Xeikon — Pathway to digitization of print manufacturing

A strategic step forward for innovation

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Xeikon PX3300
Xeikon PX3300 in Exhibition photo labelandnarrowweb

Xeikon takes another strategic step forward with the announcement of new areas of innovation. The Xeikon vision has always been to offer printers and converters a clear and viable pathway to digital transformation. With its comprehensive portfolio and raft of new and innovative digital printing solutions, Xeikon is now ready to move to the next level. Printers and converters are searching for solutions that will enable them to achieve business growth, provide the highest quality and offer creative products to meet today’s ever-evolving consumer demand. Online ordering has increased the need for automation, high-quality color controls, and faster production speeds. Xeikon’s extensive and innovative digital portfolio, in-depth knowledge of digital technology, and long-standing experience working with companies that move to digital have positioned them as the world’s go-to advisor for businesses looking to safeguard the future of their print production and manufacturing operations.

Filip Weymans, vice president of marketing, states, “In the last year, Xeikon has launched several new innovations and products. Now, printers and converters are truly able to see our vision materializing and what that can mean for them. The careful build and structure of our portfolio are about to bear fruit, and we are now ready to present even more exciting innovations that will open up a way toward a digital future and ‘lights out’ production and manufacturing.”

Xeikon’s innovations include new product introductions in all different aspects of the print manufacturing workflow:

Xeikon — Digital Production Presses

  • Xeikon Cheetah 2.0 dry toner technology – Now cloud-connected with man/machine and machine/machine interfaces where the machines are in constant communication with each other, driving and monitoring print jobs with full automation. Earlier this year, Xeikon introduced two new models – the CX30 and the CX50 entry-level dry-toner presses. Important to note that with each cloud-connected solution, operators can monitor print manufacturing from anywhere on the shop floor by viewing the interfaces/dashboards 24/7 on a smartphone or any other device.
  • Panther 2.0 UV InkJet technology – New Panther models will include the Xeikon PX2200 and Xeikon PX3300, replacing the PX2000 and PX3000.
  • Xeikon’s Label Converting Unit (LCU) series – Within Xeikon’s portfolio, they are specifically designed for converting industries and printing businesses. The LCUs, formally named D-Coat, are also cloud-connected with machine/machine interfaces. There are various options to choose from, e.g. entry-level, wide web, narrow web, and high-end as well as more modular offerings. Important to note that with each cloud-connected solution, operators can monitor print manufacturing from anywhere on the shop floor by viewing the interfaces/dashboards 24/7 on a smartphone or any other device.

Xeikon – Services

Xeikon is announcing a selection of new services to add to Xeikon’s already comprehensive Solutions & Services (XSS) and aXelerate programs-

  • Xeikon (Business Services) XBS – launching soon in North America    
    In real-time, Xeikon Business Services can translate data in the cloud from machine to machine and provide all the necessary and in-depth information on a dashboard that is available on any smartphone or device. With Xeikon XBS, printers and converters can check the performance of any press or piece of equipment at any time 24/7. They can check on efficiencies, costs and compare results.
  • Xeikon (Performance Services) XPS – Xeikon will offer XPS first in North America
    Xeikon Performance Services will be included as a standard for the first 6 months with all press investments. This is intended to help printers and converters identify which aspects of production need their attention. This software will highlight and visualize any key feature that needs adjusting, including maintenance issues, training schedules or applications check. This service will be offered to support customers in their digital start-up phase. It will also provide Xeikon with the information needed to help their customers become operational faster when embarking on their digital journey.
  • Xeikon (Color Services) XCS
    Xeikon’s XCS Pro 2.0 is a cloud-connected breakthrough in color management, it is a unique automated toolbox for the highest quality printed products. Extra capabilities include full automation for ‘on-the-fly’ profiling, color profile monitoring, and adjusting. It is now possible on a Xeikon press to automatically recalibrate the color profile when an issue arises. The operator is alerted automatically, and the problem is automatically escalated to the production manager if it persists. Importantly, XCS 2.0 can now be used for making color profiles on a variety of different platforms such as a flexo press, offset press, screen printing with digital or any competitors press. This extends what can currently be achieved and expands the variety of applications and materials that can be worked with. The Xeikon XCS 2.0 also has the advantage of simplifying the process for the printer and manufacturer as it covers all their needs for high-end color management.

Xeikon – Workflow

A fundamental and key component of the workflow is Xeikon’s X-800 Digital Front End (DFE). The X-800 unifies every facet of Xeikon’s digital portfolio. Xeikon is now extending the capabilities of its X-800 workflow even further to expand and enhance the range of possible applications. The label version of the X-800 will now include Xeikon VARI ONE variable data workflow – a true differentiator – and combine it with Panther durable haptic printing and with Xeikon’s FEU (Fusion Embellishment Unit). This truly unique development is set to offer the highest levels of variable imagery available today. With this unique capability, the X-800 will drive both the Panther and the Cheetah series of presses towards digital transformation.

Filip Weymans concludes, “With our latest innovations, printers and converters will be able to address the current and future needs of print buyers and brand owners. Having clear insight into their production environments means they can monitor progress and make quick and flexible decisions on the fly. This is why digitization can be a game-changer. When we install the first digital press at a company’s site, we are with that company every step of its growth journey. They quickly realize the productivity, growth, and profit benefits of implementing a fully automated digital print manufacturing process. Everyone knows that making changes in a company’s strategy and operations can be difficult. Xeikon stands as the go-to advisor for printers and converters looking to the future for their growth and sustainable profitability.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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