Eede, the Netherlands, 5 April 2019 – Xeikon announces its digital printing solution for pouches. This latest innovation has been developed for consumer goods markets – food, beverage, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The digital process for printing on pouches responds to current trends, i.e. significant numbers of SKU’s, shorter lead times, and the rising popularity of pouches in store. Brand owners looking for shelf impact for their products are drawn to flexible pouches for their ability to stand, their light weight and their sustainability. Xeikon has simplified a key part of the overall production process to provide a fast turnaround solution.
Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s Vice President Marketing, states: “This is a prime example of what we call "customer driven innovation”. By focusing on this application, we are supporting our customers’ requirements and also responding to the current trends in consumer preference. This development takes our digital production portfolio to the next level. With its technological expertise, Xeikon is ideally positioned to provide innovative digital processes.”
Pouches can be reasonably complex to manufacture because of the flexible nature of their multi-layers. It is essentially a laminated bag made from several layers of material that requires a number of different steps in production. Xeikon is helping to simplify the overall process to provide a fast turnaround solution. By firstly digitally printing the text and graphics on a thermal laminate, the outside layer of the pouch is prepared and ready for the next steps. A variety of different layers is then constructed by lamination with a series of barriers for protection before the pouch is finally put together in the manufacturing process. Xeikon’s digital printing solution offers the lowest possible complexity and the broadest lamination construction possible.
Marketers and brand owners see a lot of value in this kind of packaging for a variety of reasons, such as product presentation and functionality for the consumer. Pouches can also be sustainable: a pouch has a so-called "product-to-package" ratio of 35:1, which essentially means that it can carry up to 35 times its own weight, resulting in less energy consumption to produce and to transport. Pouches can have a variety of different shapes depending on size, end-use application and functionality. Many brands are transitioning from rigid types of packaging to more flexible versions such as pouches.
Digital printing with Xeikon’s dry toner technology has many advantages. It is not only the highest print quality on flexible substrates but there are also reductions in start-up costs and no job changeover costs. Importantly, the printer has the ability to print variable data information in both single and full colour. Xeikon’s digital dry toner technology allows JIT production, versioning and last minute adaptations on the fly. For busy print operations with a high volume and complex jobs looking to assess which process and technologies will give them an advantage, the crossover point for flexo and the digital process is at least 4000lm.
Weymans concludes, “Xeikon continues to develop new innovations for diverse markets to meet today’s challenging and fast moving world of consumerism. With our broad technology portfolio, we are in a perfect position to respond to current market trends and develop any solution required. Our digital printing solution for pouches utilizes our dry toner technology, which comes with a guarantee for food safety. This technology also ensures consistency and an equal finish to offset (am screen) and to flexo when colour matching is required. With our aXelerate programme, our dedicated teams provide direct and personal training and support for our customers every step of the way. Xeikon is committed to providing only the very best products and services.”
Xeikon, a division of Flint Group, is a long-standing leader and innovator in digital printing technology. Grounded in the principles of quality, flexibility and sustainability, Xeikon designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital colour presses for label and packaging applications, document printing, and commercial printing. These presses utilise different imaging technologies, open workflow software and application-specific consumables.
As an OEM supplier, Xeikon also designs and produces plate makers for newspaper printing applications. In addition, Xeikon manufactures basysPrint computer-to-conventional plate (CtCP) solutions for the commercial offset printing market. For the flexographic market, Xeikon offers digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name. ThermoFlexX systems provide high-resolution plate exposure combined with unique plate handling, flexibility and unmatched productivity.
In 2015, Xeikon joined Flint Group to create a new “Digital Printing Solutions” division for the leading global print consumables and solution provider to the packaging and print media industries. Flint Group develops and manufactures an extensive portfolio of printing consumables. These include a vast range of conventional and energy-curable inks and coatings, pressroom chemicals, printing plates and equipment, printing blankets and sleeves, and pigments and additives for use in inks and other colorant applications. Headquartered in Luxembourg, Flint Group employs some 7900 people. On a worldwide basis, the company is the number one or number two supplier in every major market segment it serves.