these traditional techniques involve high set-up costs due to expensive materials and tools and to the high amount of waste generated to reach the expected quality.
Adding the metallic colour digitally eliminates these costs, avoids secondary processes and unlocks new value-added label design options such as personalisation. Xeikon has therefore announced the introduction of gold and silver metallic toners for its Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 Series, in line with the company’s strategy to focus on the label industry and develop application-tuned solutions.
A few years ago, Xeikon launched its ‘Creative Toner’ series, a portfolio designed to enhance packaging with specific colours. Palladium Silver and Matt Silver were the first creative colours to be introduced. Now Xeikon expands this family with Metallic Gold and Metallic Silver to provide a digital alternative to flexo printed gold or silver measuring 6-8 on the Flop Index, an index that measures the reflectance of a metallic colour. These metallic colours fit in the 5th colour station of the Xeikon Cheetah press. Dry toner technology allows for hassle-free colour swapping by just replacing the toner dosing unit and the developer unit. There is no extensive cleaning process required as the toner is dry, and a quick brushing with a vacuum cleaner is sufficient to be up and running between jobs.
As digitalisation evolves and is increasingly adopted by the printing industry, digital technology becomes more integrated into all processes, including the converting and embellishing print manufacturing processes. Xeikon currently offers offline digital embellishing for 2D, 3D, haptic varnishing and foiling on its Xeikon Fusion Embellishment Unit (FEU). Inline embellishing with full-colour digital print is available as haptic white on the Xeikon Panther UV-IJ Series. The use of metallic toners on Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 presses make it much easier to produce labels that are less complex while dramatically reducing turnaround times and simplifying the overall production process.
Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Vice President Marketing, confirmed, ‘The development of application-tuned toners empowers printers to create their own digital solution, allowing them to stand out from other print providers and remain competitive. With the Xeikon Metallic Gold and Silver toners, we continue our commitment to innovate in leading-edge technology and provide new opportunities for the label printing industry.’ Xeikon metallic toners will be available as of May 2022 for all Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 users.