Femalabel enhances production flexibility

Femalabel enhances production flexibility with Xeikon PX30000 label press

Label printer Femalabel has enhanced its fast, flexible and durable label production with investment in a Xeikon PX30000 UV inkjet label press.  Xeikon’s PX30000 was chosen, according to Wim Feys, CTO at Femalabel, because Xeikon was the first to achieve ‘food approval’ for its dry-toner solutions. Important too, was the fact that the ‘cover white’ was the best market available at the time.  

The family run Belgian operation was founded in 1976 as a commercial printer and later moved into continuous forms after identifying the need from small and medium-sized enterprises for suppliers of runs up to 30,000. In the late 1990s, when laser printers were rapidly being introduced threatening the continuous forms segment, Femalabel built on its experience of production from and to rolls to develop a mix of traditional commercial printing and flexo. In 1999 it invested in an HP Indigo roller machine.  In 2012 it began working with Xeikon when it installed a Xeikon 3300 and a Xeikon 3030Plus.

Today the 30 employee strong operation produces a broad range of multilayer labels, or Peel & Reveal labels, and booklet labels for a wide customer base mainly in the chemicals and automotive markets.  80% of the work is produced digitally on two Xeikon CX3 machines and the recently installed Xeikon PX30000.

They are kept busy according to Wim: “On those three machines, we usually work a day shift, with sometimes an extra ‘half shift’ when there is reason to do so. Besides the chemical and automotive markets, we are active in food, including fruit and vegetables, so mainly agricultural and horticultural products. We use the PX30000 in connection with varnishing, laminating, etc, especially for industrial labels.” 

He explains that with flexo finishing, real craftsmanship is a requirement. For Femalabel’s six different finishing units there is an operator per machine and they are flexibly deployed. They are divided between the different tasks and, of course, the desired finishing levels from the market applications. He states operation of Xeikon’s technology is ‘straightforward’ and much more focused on preventive maintenance and the quick rectifying of potentially minor faults so down-time is kept to a minimum.

Wim comments: “Not all customers know what the different techniques entail and some are not interested in how their products are produced. As long as the quality is good. Our customers find our quality much more important than technology. Of course, within this segment it is important to have the colour profiles for different substrates in order, but that is usually a one-off process.” 

Xeikon’s local presence in Belgium was also a consideration: “In case of real breakdowns the technicians are quickly on the doorstep. Service from other countries is a bit slower and often less flexible. We are fully satisfied.”