Xeikon announces that Belgium-based Femalabel has installed the Xeikon 3030Plus, a first for Xeikon's new press launched at drupa 2012 as well as the Xeikon 3300. In order to keep pace with its continuously growing digital production of labels, Femalabel decided to double its current capacity by installing two Xeikon presses. With this new configuration, the company continues to build on its successful strategy of just-in-time production of high quality labels in short run lengths. By producing more top-quality labels in less time Femalabel will take its business to the next level of productivity and profitability.
"Xeikon has demonstrated huge progress in recent years in terms of output quality and range of substrates, they’ve really closed the gap with competitors. The Xeikon 3030Plus and Xeikon 3300 enable us to increase efficiency and flexibility, and at the same time reduce costs significantly," says Wim Feys, Co-owner and Technical Manager at Femalabel. For several years, Femalabel worked with another elektrophotographic digital press combined with laser die cutting to provide short runs of variable-design labels. As the business grew, Femalabel replaced this set-up with equipment from Xeikon that allows the company to be more productive, without any compromise in quality. "Our capacity has increased with 300%. With the Xeikon digital presses, we are producing labels at a guaranteed minimum of 600 square meter /hour compared to previously 200 square meter /hour at best," explains Feys.
Shift to digital printing
Femalabel serves a wide range of clients – from food to automotive – that have increasingly discovered the advantages of digital printing. Labels had usually been run in large quantities using flexography and then customized by thermal imprinting. Marketers and brand managers today, however, want a variety of customized designs in much smaller run lengths. "With Xeikon digital presses it’s more efficient and affordable to produce versions in different languages or to quickly adapt a design if, for example, it’s required by changes in regulations," comments Feys.
Just-in-time label production using an all-digital workflow is a proven method of reducing inventory costs and keeping printed materials up to date. "Having all-digital capability allows our clients to keep their stock to a minimum and make last-minute decisions about the designs and quantities they order. They are willing to pay a premium for this service, as it saves them a lot of money overall," adds Feys.
Maintain productivity while responding to market demand
Partnering with Xeikon has also created new market opportunities for Femalabel, explains Filip Weymans, Xeikon Director of Segment Marketing and Business Development for Labels & Packaging. "Because our systems use food-approved and odor-less toners, we no longer need special lamination coatings on labels for food industry clients – and that’s a real cost-saving advantage."
Feys continues: "In the past few years as our business and client base have expanded, many of our clients came to prefer digital print quality versus that of our conventional flexo press. At a certain point we also installed a UV offset press to handle the larger volumes of labels that required this level of quality. Now with our two new Xeikon presses, we can start to move jobs back from offset to digital again, because we can digitally print label run lengths of 2,000 or 3,000 meters more cost-efficiently than ever before. We were also very impressed with the opacity the white toner provides in one pass using transparent substrates."
As Femalabel expands and adapts to changing market needs, they have found a reliable partner in Xeikon. "Digital label printing has a bright future with us, and we are pleased to work with Xeikon. They are more then just a supplier, bringing added value to our business and supporting our growth," concludes Feys. "We see a major shift happening with clients, who are moving from single jobs and large run lengths to many jobs in smaller quantities in many varieties. With our new Xeikon presses, we are now very well prepared to meet this changing demand in a very efficient way."