Xeikon at Labelexpo Americas 2014, currently underway in Chicago, showcased its new Cheetah press, which the company describes as “the most important advancement for the digital label market in 15 years.” Xeikon plans to make the Cheetah commercially available in 2015, which will be the sixth press model in its portfolio.
Xeikon states the five-colour Cheetah, aimed at self-adhesive/pressure sensitive label printing, is 60 percent faster than any other model in its current press portfolio. It reaches speeds of up to 98 feet per minute (30 metres per minute).
“This increase in speed represents a huge leap forward in digital press technology… the Xeikon Cheetah narrows the gap between digital printing and traditional flexo/offset methods for producing labels,” said Patrick Van Baelen, VP of Marketing at Xeikon.
The Cheetah can handle substrate widths of up to 13 inches (330 mm) with a true print resolution of 1,200 x 3,600 dpi. Xeikon explains it utilizes full rotary printing where the press speeds are independent of the number of colours used and the repeat length of the job. The press can also run Xeikon’s dry toners that meet FDA regulations for food contact and the ability to print opaque white toner in one pass.
In addition to the standard CMYK + White, the fifth station on the Xeikon Cheetah can be used to print gamut expansion colours or security toner. The press also includes automatic inline register and density controls. The imaging width is up to 12.7 inches (322 mm) while the repeat length is variable from zero to 180 feet (zero to 55 metres). Media weights range from 40 gsm to 350 gsm.
During Labelexpo Americas 2014, Xeikon also introduced its new inline Web Varnishing Module, scheduled for a 2015 release, which can apply UV or aqueous varnish on one side of a wide range of substrates. These substrates include self-adhesive label materials, coated papers, unsupported films and coated paper board.
The Web Varnishing Module runs inline with the Xeikon 3000 Series of presses (at full press speeds) and the print roller can be changed to match the repeat or width of the job being printed. In addition to applying the flood or spot varnish, the unit can be upgraded with a UV dryer and/or aqueous dryer.