Xeikon has installed the CX300 digital printing system at Koehler Etiketten to reduce gaps in production capacity.

The machine, which is a full-colour printing system including opaque white in a single pass, was installed in June 2022 to complement a Xeikon CX3 which, according to the company, has been delivering ‘excellent results’ for the last six years. It can reach a maximum speed of 30 m/min and achieves a high-quality image with a resolution of up to 1,200 dpi.

Michael Markus, managing director at Koehler Etiketten, said, ‘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.’

The company, which uses the press for jobs ranging from 300 to millions of units in a wide variety of formats, claims 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 utilised. Another deciding factor to acquire a further Xeikon digital press were the ever shorter lead times customers were demanding.

Print jobs include sleeves for shipping in a 320 x 500 mm format and customised mini labels with consecutive barcodes. Koehler Etiketten chose VariOne software to enable the company to print 100,000 labels or more with a different background in a single batch.

Mr Markus added, ‘We urgently needed additional capacity to avoid having to change the web widths and substrates every day on a single Xeikon press.’

Operators were already familiar with the manufacturer’s dry toner technology and the dry toner concept is ideally suited for food labels, which is a mainstay of Koehler’s label business. The Xeikon press is able to handle without the need for any special surface treatment.

Mr Markus said, ‘The absence of click charges enables us to decide on the use of consumables ourselves, which was a key driver in our decision to purchase our first Xeikon press.’

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. In particular during the current paper shortage, Koehler Etiketten is 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 at all, 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.