"From the myriad of product decoration techniques available, self-adhesive labels are the most commonly used as they offer the highest flexibility to meet market needs," explains Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Director of Segment Marketing Labels & Packaging, “Self-adhesive labels are available in a wide range of substrates, colors and adhesives and they are compatible with a variety of printing processes and finishing techniques. They will stick to most materials and can be applied at the very last moment, just before the products are put on the shelves. That's why self-adhesive labels are used in many different industries, such as food, beverages, health & beauty, household and pharmaceuticals, and for industrial applications in general. While these applications each have specific requirements in terms of food compatibility, substrate range, lightfastness, use of variable data and brand protection features, they all require uncompromising quality and cost-effective short to medium runs. In addition, market trends such as globalization, increasing product variety, shortening product life cycles and just-in-time inventory policies are forcing label printers and converters to accommodate even shorter runs and faster turnaround times."
The Xeikon Café is showcasing four live demonstrations of self-adhesive label applications:
- A Xeikon 3000 Series press, equipped with CMYK and security toner incorporating taggant components and integrated with an inline DCoat and a laser die-cutting unit, is printing labels of various shapes and sizes on 3M self-adhesive labelstock certified for the pharmaceutical industry. This set-up also shows the power of Vectorizor, an add-on for Xeikon’s digital front-end, that drives the laser die-cutter. By enabling the die-cutting of different jobs in one pass, without interruption, it truly supports fully automated label production.
- Labels pre-printed on structured wine label material from Raflatac are being diecut on AB Graphic’s Digicon label converting line that will also include several embellishment features such as embossing, hot foil and raised varnish.
- Grafisk Machinery is demonstrating another wine and spirits label application with pre-printed stock that will be finished on a stand-alone hot foil stamping and embossing unit.
- The fourth live demonstration, booklet and leaflet label printing, is running on a Xeikon 8000 Series duplex press. While this Series was specially developed for the document printing market, it's also beneficial for specific label and packaging applications. Agrochemical booklets will be duplex-printed on 70 gsm coated paper. Pharmaceutical leaflets will be duplex-printed on 40 gsm uncoated paper. The prints will be reconditioned using Xeikon’s inline web-finishing module, cut and delivered to a stacker. These booklets and leaflets can be converted into self-adhesive booklet and leaflet labels, samples of which will be available on display.
So far, Xeikon has welcomed more than 160 visitors to its grand opening of the Xeikon Cafe Packaging Innovations. Each has been able to watch live demonstrations of 15 applications and participate in more than 35 sessions from the technical and business conference programs.
Label Systems, of Addison, TX, USA, has recently purchased a Xeikon 3000 Series and installation will be happening within a month. Label Systems President Amy Van Brunt said of the event: ""It's fantastic to be able to see the many technologies in one location. It gives a lot of insight into how the products are manufactured and the different applications of what we can use our new machine for."
Another company, Lito Print of Bogota, Columbia, is also in attendance at the Xeikon Cafe. Last year, the company made the decision to switch from offset-only to digital and was one of the first in the region to install a Xeikon for folding cartons.
“The main reason behind this move are lower production costs for short runs," said Ricardo Moreno. "After a visit from Xeikon’s representatives in Colombia we decided to go for a Xeikon 3050 to expand our product portfolio. We are very positive about the market and we came to Xeikon Café to see all new applications and solutions."