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Unique multiple lane printing increases profitability of digital label printers

– Xeikon will launch VariLane, a new software plug-in for its X-800 Digital Front End, at Labelexpo Europe 2011, taking place at the Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium from 28 September to 1 October. With VariLane, print service providers can now create imposition schemes for label print runs with different references and with labels of different sizes. This offers printers the maximum flexibility to optimize the amount of material used and to maximize the print time – further increasing their profitability and improving production capacity.



Imposition is one of the fundamental steps in the prepress process. Arranging the position of labels on the roll width in order to serve the proper application of the labels in the later production processes. Typically, labels are arranged in lanes across the web roll – and because the label had to be of equal size, the print lanes were of equal size. VariLane, the latest plug-in for the Xeikon X-800, offers prepress operators the freedom to create imposition templates which can arrange labels in print lanes of variable sizes. Visitors to the Xeikon stand at Labelexpo Europe 2011 will get the opportunity to see the first ever live demonstrations of the software in action, and see for themselves how the new improved workflow optimizes the amount of material used.



“In their drive to meet the needs of specific groups of consumers, brand owners are developing more and more product variants,” says Filip Weymans, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Labels & Packaging at Xeikon. “As a consequence, label printers are facing more unique labels for an ever-increasing number of different references (SKUs) – but with less volumes of each. This presents an ongoing challenge for label printers as it’s obviously important that they optimize material used,” explains Weymans. “The advent of digital imposition, which creates the layout in an instant has helped a lot, but to date this technique could only handle labels of the same size. With the release of VariLane, print operators can now create imposition templates for labels with different references and with different sizes.”



Continuous innovation to meet changing market need

When it was first released in 2004, the Xeikon X-800 Digital Front-End featured a post-RIP imposition function which defined how individual designs were to be positioned on imposed repeat. Labels were typically arranged in a Step&Repeat so they could be die-cut into separate rolls during the finishing process. One design SKU only needed to be RIPped once and could be repeated over and over drastically reducing the RIP time needed. Last minute corrections and changes were also very simple to carry out.



Jeroen van Bauwel, product manager digital frontends: “Xeikon has a strong focus on the self-adhesive label market. In talking with many experienced printers we understood that there was a tremendous gain for them being able to print multiple lanes. That lies at the origin of VariLane. Recent simulations have indicated that printers could reduce their cost up to 30% based on different job portfolios. The plug-in also illustrates the power and importance of a dedicated digital workflow to ensure you can maximize the productivity and capability of your digital press.”



With its ability to create imposition schemes for labels of different sizes, VariLane now offers the perfect solution. Label printers can now handle orders for multiple references – and different label sizes – all in the same print run. This job optimization minimizes the amount of material waste and reduces the press time significantly– further increasing profitability and improving production capacity.



The Full rotary aspect combined with the variable repeat length is crucial to allow this kind of imposition and is therefore unique to the Xeikon presses



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About Xeikon

A pioneer in digital printing, Xeikon designs, develops and delivers high-end digital colour printing systems for the industrial, document and commercial printing market segments. These systems are composed of advanced web-fed printing engines using LED-array-based, dry toner electrophotography, open workflow software, exclusive toner and other consumables. Xeikon’s production and R&D operations are based in Belgium and its solutions are distributed and supported through a worldwide sales and service network. Xeikon is a division of Punch Graphix. For more information, visit