Xeikon and Flint group have leveraged their joint expertise in inks and digital print to launch a new inkjet press technology into the corrugated packaging market.
Called Idera, the post-print, single-pass press uses certified food-safe water-based inks on coated and uncoated corrugated sheets up to 1.6 m wide x 2.8 m long (5’ 3” wide x 9’2” long) at up to 150 linear m/min (492 ft/min).
Idera is targeted at the corrugated box market, currently characterized by decreasing lot sizes, shorter lead times, and an increasing demand for high quality packaging. Xeikon states that Idera will deliver ‘higher print quality than flexography’.
‘It is no secret that we are seeing rapid changes in the behavioural patterns of consumers, brands and retailers,’ explained Sebastien Stabel, market segment manager, carton packaging. ‘The exponential growth of e-commerce and the increasing pressure on sustainability are underlying forces that drive creative innovation in the digitization of packaging to higher levels of productivity. Migrating from corrugated post-print to digital corrugated printing is the optimal way for forward-thinking businesses to set themselves up for future success.’
Stabel notes that the Idera system has an open architecture for integration of third-party peripheral equipment and workflow.
Idera brings together Xeikon’s in-house digital expertise and the manufacturing footprint of parent company Flint Group - which claims to be the biggest supplier of inks for corrugated packaging.
Stabel continued, ‘We are working closely with Flint Group, our partners, and most importantly our customers, to customize the software, hardware and ink sets and address more closely the needs of the corrugated market in Europe and North America. At the same time, we add our digital expertise to what is already a solid base product.’
Lode Deprez, VP digital inks and imaging technology added, ‘In our R&D Competence Center for digital inks, our engineers develop, formulate and produce our own high-performing, food-safe, water-based inks. This includes our new and patented technology used for pigment dispersion that guarantees the best performance and a cost-efficient solution.’
The Idera press is supported by Xeikon’s X-800 workflow for corrugated packaging, which includes color management and profiling tools as well as integration with third-party manufacturing and MIS software. The press will be available at Xeikon’s Global Innovation Center in Lier, Belgium for customer evaluation and testing from September.