Etilab enhances its quality with the installation of Xeikon DC350 line

DC350 finishing line is used for decorations and embossing on labels

Etilab enhances its quality with the installation of Xeikon DC350 line
Michał Kuczkowski, sales manager Poland, Xeikon (Left) and Sylwia Dudek, President of the Management Board, Etilab (Right)

A manufacturer of highly processed labels, Etilab specializes in digital printing technology centered around a Xeikon 3300 label press. The company recently took advantage of the option to double the print speed of their Xeikon 3030, as volumes were growing fast, and more capacity was needed at the production facility in Żory. A new DC350 advanced finishing line has also been installed, giving Etilab larger scope for producing highly embellished digital labels.  

Established in 2003, Etilab has invested significantly in organizational, production, and technological advances to offer best-in-class self-adhesive labels to a wide range of customers, ranging from smaller local companies to global corporations from the construction, FMCG, and cosmetics industries in Poland and Germany. The company combines a personal approach and readiness to take on new technological challenges with a high degree of flexibility. Great emphasis is also placed on expanding the product offering with innovative solutions that meet current trends and market needs.

“Being a small company, we can respond dynamically to our clients’ needs and wishes,” said Sylwia Dudek, President of the Management Board. “We invest in great solutions to improve quality and productivity while maintaining comfort and safety at work. The first Xeikon press we bought four years ago helped us enter the market with technologically advanced labels printed on metallized film. The additional digital white color further allowed us to achieve interesting tonal effects, such as gold or partly shimmering graphic elements.”

The Xeikon 3300 digital press offers a resolution of 1200 dpi using dry toner electrophotography to print in five colors, typically CMYK + white, however, the colors are interchangeable, so there is the option to print orange, green, or special colors. The press can print on standard raw materials without primer. Due to the full rotation image transfer, there is no limit on the repeat length, giving Etilab’s customers more flexibility and freedom when creating impositions and gaps between labels. Companies that are just starting their adventure with label printing and have purchased even a basic model have the option to increase the speed or printing width at a later stage. Even, Etilab took full advantage of this option to double the printing speed of its first Xeikon press. 

For food applications, it is essential to note that Xeikon dry toners comply with the largest number of standards, including EU registration 1935/2004, Swiss Ordinance, and Nestlé Guidelines, and has FDA approval in the US. They are also environmentally friendly due to the absence of odors, VOCs and solvent emissions and are lightfast.

Michał Kuczkowski, sales manager at Xeikon, commented, “Etilab provides its customers with products that are often small and contain tiny text elements, which can be tricky to print. Dry toner printing using the Xeikon 3300 is perfect for this purpose and allows the use of structured raw materials, such as those popular in the wine and spirits segment.”

Etilab’s investment in the Xeikon Color Services Pro 2.0 software

As part of the expansion, Etilab has invested in the Xeikon Color Services Pro 2.0 software suite to ensure color predictability and repeatability. This Cloud-based solution delivers automatic color control on the fly by using a built-in spectrophotometer and generating reports after printing to maximize predictability, repeatability, and profitability. The XCS Pro software enables Etilab to guarantee accurate brand colors, save on waste during production, and eliminate the risk of jobs being rejected due to color variations. 

Together with the original Xeikon 3030 press, Etilab also bought a MiniDCoat finishing line, but with the number of customer orders increasing for some time, the company decided to upgrade capabilities with a new, very extensive DC350 finishing and embellishing line.

One of the most advanced finishing lines in operation in Poland today is the DC350 at Etilab which features a hot foil unit, with register and foil saver systems, for decorations and embossing. The line is also equipped with a highly accurate flatbed screen module, which can produce value-adding tactile effects, including Braille. Setups and changeovers have been optimized with SmartSlit and SmartLoad functionalities which automatically position up to 16 slitting knives and load the diecutting plates to save time and ensure precise registration.

“Our technical capabilities have increased significantly, and we now can offer state-of-the-art labels using new and interesting substrates such as silver foil, transparent foil, and structured wine materials. Thanks to the Xeikon printing press and its sophisticated software, we can also perform personalized printing, each label can be unique, and everything is done in a single run through the press,” said Sylwia Dudek.

“Our latest achievement on the DC350 line, which Xeikon delivered, is the application of raised varnish, which allows us to add warning triangles and Braille inline as a single-pass production process. One of the main reasons for investing in this machine was to improve the efficiency of warning triangle application on labels, which in the past was done as a separate process using a special applicator. This was inefficient and costly, making it difficult to respond to the time pressures from customers.”

She concluded, “We want to expand our product range, as we are not yet using all the possibilities offered by the upgraded Xeikon and the new finishing line. The wine industry is our first stop. As far as production facilities are concerned, we will modernize, streamline, and improve existing solutions to boost production efficiency and allow for even better working conditions.”

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.

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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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