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Xeikon upgrades its Panther UV inkjet label printer

A new combination of Xeikon’s X-800 workflow and PantherCure UV ink allows printers using the Panther inkjet press to enhance their range of labels by generating a tactile and textured layer. 

xeikon panther 1
 Xeikon Panther digital UV inkjet label printing press 

Xeikon’s new haptic printing process not only boosts and expands the range of possible applications for high-end label markets, it helps make significant time savings by avoiding any modifications to the prepress files, says the Belgian-based manufacturer. Haptic print is a special type of tactile coating that provides a textured look and feel.

“The technology generating the tactile and textured layer is embedded in the Panther’s X-800 workflow,” says Jeroen Van Bauwel, director product management at Xeikon. “It is the brand owners and designers who define the structure, shape and form of the design. When the file is received, the workflow automatically recognizes the elements of the design and generates the information required to drive the print head – that’s what creates the haptic effect in print on the end product.”

Increasing uptime

In order to optimize the workflow on the Panther, Xeikon has developed a specific solution, embedded in the X-800 workflow: an automated optimization of the white ink layer.

XEI pr19019 PR Valuable features to Panther technology Haptic printing

"The production of labels on clear facestocks comes with unique challenges," says Xeikon. "An opaque white is required to make the design standout, this may result however in varying ink layer thicknesses across the web. The uneven thickness of the ink layer will generate a telescoping effect on the printed rolls. In the past, press operators have overcome this by printing smaller rolls, resulting in more frequent roll changes and extra waste in material and time. Some printers found a solution in spending extra time in prepress to reduce the amount of white. This time-consuming prepress work can now be handled in a fully automated way by the X-800 digital front-end without intervention at any stage in the production process."

The X-800 automatically reduces the white layer. The extent of reduction will depend on the colours that come on top of it. The result is an increase in uptime during the manufacturing process – both in printing and converting – as printers can run larger rolls.

“Xeikon continues to work towards excellence to enhance every facet of its portfolio,” says Van Bauwel. “We continue to look for opportunities to make savings on costs and time. By improving each small step of the process, we can make a big difference to the overall production process and reduce manufacturing costs. Achieving haptic effects in print through the unique capabilities of our X-800 workflow and ink optimization not only boosts and increases the range of possible applications but allows printers to streamline their operations.”

Xeikon, a division of Flint Group, is a long-standing leader and innovator in digital printing technology. Xeikon develops web-fed digital colour presses for label and packaging applications, document printing, and commercial printing.