The new Autoflex Excel XT at Limoges is an eight-color flexo press with a 340mm (13 inch) web width and line shaft drive. It is fitted with a closed-loop tension system, web guide, a corona treater, automatic electronic register, and an overhead rail system with moveable turn bars and a cold foil unit. The eight flexo printing units and three die cutting stations, which all have motorized advance and retard, are followed by a matrix rewind, and UV/Hot Air combination drying that accommodates water-based, UV and solvent inks. The press, which has 50mm side frames and weighs in at 23 tons, is designed to print substrates from 20-micron film and foil to 350gsm lightweight board, at speeds up to 230 m/min.
Installed when Xerox moved into its new 1200 square metre facility in rue Bernard Lathière, on the outskirts of Limoges, the Autoflex is currently working one shift. Speaking for the press manufacturer, Matthew Berkeley-Hill, says: “Our aim is always to exceed the expectations of our customers, so meeting the strict criteria that Xerox laid down is testimony to the engineering quality of the Autoflex. We design our presses with the operator in mind and make them easy to run and quick to change over between jobs,” which supports the views of press operator, Jean-Marc Mandon, who adds, “The Autoflex is a stable production platform that holds exceptional register even during slow down and ramp up back to full speed.”
According to Xerox's Jean Michel Moreau: “The additional printing capacity we now have allows us to service our existing contracts more easily and offer a wider range of quality products to a more diversified list of companies, mostly in the food and pharmaceutical markets in France and elsewhere.”
In 2013, Xerox launched its new "Label" service to existing and potential customers. Based on the knowledge and technical expertise at the Limoges plant, it has become part of the company’s business offering, and complements to the full business process products it provides. Claimed savings of up to 30% in print and output costs on jobs from leaflets to short, medium, and long run label work, have transformed the Limoges production unit into a facility that produces 250 million labels each year, and it has the capacity to produce many more.
“Our aim is to provide simple answers to today’s complex business problems,” explains Moreau, who says that Xerox now operates in over 160 countries worldwide, and employs more than 140,000 people. Last year, it generated annual revenue in excess of US$23 billion, making it the world’s largest provider of business process and document management services.