Digital press manufacturer Xeikon announced that it will launch a new toner, called ICE, at this year’s Labelexpo Europe in Brussels. The announcement was made following a Xeikon Café event, held in conjunction with CS Labels of Midacre, West Midlands, UK.
Part of the Xeikon Label Suite, the new ICE toner is ideal for heat sensitive substrates including PE facestock (polyethylene) and thermal labels. “This will open up the potential for a whole range of new applications. PE has a good flexibility and pliability, making it widely used for the surface of packaging that is used on regular and irregular containers that have to be kept away from humidity and chemical solvents. Typical examples include tubes and bottles which need to be squeezable, or bags that need to be pressed,” the company says.
Lode Deprez, vice president, consumables and process group at Xeikon, says, “Until now, dry toner technology was not expected to be able to work with substrates for this type of jobs. Following requests from our user base, Xeikon specifically developed the ICE toner to be suited for heat sensitive materials. We pushed back the boundaries in toner development and digital label printing. ICE toner is undoubtedly again a real breakthrough in dry toner technology driven by Xeikon.”
ICE toner is based on the Xeikon QA technology, which the company says brings benefits that include top printing quality, high lightfastness, top opaque white quality and being able to print on conventional substrates without the need for specific priming. ICE toner will run on all new and installed Xeikon 3000 Series digital presses, and has already undergone extensive tests in the field with a number of existing customers.
“The new ICE toner is tailored to the needs of our label customers. Xeikon listens to its customers, and has a team dedicated to product development in this area of the market. ICE toner has been designed to perform at the right temperature, and has been engineered to perfection for this additional demand, delivering only the very best in Xeikon quality. With ICE toner, digital label production has just become even more versatile and powerful,” adds Filip Weymans, director segment marketing and business development labels and packaging at Xeikon.
The toner will be available for customers in Q4 of this year.
‘See the Proof’
In addition to announcing the launch of ICE, Xeikon announced that it is inviting label converters who may have lingering questions about the quality of digitally printed labels to see the possibilities “with their own eyes.” The company has launched a new program, called “See the Proof,” which gives label converters a low threshold way of testing and evaluating the quality of digital printing of their own label projects.
From June 15 to Sept. 15, label converters around the world can upload their own digital label to a special website: www.seetheproof.com. The labels will be printed on five different materials; paper label, structured wine label material, metalized labels, transparent and white PE. All will be printed with the new ICE toner, that Xeikon will be demonstrating live at Labelexpo Europe 2013.
Finished labels can be picked up during Labelexpo Europe at Xeikon’s booth, which is located in Hall 9, H45. Any labels that aren’t picked up at Labelexpo will be delivered to the owners after the show.
“We’ve launched ‘See The Proof’ specifically to help label converters overcome any last doubts they may have about the quality of digital label printing,” says Weymans. “The message we’re sending to label converters is, ‘Try it for yourselves, without any commitment or risk’. We are confident they will love the results. It may be the last proof needed to erase any false myths and to convince them of the need for an investment that will grow their business.”
The announcement of Xeikon’s new toner and website came on the heels of the Xeikon Café event held at CS Labels. Xeikon Cafés are designed to provide an informal knowledge exchange platform covering the different aspects of digitalizing print production, while cutting through the information overload.
Every Xeikon Café is organized around a central theme or topic, such as digital printing technology, converting equipment, print media, software or consumables and targets a specific industry, such as labels and packaging or document and commercial printing. The Café held at CS Labels focused on one theme: The transformation of a label printer.
CS Labels President Simon Smith told the Xeikon Café audience about his company’s transition from a floundering flexographic printer to a successful, 100% digital converter in less than a decade. Smith took over the company from his father-in-law, who was initially apprehensive about Smith’s decision to go digital.
“The truth is, we were never going to be a really good flexo printer,” said Smith.
Smith concluded that his transition to digital print technology changed not only the business trajectory of CS Labels, but the dialog he was having with customers. “Cost was no longer the sole factor,” he said. “It was quality.”
When deciding to invest in a digital label press, Smith said he and the CS Labels team conducted careful and extensive research, before settling on Xeikon. “The culture of Xeikon was really the best fit for our business,” he said.