Digital printing on uneven media

Xeikon’s Alpine fuser drum, unlike the standard device, has a softer, rubber-like coating that contacts even challenging substrates to provide consistent print

01 June 2013

The Alpine 516 fuser drum will be offered
as an option for the two 508 mm wide
printing presses in the high-speed
Xeikon 3500 Series as well as the
3000 and 3050 series

High-quality digital carton printing on a wide range of materials is now within reach thanks to new technology from Xeikon. The innovator in digital colour printing has developed a unique fuser drum called Alpine, which has a flexible outer layer to help to produce smooth and consistent print on uneven and textured media, especially recycled board stocks.

The Alpine 516 fuser drum is part of the company’s Folding Carton Suite. From this month it will be offered as an option for the two 508 mm wide printing presses in the Xeikon 3000 Series, the entry level Xeikon 3050 and high speed Xeikon 3500. These presses can print B2 and longer formats on board for folding carton. The Xeikon 3000 Series of continuous feed simplex presses are designed specifically for packaging and label work. The Alpine 516 fuser drum can be ordered with new machines or retrofitted to existing installations.

Jeroen Van Bauwel, director, product management at Xeikon, explains the advantage of the new fuser drum: “The standard fuser drum has a hard surface, so if you have a structured substrate, there is a chance that it only contacts the raised areas, which may result in an uneven gloss level. The Alpine fuser drum has a softer, rubber-like coating, which can adapt to the form of the surface and create a uniform look and feel on challenging substrates.”

Print speeds are unchanged with the new drum, which can be used with conventional smooth surfaced card substrates and papers as well as with the rougher textured surfaces.

Van Bauwel adds: “The Alpine fuser drum really widens the range of carton materials that can be printed within the Xeikon Folding Carton Suite. Deliveries of the first drums will start in June 2013. This follows a Beta test period with print sites, including C&M Packing SRL in Timisoara, Rumania, which specialises in printing labels and short run folding carton applications for food retailers and the beauty industry.”

Dorel Negru, general manager of C&M Packing SRL, comments: “We have been testing the new Alpine 516 fuser drum for several months now. It has really enabled us to widen the application range of our Xeikon 3500 digital press, which will help us to grow our business. We are quite impressed with the range of extra substrates that we can print with very good quality, such as Fedrigoni papers and boards, Id Paper, Arconvert materials, together with the well-known label materials from producers such as UPM Raflatac and Avery Dennison.”

The Xeikon Folding Carton Suite for packaging markets combines five elements to aid quality and productivity in carton production: print engines, substrates, workflow, toners and finishing elements. At the core of the Suite are the Xeikon 3050 and Xeikon 3500 digital colour presses, designed and developed for the packaging markets. These can handle up to 350 GSM paperboard (550µ/21.65mil) with a web width ranging from 200 mm (7.8”) to 516 mm (20.3”).

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