Rudolf Koehler Etiketten has invested in a Xeikon CX300 digital printing system to reduce gaps in production capacity and decrease lead times. The system was installed in June 2022 to complement a Xeikon CX3, which has been operating at Kkoehler’s factory for the last six years.
According to the company, the existing Xeikon CX3 was operating at such intense levels, that it was time to act. In addition, up to a further five machines for producing and finishing labels needed to be utilized.
‘We have seen a significant need for expansion over the last three years, particularly during the pandemic, when the supply chains in the packaging industry were broken, resulting in increased demand for labels as an alternative medium,” explains Michael Markus, managing director at Koehler Etiketten. ‘We urgently needed additional capacity to avoid having to change the web widths and substrates every day on a single Xeikon press.’
Several factors contributed to that press being another Xeikon machine. Firstly, operators are already familiar with the manufacturer’s dry toner technology. Secondly, the dry toner concept is suited for food labels, which is a mainstay of Koehler’s label business. Another benefit is the huge variety of substrates the Xeikon press can handle without the need for any special surface treatment.
‘The absence of click charges also enables us to decide on the use of consumables ourselves, which was a key driver in our decision to purchase our first Xeikon press,’ added Markus.
Koehler Etiketten uses the press for jobs ranging from 300 to millions of units in a wide variety of formats. This includes high-quality sleeves for shipping in a 320 x 500 mm format and customized mini labels with consecutive barcodes. Koehler Etiketten also opted for VariOne, the AI-inspired software from Xeikon, enabling the company to print 100,000 labels or more with a different background in a single batch.
The Xeikon CX300 is a full-color printing system including opaque white in a single pass. It comes with a food-safe toner, reaches a maximum speed of 30 m/min and achieves a high-quality image with a resolution of up to 1,200 DPI.
In addition to white ink, which comes with the Xeikon CX300 press as standard, Koehler was also impressed with the possibilities of printing with metallic tones. As a result, silver was installed with the new press and is being used for premium labels for the cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors.
During the current paper shortage, Koehler Etiketten is harnessing the high printing quality of the Xeikon CX300 press, purchasing grass paper as a partial substrate substitute. By applying Xeikon white ink underneath the printed images, such as text or free spaces, the fact that the paper used isn’t white is hardly noticeable, enabling Koehler to maintain its ability to supply its customers, particularly in the food sector.
Koehler Etiketten was founded by Rudolf Koehler in 1939. The company has been producing self-adhesive labels using traditional book printing, flexo, screen printing (both rotary and flat) as well as modern digital printing ever since. In 2005, Markus took over as managing director from the founder’s daughter, now running the business alongside his wife and son.
With its 20 staff members, the company achieves an annual turnover of around EUR 3 million. Its core business activities include labels for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and chemical products.