Accu-Label Is First North American Printer to Install High-Speed Xeikon Cheetah Digital Label Press
EEDE, THE NETHERLANDS—May 12, 2015—Xeikon, an innovator in digital color printing technology, is pleased to announce the first North American installation of the Xeikon Cheetah at Accu-Label Inc. making it the third pilot site worldwide to install this breakthrough digital label production solution. Accu-Label, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has added Xeikon's new press to complement its existing production platform, which includes a Xeikon 3500 that was installed last year, as well as flexographic printing solutions. Xeikon Cheetah is a productive five-color digital label press. It was the speed of the press (98 ft/min or 30m/min), combined with its high-quality output, that convinced Accu-Label to invest in the Xeikon Cheetah. The investment will enable the company to respond to evolving client demands, expand into new markets and optimize its production processes—all while meeting the high level of quality output the company has been renowned for throughout its history.
"We chose Xeikon because they really understood our business and challenges. Our experiences with their customer support, technical service and consulting services have been outstanding," explained David Manning, Accu-Label's founder. "Of course, speed was a big consideration, but there was more, we are a company that has always been dedicated to providing the best quality printing and a high level of service. For us, it doesn't matter how fast a press goes if we can't deliver a quality product. We felt the Xeikon Cheetah gave us both speed and better quality than other digital printing technologies currently available on the market. The Xeikon team showed us how installing the Xeikon Cheetah would help us meet the specific demands of our customers while ensuring superior quality. Having this flexibility is a fundamental market differentiator for us."
A tradition of quality
Accu-Label is a family-centered business that has been dedicated to surpassing the expectations of its customers ever since it was founded 28 years ago. Over the years, the company has continuously expanded and its growth has been fueled by two things: Manning's passion for printing and the company's dedication to quality. Until its first Xeikon acquisition last year, the business had been 100 percent flexo, but Manning said, "I have always looked for more effective processes by asking 'What's a better way to do this?' Last year, the answer was to add digital to our production platform with the Xeikon 3500, which is already in high demand. Today, we are building on our investment in digital with the Xeikon Cheetah."
Catie Manning, overseeing sales and marketing at Accu-Label, explains how the addition of the first digital press only one year ago changed the business. "While at first, our customers had to be educated about the capabilities of digital production, they have come to value the quality and consistency it offers. In just one year, we have had so many jobs printed digitally that the Xeikon 3500 is running at high capacity. Adding a second digital label press - the fastest on the market in its class - is vital to meeting their expectations, now and in the future. In addition, to better position the company to address our evolving customer needs, the speed and throughput of the Xeikon Cheetah will enable growth in our customer base. This will also improve the efficiency of our flexo production fleet by dedicating it to the longer runs it is designed to produce cost-efficiently."
The digital journey
The addition of digital label production capacity has meant big changes for Accu-Label and its customers. Being able to offer both high quality digital and conventional flexographic printing expands the range of solutions and services the company can offer. Manning believes the Xeikon Cheetah press is critical to continuing that expansion. He said, "Flexo is an art form that I truly love, and I've been practicing this art for a long time. But nowadays, it's not the right solution for every label project. For proofs and mock-ups as well as shorter and versioned runs, the cost, time and energy required makes it inefficient, and in many cases, unattainable. The Xeikon Cheetah, which gives us higher quality than many other digital label production solutions on the market, is the key to future-proofing our business."
Manning commented that one of the biggest benefits of digital is the greater level of flexibility it offers for design and prototyping. He noted, "This flexibility lets us provide better service to existing customers and offer new services to companies we have not been able to work with before. For example, we have customers who want to see many versions of their labels before they go into production. Digital label production lets you get to final designs more quickly and very cost-effectively. It enables clients to be more creative with their ideas and gives us the opportunity to help them bring that creativity to market faster. This process saves time, money and effort for the client—another key advantage of digital label production."
