The Xeikon PX3300HD 1200 dpi label press to be shown running live at drupa 24 Photo Xeikon
The Xeikon PX3300HD 1200 dpi label press to be shown running live at drupa 24 Photo Xeikon

Lier, Belgium, 30 April 2024 – Xeikon has announced details of the next evolution Panther inkjet technology as it prepares for the world premiere of the Xeikon PX3300HD, a new 1200 dpi digital press to be launched at drupa 2024. Developed for high quality labels, the 5-color machine offers a 330 mm printing width and speeds up to 70 meters a minute, even when printing with high opacity white. It utilizes a newly developed ink series, PX-Cure LED HD, to ensure good curing, while supporting sustainability targets for converters.

“As inkjet technology continues to mature, there’s a clear need to update Xeikon’s Panther portfolio with a higher resolution option to meet specific customer requests. Consequently, we’re now introducing a 1200 dpi engine to complement the existing 600 dpi product range,” states Jeroen Van Bauwel, director Solution Design. “The new Xeikon PX3300HD will extend the capabilities for printers by giving them the tools to reach excellent quality at even higher productivity levels in a TCO-friendly way.”

According to the company, the new digital press produces high durability, full-color labels for diverse markets, covering up to 88% of Pantone colors within Delta E2 (rising to 94% within Delta E 3). To meet the specific requirements of the higher resolution engine, Xeikon has developed new PX-Cure LED HD inks. The new inks match the sustainability benefits of the recently introduced PantherCure UV LED series for Xeikon 600-dpi inkjet presses, including significant savings in energy consumption, instant warm up for more agile operation, and 10 times longer lamp life compared to traditional UV arc lamps, resulting in lower waste.

The new press leverages Xerox W-Series industrial inkjet printheads with dedicated waveforms and screening software developed by Xeikon. Furthermore, the PX3300HD is fully prepared for hybrid printing with the option to add Xeikon’s modular inline label converting units and a large unwinder for longer uninterrupted production runs.

The Xeikon PX3300HD is driven by Xeikon’s X-800 DFE workflow which includes color management as an integral part with a Pantone license so customers can easily convert all the latest Pantone colors for their press and substrates. In addition, the basic press configuration offers efficient operational support with an inline camera for quality inspection included by default. Adjusting registration, stitching and compensation for missing nozzles, are all measured and corrected in a fully automated way. This feature helps to alleviate ongoing issues with finding skilled staff to run the press, while extending the lifetime of the printheads and ensuring consistent high quality.

A screenshot of the Xeikon Zoom pre-drupa24 press conference on 29 April 2024
A screenshot of the Xeikon Zoom pre-drupa24 press conference on 29 April 2024

Van Bauwel concludes, “This extension of Xeikon’s inkjet capabilities is an incredibly exciting development for customers. It offers them a very cost-effective and highly competitive opportunity to scale their businesses, so they can supply profitable luxury market segments with exceptional productivity and quality. We are currently well underway with customer trials and will start sales at drupa. I’d like to encourage all attendees to make their way to our stand in Hall 11/A01, to experience the PX3300HD 1200 dpi press running live and discuss their future path in inkjet for labels and packaging with Xeikon.”

Our take –

In a web press conference on the evening of 29 April 2024 we had an opportunity to question Xeikon about the cost of dry toner consumables of digital presses. When these were introduced more than 30 years ago the promise of some of the manufacturers was that the toner cost would rapidly go down as consumption volumes increased. One of the Xeikon speakers at the press conference responded by saying, “More than three decades old, this is certainly a mature technology. And yes, both the capital cost and the cost of consumables should have come down.”

Our view is that digital production printing continues to face the ‘Innovator’s Dilemma’ in that it has taken a very long time for much of it to deliver quality at a reasonable cost with reliability. While the drum and toner presses at lower capital costs have worked well in markets like India this is because they have delivered quality for newly invented markets such as photo books and the consumable costs have remained reasonable – their quality has evolved while the price or click charge has remained the same despite continuous inflation over the past three decades.

Many of the paradigms offered in the early days of digital printing such as transactional printing have not been very successful in markets such as India. For various reasons this segment has occupied a specialized niche. The evolution of digital printing into inkjet has also faced the dilemma of high capital cost and consumables. Although to some extent alleviated by Asian and Indian manufacturers of inkjet presses, the inkjet presses from the major global manufacturers continue in the main to be unable to answer the question: “Is it cheaper, better or faster?”

Clayton Christensen – The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, first published in 1997, discussed why and how some disruptive technologies can fail.

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.

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