Fusion Technology Expands Automated Digital Label and Packaging Production Possibilities

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Positive market feedback welcomes one pass color digital embellishment and printing

Following its highly successful launch at Labelexpo, Xeikon is delighted to present its new Fusion Technology concept to a wider print production market. It brings the promise of fully automated, unattended label and packaging production closer to reality, from customer order through delivery. It combines full color production printing with digital embellishment of labels and packaging in a single, one-pass and fully digital production process.

Fusion consists of a series of embellishment modules released over time that are not just placed in-line with the press, but are components of an entirely new modular system with the digital front end managing prepress, data processing, color management and press operation as well as full control and operation of all embellishment modules, without manual intervention.

Potential digital embellishment modules would present a digital alternative to hot / cold foiling; Screen printed white, Tactile varnish, spot print; and Braille.

Filip Weymans, Director Segment Marketing Labels and Packaging of Xeikon, says, “Our Fusion Technology offers converters the true flexibility to produce virtually any label or package on demand. It will make instant re-runs of previous jobs easy, since all necessary parameters are in a single digital file. More importantly, converters will no longer need to invest in offline embellishment solutions, nor will they incur the time delays and potential for error inherent in both offline and manual processes.

“At Labelexpo the feedback was overwhelming. Visitors were very interested in how the modular approach could help them choose the solution the best fit their production needs. The ability to handle more SKU’s, increasingly complex jobs, ever shorter runs and faster turnaround times get to the heart of everyday pressures and demands and we are excited to help more operations enhance their operational effectiveness.”

Jesús Glaría, CEO, Zaforsa – a Spanish client of Xeikon – endorses, “Fusion technology will allow us to tap into a totally new market – delivering high end labels fast and unique. Today when we produce high end wine labels, we have to combine digital printing with conventional embellishments. The flexibility and speed of digital is compensated by the time conventional takes. We see Fusion technology as the ideal answer to this challenge.”

 

The concept, and how it works

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The goal of Fusion Technology is seamless, end-to-end production of labels and packaging that require high quality, fast turnaround, possibly variable information and any enhancements to increase a brand’s shelf appeal – in short, it targets the high-end label and packaging market segment. With Fusion Technology, a print job containing multiple channels and defining each aspect of production is dropped into a hot folder and RIP’ed, after which each channel is sent to the relevant modules including the press – and all of this without manual intervention.

Every conventional embellishment module requires specific tools e.g. hotstamping plate for hotfoil, flexo cliché for coldfoil and spot varnish, screen for white/braille and tactile varnish. The value of a digital solution liesin, (1) no tooling required eliminating their cost, (2) every single design element can be variable or personalized, which opens up enormous opportunities for new applications. Depending on requirements, these digital embellishment modules can be positioned before and/or after the Xeikon five-color digital press. The resulting configuration produces a digitally printed and embellished label or package in a single pass.

The cornerstone of this revolutionary concept is Xeikon’s dry toner electrophotographic five-color printing press, which is second to none for the high-end label and packaging market since it easily matches offset and flexo benchmark quality (accurate image dot deposition & consistent dot quality). Xeikon’s application-tuned dry toners have been specially developed to meet the print quality requirements of this market, including color gamut and accuracy, light fastness, food safety and brand integrity. The Xeikon X-800, its in-house developed digital front-end, ensures a seamlessly automated digital printing workflow while enabling integration with existing workflows and market-leading third party applications, such as design solutions, web-to-print applications and MIS.

“Fusion Technology addresses what we see as a critical emerging need in the labels and packaging market,” Weymans adds. “Our initial focus will be on self-adhesive labels where we project significant growth in demand for short-run high-end labels, especially for luxury goods like cosmetics, wine & spirits, and confectionary, or for products like pharmaceuticals where these embellishments can also be used in counterfeit prevention. Building a recognizable brand and protecting it is one thing; trying to win share of mind and wallet in a fiercely competitive and increasingly information-cluttered environment is another. We believe Fusion Technology will be a key driver in the future that will help brands to accomplish both.”

 

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