Perfect match, perfect quality
For Accu-Label, quality remains one of the most important considerations. Manning relayed, "As we continue to evolve our business, we never lose sight of our dedication to quality. This focus on quality is what has made us successful for 28 years. Quality and consistency are critical to us and to our customers, and with our combination of flexographic printing and Xeikon digital presses, we never sacrifice either one. We hit the quality mark each and every time."
Filip Weymans, director of Segment Marketing, Labels and Packaging at Xeikon, also added, "Accu-Label is a great example of what a label manufacturer can accomplish by incorporating digital toner technology into the mix. And there is no better way to do that than with the Xeikon Cheetah. The Xeikon Cheetah is a groundbreaking press that represents one of the most important advancements in the digital label production market. We are gratified to see that leading label printers, such as Accu-Label, have chosen the Xeikon Cheetah to meet client needs and expand into new markets."
Manning concluded, "With Xeikon's support, it's been a fantastic year. They have brought a level of understanding about our business and significant value to each conversation, while giving expert advice on how to address changing market needs. I respect and appreciate that. When we talked about the future, it became clear that the right equipment would help us continue to build on our success. The new Xeikon Cheetah press is exactly the technology we need in order to do that."
About Accu-Label Inc.
Founded in 1987, Accu-Label is a family-owned label manufacturer with exceptional commitment to quality. Over the years, Accu-Label has continuously invested in technologies to better improve their customer and vendor relationships. It strives to stay current on advances in the printing field. The company specializes in flexo and digital labels. They service a wide variety of markets including not-for-profits, food and beverage, automotive, retail, industrial, and chemical companies. With the main office in Fort Wayne, Indiana and sales offices in both Fort Wayne and Chicago, Accu-Label's mission is to provide excellent customer service and create labels of the highest quality. The company's relationships with its customers and vendors have been a key to its success and will continue to be an important component of its business strategy moving forward.
About the Xeikon Cheetah
The Xeikon Cheetah has a top speed of 98 ft/min - 30 m/min, which is 56 percent faster than any other model in its current press portfolio. The 1,200x3,600 dpi digital press is dedicated solely to the production of self-adhesive/pressure sensitive labels. It offers all the renowned benefits that make the Xeikon 3000 Series stand out, including the use of dry toners that meet FDA regulations for food contact and the ability to print opaque white toner in one pass. It also enables printing on a variety of heat-sensitive substrates due to incorporation of Xeikon's ICE toner technology which requires a much lower fusing temperature than typical toner-based presses.
Xeikon presses are based on dry toner electro-photography. This enables the use of conventional substrates that do not have to be pre-treated. Extremely high toner light-fastness and truly eco-friendly printing (no VOCs) are some of the other industry leading features of the Xeikon presses for digital label and package printing. The presses offer easy integration of third-party workflow software and converting/finishing solutions and incorporate professional color management capabilities. In addition to the standard CMYK + White, the fifth station on the Xeikon Cheetah can be used to print gamut expansion colors or security toner. Media weights range from 40 gsm to 350 gsm. For more information, visit www.xeikon.com/en/cheetah or click here to watch the latest movie (YouTube Video).
Xeikon is an innovator in digital printing technology. The company designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital color presses for labels and packaging applications, document printing, as well as commercial printing. These presses utilize LED-array-based dry toner electrophotography, open workflow software and application-specific toners.
As an OEM supplier, Xeikon designs and produces plate makers for newspaper offset printing applications. Xeikon also manufactures basysPrint computer-to-plate (CtP) solutions for the commercial printing market. These proven CtP systems combine the latest exposure techniques with cost-efficient UV plate technology, high-imaging quality and flexibility.
For the flexographic market, Xeikon offers digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name. ThermoFlexX systems provide high-resolution plate exposure including screening, color management, as well as workflow management.
All the Xeikon solutions are designed with the overarching principles of profitability, quality, flexibility and sustainability in mind. With these guiding principles and a deep, intimate knowledge of its customers, Xeikon continues to be one of the industry's leading innovators of products and solutions.