Talk of Golf Balls, Candles and Digital Printing's Future
These machines let Odyssey handle the package and label mix of Yankee's orders and provide custom labels and packaging for fundraising activities and special events, such as thank you gifts for guests at weddings, anniversaries and the like. The 3300 and 3500 are teamed with a Xeikon UCoat finishing unit, a MGE/Zund I-cut system, a folder/gluer and a Preco 2024 optically-registered die press. Production time for labels is just 2-3 days, depending on capacity, availability and volume. Other Odyssey work includes a host of packaging, labeling and point-of-purchase materials and shelf strips for a wide range of household name companies.
It's industrial applications like these that Mike Ring sees as a key part of the printing business in the coming years—and a big part of Xeikon's future. He says the unique features of Xeikon's technology—roll-fed, a 20.5" print width, simultaneous duplexing, ability to add a fifth color, numerous inline finishing options, and speed—make it a good fit for many packaging and finishing tasks.
The speed is not a trivial matter. While some cut-sheet machines can be set up with coating and finishing options that work for some packaging applications, it is sheer speed, especially combined with the smooth workflow inherent with inline finishing, that's critical in achieving the throughput needed for a profitable operation.
The other side of printing, especially document production such as books, photobooks, marketing collateral and the like, is the other target for Xeikon. Ring thinks his company's machines also have an edge here because of their speed.
"There's a gap in the market between inkjet and toner," he explains. "The inkjet systems all run very fast and can do a good job, although the quality isn't quite as good as toner. But they are expensive to buy and require a lot of volume to be profitable. Cut-sheet toner machines have the quality, but are limited in speed, monthly capacity, and the cost per page can be too high. Continuous feed toner-based machines fill this gap, providing the speed, image quality, finishing options, versatility and competitive running cost."