Xeikon & Flint Group’s IDERA for corrugated packaging converters

A fully integrated and comprehensive digital platform

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IDERA
Xeikon and Flint Group's IDERA for corrugated packaging converters

Xeikon and Flint Group recently announced the launch of IDERA, a brand-new digital solutions platform for corrugated packaging converters. One of the cornerstones of this platform is a post-print, single-pass printing press. This 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 at up to 150 linear m/min (492 ft/min). It is an ideal solution for a corrugated box market with decreasing lot sizes, shorter lead times, and ever-increasing demand for high-quality packaging.

IDERA features

IDERA will deliver higher print quality than flexography and enable printing of both short and long runs with all the benefits of a digital print-on-demand solution, including reduced waste, Xeikon states. With a much smaller and more environment-friendly footprint, IDERA also has the ability to customize and version. From September onwards, the IDERA solution will be available at the Global Innovation Center in Lier, Belgium for customer evaluation and testing.

“It is no secret that we are seeing rapid changes in the behavioral patterns of consumers, brands, and retailers,” explains 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. Ever rising consumer expectations for instant, unique and entertaining products continue to set the bar higher within the supply chain for decreased lead times and even faster delivery.

Stabel believes there is more change yet to come. In its May 2019 study, ‘No ordinary disruption’ winning with new models in packaging 2030, the consulting firm McKinsey warns, “This is the time for companies in the packaging industry to buckle up and get ready. They have less than 2 years to prepare.” With that in mind, companies need to change their focus with an ‘intuition reset’ and review their business models and markets.

Migrating from corrugated post-print to digital corrugated printing is the optimal way for forward-thinking businesses to set themselves up for future success. Xeikon IDERA solution provides the winning combination of a best-in-class, single-pass digital press for the corrugated sector, food-safety patented ink technology, and an open architecture system for third-party integration.

To develop IDERA, Xeikon relied on its long-established in-house digital expertise and on the experience and manufacturing footprint of its parent company, Flint Group. As the number one supplier of inks for corrugated packaging, Flint has a deep understanding of the corrugated market. Stabel continues, “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, vice president, Digital Inks & Imaging Technology adds, “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.”

Key benefits of Xeikon IDERA platform for corrugated packaging printers and converters:

– High throughput with a post-print, single-pass printing press. Ready to print on uncoated and coated boards

– Xeikon developed food safety compliant water-based inkjet inks to drive print performance and cost

– An open ecosystem that works together with various best-in-class partners ‘peripheral equipment, workflow, camera inspection, and more’ to get to the best-integrated solution

– A true digital transformation capability supported by Xeikon’s X-800 workflow for corrugated packaging

– Color management and profiling tools as well as integration with third-party manufacturing and MIS software

Filip Weymans, vice president of Marketing, Xeikon states, “With more than 30 years of innovation and experience in digital printing, we are still leading the way. Xeikon is recognized as an advisor in many key markets, such as graphic arts and labels, and now in the corrugated market. Xeikon is a true technology-agnostic advisor in the digital transformation that print manufacturing processes are undergoing. We are excited to be bringing Xeikon and Flint Group knowledge and expertise to the corrugated market with IDERA and our broad range of consulting and advisory services.

For more information about IDERA single-pass digital direct-to-corrugated printing and other products and solutions from Xeikon, visit www.xeikon.com and www.idera-sprinting.com

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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