Xeikon and KURZ advance with a digital alternative to hotfoil

26th September 2023


Xeikon and Kurz have announced the introduction of new cutting-edge digital metallization capabilities. Based on the recently launched Xeikon TITON toner technology, the jointly developed solution integrates Kurz Digital Metal technology with the Xeikon TX500 digital press for the production of premium labels. This unique one-step embellishment method offers a versatile, low-cost alternative to traditional hot lamination and, notably, is the first food-safe digital metallization solution on the market.

Delivering high-quality labels in a single pass, this innovation from Xeikon and KURZ is a solution for printers serving the demanding high-end wine and spirits markets. With no restrictions on run lengths or designs, it provides a sustainable, ultra-flexible and highly cost-effective way to create high shelf appeal. Presenting the same advantages as digital printing, it also opens up new market opportunities, such as variable lamination, which can be used for personalized consumer labels, variable security elements or metallized paper packaging.

“Printers are constantly looking for better ways to add value to the labels they produce for their customers. Meanwhile, brand owners are looking to maximize shelf visibility with bright designs that shine and shine. They also want to get to the market faster and at a lower cost,” he says. Jeroen Van Bauwel, Director of Solution Design at Xeikon. “This new digital metallization process offers unlimited possibilities for the production of high-quality, highly embellished labels with Xeikon's TITON toner technology. Metallic effects are created in a single process with no special adaptations required in the print file. And since everything is done online, there is no need for a highly qualified operator or new registration. It's as simple as adding another color!

This digital metallization method stands out for its simplicity, as it does not require any additional process steps in prepress or during the conversion phase. Unlike traditional hot and cold stamping techniques, there is no need for stamping tools, saving significant cost, time and waste. Job preparation time is as fast as sending a digital job to the printer, meaning printers can offer much faster turnaround times and shorter lead times. It also eliminates wasted time and materials related to print registration. The robust and versatile process can be applied to a wide variety of substrates, including challenging uncoated papers (unlike cold foil), and semi-transparent metallization is also an option.

The solution is made possible by Xeikon's new durable TITON toners, which are highly heat resistant. After printing CMYK, the Xeikon TX500 press applies a special transfer toner to designated metallization areas before the web continues to the KURZ module. This method is remarkably accurate and efficient and uses the print file for metallization, so there are no additional requirements on the part of the press operator.

With the complete freedom of digital printing, including single label orders, the new digital metallization process can be used to add both solid areas and very fine details (positive and negative) at 1200 dpi resolution, anywhere design. Each label can be different with variable elements in printing and metallization that combine with each other.

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