“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,” explained Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s director of segment marketing, Labels & Packaging. In close collaboration with its Aura Partners, Xeikon developed the Self-Adhesive Label Suite, an integrated system to print and convert self-adhesive labels. Like any of the four applications suites, the Self-Adhesive Label Suite is centered on a Xeikon 3000 Series press, complemented with four supporting components: software, print media, consumables and pre-and post-printing equipment.
At the Xeikon Café there were 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 diecutting unit, printed labels of various shapes and sizes on 3M self-adhesive label stock certified for the pharmaceutical industry. This set-up also showed the power of Vectorizor, an add-on for Xeikon’s digital front-end, that drives the laser diecutter. By enabling the diecutting of different jobs in one pass, without interruption, it showed how it fully supports automated label production.
Labels pre-printed on structured wine label material from UPM Raflatac were diecut on AB Graphic’s Digicon label converting line that also included several embellishment features such as embossing, hot foil and raised varnish.
Grafisk Machinery demonstrated a wine and spirits label application with pre-printed stock that was finished on a standalone hot foil stamping and embossing unit.
The fourth live demonstration, booklet and leaflet label printing, ran 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 were duplex-printed on 70 gsm coated paper. Pharmaceutical leaflets were duplex-printed on 40 gsm uncoated paper. The prints were reconditioned using Xeikon’s inline web-finishing module, cut and delivered to a stacker. These booklets and leaflets were converted into self-adhesive booklet and leaflet labels, samples of which were available.
Also at the Café, a Xeikon 3000 Series press equipped with ICE CMYK and opaque white toner printed label designs in roll-to-roll mode for thin-walled as well as thick-walled in-mold applications. Michelman primer was used to precondition the substrates. Running inline with the press was a MiniUCoat in which the prints were coated with a water-based varnish from Actega Terra before being rewound. To prevent the buildup of static charges, the MiniUCoat was equipped with Meech antistatic bars. The reel with the varnished prints were mounted onto an offline Rietstack converting machine diecut the labels into their final shape. This configuration ran two applications: a label for a thin-walled container – a butter tub with matching cover – printed in CMYK on EUH 70, a cavitated film produced by Treofan; and a label for a thick-walled plastic container – a two-liter bucket for Clicks Toys – printed in CMYK and opaque white on ETR 57, a transparent solid film from Treofan. There were also finished products on display, including IML labels converted by in-mold label technology from Schrobertechnologies. In addition, during technical seminars, Aura Partners attending the event described their contributions to the In-Mold Label Suite in detail.