Xeikon, an innovator in digital color printing technology, today announced a new version of VariLane, its imposition software plug-in for the Xeikon X-800 digital front-end (DFE). VariLane 4.0 is now fully integrated within the X-800 4.0 workflow and is specifically designed to allow label printers greater flexibility in the production of labels, providing increased profit opportunities. With this development, Xeikon has added a significant enhancement to the ability for label printers to optimize productivity and profitability by printing labels of different sizes and run lengths on the same web in discreet lanes. In addition, VariLane 4.0 is a key enabler in meeting the needs of brand owners for short run lengths and just-in-time delivery.
“Xeikon has a strong and continuing focus on the label market, and VariLane 4.0 is proof of our ongoing commitment to supporting the needs of label printers in every way possible,” says Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director Product Management at Xeikon. “With prepress activities minimized, and utilizing all of the integrated benefits of the X-800 DFE, label printers can easily combine different jobs on one substrate – even for labels of different heights and widths and with different run lengths. And they can easily make last-minute adjustments to artwork or add variable data. This is a real advance in optimizing label production and further increasing profitability for label printers. This type of out-of-the-box thinking and unique value-add sets Xeikon apart in the world of digital label printing.”
Supporting the label printer with innovative solutions
The unique VariLane plug-in, launched four years ago as a standalone tool and now integrated into the X-800 workflow, brought to commercial reality the concept of printing different labels in lanes of different widths and heights across the same web. Imposition – arranging the labels on the roll in order to serve the proper application of the labels in later production processes – is a fundamental step in prepress. Typically, labels are arranged in lanes across the web roll, and because labels had to be of equal size, the print lanes were also of equal size. This imposed limitations on both productivity and efficient use of substrates. VariLane gives prepress operators the freedom to combine labels in print lanes of variable sizes which improves throughput and reduces waste. In fact, label printers working with VariLane have been able to substantially increase their productivity and reduce material wastage, with resultant cost savings of up to 30%. This unique capability is made possible by the full rotary technology of Xeikon digital presses, combined with their variable repeat length.
With VariLane 4.0 and its full integration with the X-800 DFE, yet another dimension is added to the versatility of Xeikon’s digital technology and the optimization of digital print production. The VariLane concept combines prepress, data processing and press operation functionality, seamlessly integrated with existing workflows and business processes, while maintaining flexibility and quality. VariLane 4.0 makes last-minute corrections to artwork easy to achieve, and Xeikon’s metadata tool can be employed to add barcodes or sequential numbering to labels as required.
“Combining different jobs in the same print run has never been easier. And for label printers working with our wide-web Xeikon 3050 and 3500 presses, it’s a perfect fit!” Van Bauwel adds. “But even with narrower rolls, label printers can optimize their productivity, reduce costs and increase profitability. And that is all possible today with Xeikon technology, without sacrificing the standards of professional and functional excellence brand owners expect – no matter how short the print run or delivery time.”
VariLane 4.0 is a plug-in for the recently launched Xeikon X-800 4.0 digital front-end (read press release) which will be commercially available at the end of June. Xeikon will also demonstrate the capabilities of this unique tool at Labelexpo Europe 2015 on its stand B/C 50 in Hall 9.
VariLane 4.0, a unique tool for label production and substrate optimization, now fully integrated in Xeikon X-800 4.0 digital front-end