Xeikon will be showcasing its competitive advantage in inkjet innovation with the introduction of PantherCure UV LED inks at Labelexpo Europe 2023 in September. The new family of inks, accompanied by enhanced screening technology, new waveforms and updated software, offers a raft of advantages in terms of cost of print, sustainability benefits and quality improvements. These advancements will greatly help printers tackle acute price pressures and continued demands for more eco-friendly solutions in label and packaging production, while also improving image quality.
With PantherCure UV LED inks, Xeikon is elevating its Panther series of UV inkjet presses to offer an extremely competitive solution with the highest environmental credentials, without increasing the investment cost of the printing press. Offering lower energy and ink consumption, longer lamp life, and an expanded color gamut with an improved OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), the new UV LED inks will be instrumental in allowing Xeikon to set a new standard in inkjet printing technology.
“We are very excited to bring our PantherCure UV LED inks to Labelexpo where they can be seen running on the Xeikon PX3300 inkjet press. After spending almost three years developing these innovative inks and completing successful beta testing at a customer site, we are now unveiling the full extent of what is truly the most sustainable UV inkjet solution on the market,” says Johan Van de Velde, Xeikon Product Manager Inkjet. “Following our announcement of the new ink family last year, we have listened to the feedback and also worked hard to quantify the benefits. We are now able to share the results, which are frankly very impressive.”
The sustainability gains seen on a Panther press fitted with LED include an increase in lamp life by 10 times. LED lamps can last up to five years (or around 20,000 hours) compared to mercury (Hg) bulbs, which need changing on average every 2,000 hours, meaning less hazardous waste is created. Furthermore, LEDs require no warm-up or cool-down, eliminating waiting and standby time, coupled with 21% less energy needed during the active printing phase. In total, energy use will go down by on average 59 kWh per day, which translates to less environmental impact, reduced CO2 emissions, and much lower costs (equal to a saving of €6,900 annually assuming a cost of €0.32 pr kWh).
In terms of image quality, Xeikon has developed the new Dionysus screening for sharper more impactful images, which together with the new waveforms and software helps to lower ink consumption by as much as 30% depending on the job parameters. Importantly, printers will also be able to leverage an expanded color gamut to reach up to 88.7% of the Pantone book with just CMYK (within a Delta E of 2, rising to 94% with Delta E ≤ 3).
Netherlands-based Blana BV, a member of Asteria Group, is the first customer to implement the new UV LED inks from Xeikon into production. The company has served as a beta test site since October 2022 when its existing Xeikon PX3000 inkjet press underwent a field upgrade. Blana is now reporting exceptionally high savings in energy, proving in real terms the vast sustainability benefits of PantherCure LED inks. Blana has been able to print without problems and experienced only minimal downtime during the test period. They confirm that thanks to Xeikon’s new PantherCure LED curable ink technology, an impressive 35% energy savings has been achieved.
“Our commitment to bringing to market solutions that push the boundaries continues and we are grateful to Blana for working closely with us to refine the breakthrough PantherCure LED technology,” says Filip Weymans, Vice President Marketing at Xeikon. “It would be fair to say that Xeikon was a bit late to the inkjet party, but we have accelerated our technology significantly over the past couple of years. Now with UV LED inks and curing in our Panther presses, we are taking the lead in the market and establishing ourselves as pioneers in inkjet innovation.”
The PantherCure LED inks (CMYK and white) are immediately available on the Label Discovery Panther (Xeikon’s entry-level inkjet press), the Xeikon PX2200 and the Xeikon PX3300. Existing customers will be able to upgrade their Panther presses to the new ink set.
Xeikon invites visitors to their booth #5C29 to experience live the power of the Panther press with UV LED inks and discuss opportunities.