Forward thinking print companies whose expertise lies in labels and packaging, as well as those who are considering adding labels and packaging to their commercial repertoire, will already be familiar with the Xeikon Café event.
This year Print Business joined forces with Xeikon Café, not only to support this fourth outing of this highly informative event, but also to contribute to the content of the programme.
Packaging and labels are thriving and diverse sectors, rapidly changing and full of potential. There is always something to learn, even for those who remember the excitement of installing their first modern flexo press towards the end of the 20th century.
Print Business editor Gareth Ward was present at the Xeikon Café. Although more associated with commercial print, Print Business has always reported on the innovations in the packaging and labels sectors and is launching a packaging website this spring, aimed at short run work. Regular readers will be aware of the labels and packaging themed issues, featuring companies such as Qualvis on the cover.
The Xeikon Café took place in at Xeikon’s HQ in Lier, Belgium, on 20-23 March* and delegates will stay in nearby Antwerp. It comprises an exhibition of Xeikon digital presses with related equipment from a range of partners and a packed conference programme in the impressive auditorium.
Close to 1,000 printers, converters and suppliers attended over the course of the event. The subject matter is diverse and there is plenty for everyone: folding cartons, blow mould labelling, pharmaceutical leaflets, flexible pouches, direct thermal labels, commercial print and all points in between. The subjects were laid out in detail under the About The Event section of Xeikon.com website.
The programme of the conference was equally compelling. Gareth Ward will examine the developing demand for digital packaging, along with the opportunities and the barriers for both labels and packaging printers and those entering the market.
Alongside the presentations by industry experts there were workshops from some of the many partners of the Xeikon Café. These encompass the digital production of labels, packaging and commercial print.
For the forward thinking printer who wants to get the most out of digital processes, Xeikon Café is the event of the year.
*The dedicated Print Business dates are 20 & 21 March.
Tuesday 20 March
Johan Van de Velde illustrated how digital printing can meet brand requirements perfectly by presenting details of a promotional campaign conducted for Tomorrowland, a huge dance festival for which AB-InBev produced limited edition beer cans with a variety of designs. He provided insights into the challenges this project presented and how digital helped overcome those.
Wednesday 21 March
Patrick Poitevin continually explores the challenges of digital printing on new materials. He shared examples of popular personalised campaigns for the likes of Cadbury, Milka and Toblerone, as well as his thoughts on the future of digital production and how to continue to profitably address changing market demands.
Thursday 22 March
NOM NOMS WORLD FOOD
Founder, CEO and food lover Lisa Sohanpal shared her brand story, including how she revolutionised the ready meals market and achieved award winning packaging designs. Her philosophy is that innovative packaging engages customers; and she will describe her ongoing search for future innovations to take her packaging designs to an even more innovative level.
Tuesday 20 March
Early adopter Altrif Label has been using digital print technology for almost 30 years. Today the company still uses a variety of digital presses next to its conventional production, and is frequently a beta site for new product releases. Niko Dhondt shared the company’s business story, focusing on how digital has helped drive success and how he sees the future of digital printing technology evolving.
Wednesday 21 March
Technical advisor Carsten Stahl Hansen focused on how Limo Label implements complementary digital label printing technologies – dry toner and UV inkjet – to benefit its business. He will explain how digital printing helps them remain successful and differentiate themselves in the market; and he shed light on how to choose the most suitable technology for a given project.
Thursday 22 March
PRINGRAF – PACKLY
Giuseppe Prioriello shared his company’s story, in particular regarding its proprietary web to print workflow, Packly, a complete online packaging solution for creating die cuts, ordering 3D mock ups and printing high quality personalised packages. It is a perfect example of how integration, automation, web to print and digital finishing can take packaging businesses to the next level.
The new Academy will be a mix of workshops and presentations. The interactive workshops will be designed to help attendees acquire knowledge and make the right decisions for their businesses.
Going beyond product specifications, the workshops will cover topics related to Food Safety, Automation, Exploring the Creativity of Digital, Saving on Cost and Print Technologies.
The presentations in the Academy will focus on the main packaging decoration techniques available today, while covering all aspects of digital production – from workflow, print media and print engines to consumables and finishing equipment.
Attendees can choose from a range of topics, including self adhesive, heat transfer, wet glue, flexible packaging, among others, and attend the sessions most relevant for their business.
Each presentation is concluded with a technology demonstration in the exhibition area of the Xeikon Café, making it highly practical and hands on.