Xeikon is plunging into digital printing for corrugated with Idera, a press that will draw inevitable comparisons with EFI’s Nozomi line.
Idera is aimed at high end post print corrugated inkjet printers using water based inks developed by Xeikon at its own plants. The press will print 1.6x2.8 metre boards at 150m/min maximum throughput. “We set out to design an economical, viable solution,” says market segment manager Sebastien Stabel. It is designed to compete with flexo on top end requirements where the corrugated box is needed in smaller quantities and faster turnarounds.
The press is built on an existing materials handling platform, though with Xeikon's own choice of feeder and stacker. Xeikon has developed a version of its X800 digital front end of the press as well as workflow and colour management.
Despite EFI, HP and Spanish company Barbaran tackling this sector for at least four years, there is plenty of growth opportunities. Domino is planning to announce its entry into the sector. In the UK only one of the installed base of Nozomis is working in post print corrugated packaging. And Xeikon's ownership by Flint Group could give it a trump card.
Flint is the leading supplier to the flexo sector with inks and plates. Xeikon is also a supplier of platemaking equipment to corrugated board converters. Its latest product for this sector is Cathena, a plate street for automated end to end flexo plate production. This combination will give Xeikon credibility and access to the corrugated market.
Says Stabel: “We are working closely with Flint Group, our partners, and most importantly our customers, to customise 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.”
While Xeikon is not talking about price or availability, it says that a full line will be available for demonstration and assessment by corrugated board converters from October this year.