Digital without compromise? Choose both toner and inkjet

When it comes to investing in digital technology, label printers usually find themselves in a conundrum. Should they choose toner or inkjet technology? 

The simple answer is that over time the best solution is to have both to make sure they can offer cost-efficient, high-quality labels and at the same time deliver the broadest application reach. Creating a ‘hybrid’ digital setup will not only provide maximum operational flexibility on the production floor, but also future-proof the business while delivering the best service for the customers. 

Xeikon is the only provider on the market with a portfolio to match every demand, with a series of presses incorporating either Cheetah Dry Toner Technology or Panther UV Inkjet Technology.  “Xeikon is clear on one simple message – toner and inkjet are not competing digital technologies; they are complementary,” says Filip Weymans, VP Marketing at Xeikon. “By having both in your stable, you become much more agile and can truly focus on your customers’ needs rather than trying to make them fit with your limited capabilities.”

For label printer Litograf, in Slovenia, their mission was clear: use the best technology to produce superior, innovative labels for their clients in industries like beverages, cosmetics, gourmet foods, and supplements. In 2019, the company invested in Xeikon CX300, which offers low production costs, added agility, and extended color gamut and metallics, meaning Litograf had the resources to produce high-quality labels for quick dispatch. This was followed by the investment in a Xeikon FEU for value-added embellishments, and then in 2022, by Xeikon PX30000Panther UV inkjet label press, which offers speeds up to 70 m/min (230 ft/min).

Meeting their customers’ varied demand and high standards means using all the tools in their operation – it’s no longer a question of toner, flexo, or inkjet, but requires a combination of all technologies. Eduard Vidra, Business Manager at Litograf, explains, “The adoption of the Xeikon presses means we can eliminate medium to medium-long run jobs from conventional presses and use our toner press for jobs that require hot stamping, dominant resolution, or textured media. We use the inkjet press for jobs that need to be done faster and at a better cost and for anything that requires foil overprinting. Right now, about 85% of our overall production is digital.” He concludes, “With the Xeikon CX300 and the Xeikon PX30000, we now have the hybrid printing environment we wanted to produce high-end label applications.”

Adding an excellent opportunity for label printing companies to get into inkjet, Xeikon has recently introduced Label Discovery Panther. This highly productive solution comes at a very competitive price point of just €250,000, dispelling the myth that high-quality, industrial inkjet label presses are too expensive and that the ROI is lightyears away.

“Although the Label Discovery Panther can be described as an entry-level solution, it offers almost twice the productivity of its competitors and comes with all the sustainability benefits of our PantherCure UV inks,” says Weymans. “With this new inkjet press you can embark on your digital label printing journey with minimal CAPEX without compromising on quality or speed.”