Mississauga-based converter Premier Marking has installed a Xeikon PX3000 machine to combine UV inkjet technology with existing Xeikon dry toner presses and further develop its digital label printing business.
Premier Markings started in 2008 with a low volume tabletop label printer for short run labels of up to 500 pieces and five years later invested in a Xeikon 3030. Soon after, the company purchased a second 3030 and a Xeikon 3300 to double its production capacity.
In January 2020, after considering buying an inkjet press for two years, the Xeikon PX3000 UV inkjet replaced one of the 3030 machines.
‘It was a tough decision to choose what type of inkjet press to go for as there are alternatives to the Panther (PX3000) from Xeikon. Eventually, an impressive demo at the Xeikon Chicago Innovation Center as well as knowing the certainty of having the very reliable team at hand made the difference, and we opted for the PX3000,’ said Gary Moody, owner of Premier Markings.
‘Furthermore, the fact that the PX3000 uses the Xeikon X-800 as the digital front-end was a big factor too. It is an invaluable tool in our business to make the most of digital printing and the fact that all our presses are driven by that same front-end is a big advantage. So today Premier Markings is running a Xeikon 3300 and a Xeikon PX 3000,’ added Moody.
Premier Markings quickly realized that dry toner and UV inkjet have their benefits. ‘The dry toner press is a very consistent machine, but it requires more maintenance,’ said Moody. ‘The inkjet press needs less maintenance, but is more vulnerable. The labels look different and each technology has its forte in terms of printing quality. Some substrates only work properly on dry toner, like estate or wine label stock, a stock that has a structured surface. Matte BOPP is another substrate which we only run on dry toner. Other substrates simply work better on inkjet, for instance, chrome substrates based on PP.’
Moody continues to give an example: ‘We ran a job of 1,000,000 labels on the Panther. My flex printer colleague could not realize this job in three days, so we did it on the UV inkjet press. Two years ago, this flexo label printer produced more labels for us than Premier Markings printed for his customers. Last year that changed. He knocks on our door to print jobs digitally quite frequently, while we need his flexo capability less and less. This evolution will only continue in the years to come.’