Xeikon, digital printed packaging

Fruitful cooperation in digital printing

​Both research and feedback from the field indicate that folding boxboard and digital printing have a bright future ahead of them. Digital printing technology company Xeikon has seen the signs and recently dedicated an entire team to the folding carton business.
2/2017 TEXT: HELI SATULI, IMAGES: SARAH VAN LOOY
​Brand owners often use digital printing for market samples, even though it has the power and potential to play a much bigger role. “It can help brands to stand out and deal with the key market trends: shorter run times, just-in-time requests, more variation, seasonal packaging, smaller lot sizes, optimised supply chains and personalisation,” explains Xeikon’s business development manager Gert Geens.Gert Geens, Business Development Manager, Xeikon
Gert Geens, business development manager at Xeikon

As packaging is transforming into a personal interactive communication tool to reach the consumer, digital printing helps in turning this vision into reality. The process from design to supermarket shelf can be completed in just a few days. Digital printing is also the number one solution when boxes need to be made in multiple languages and with varied designs.

All about consistency in board qualities

Every printing job starts with the board. In order to deliver perfect results, the board used in digital printing needs to be the same high quality as that used in premium offset printing. “Consistency in colour, weight, thickness and stiffness is the key. Metsä Board’s materials are one of the most reliable in these respects,” states Geens.Packaging with Xeikon printing
Xeikon has validated several of Metsä Board’s board grades and all of them behave perfectly in the process. When using Xeikon’s machinery, the boards don’t need any kind of pre-treatment before the digital printing. This keeps the costs within an acceptable range.

Robust growth ahead in digital printing markets

Geens states that digital printing can make the entire folding carton supply chain more efficient and cost effective. The materials can be made order-based and supply driven, which means lower capital requirements and less storage space. Everything can be printed from the same width of paperboard, so nothing is wasted.

No wonder then, that digital packaging printing markets are expected to grow almost 20 per cent within the next five years. Folding carton will also see robust growth figures. But Geens underlines that with digital printing, it is not a question of either/or.

Gert Geens, Business Development Manager, Xeikon
Gert Geens and Metsä Board's technical sales manager Evelien Dequeker

“Manufacturing processes need to become leaner. Integrating a digital press in the manufacturing process is a first step in this direction. Xeikon goes a step further,” says Geens. The Xeikon Flatbed Die-cut Unit helps to increase productivity and minimise the cost of converting cartons and tags. It is built to suit the Xeikon press portfolio but can also handle materials from conventional or other digital presses.

Seeing is believing

Now the biggest challenge is to raise awareness of how customers can benefit from digital printing. “This sector is a conventional market. Old conceptions still dominate. We need to change people’s mind-set and this takes time,” states Geens.

Metsä Board is helping by training Xeikon’s personnel on how the boards are actually produced, and showcasing together the capabilities of digital printing. According to Geens, the work really pays off. “Once they get a chance to show and tell, people are hooked,” he concludes.


Read more about digital printing:

Article: Embracing the digital age
Blog by Lauri Järvinen: Digital printing shaped by global trends

Related articles

Most popular articles

  • Metsä Board healthcare packaging

    2016/ Markets and trends

    Secondary packaging of primary importance in pharmaceuticals

    ​The latest trends in the healthcare market are shaping new ways of packaging medical products.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board in 2016 Pro Carton ECMA

    2016/ Products and services

    Seven finalists for Metsä Board in 2016 Pro Carton ECMA Awards

    ​Seven cartons using Metsä Board’s boards have been shortlisted for the finals of the 2016 Pro Carton ECMA Awards. There are finalists in Beauty & Cosmetics, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Food and Non-food packaging categories.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board and sustainable forest management

    2016/ Sustainability

    Impressing by numbers

    ​Every second. That’s how often Metsä Group delivers a tree seedling to a forest-owner for planting. This amounts annually to 30 million seedlings and provides the foundation for sustainable forest management.

    Read More
  • Bag-in-box wine packages

    2016/ Markets and trends

    Box wines showing all the right signs

    Bag-in-box packages are gaining more and more foothold in some of the largest wine drinking countries in North America and Europe. The market intelligence publisher Euromonitor is forecasting an increase of 4 % p.a. for the global bag-in-box retail packaging market by 2020.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board's food packaging, logistics

    2016/ Sustainability

    Protecting the food throughout the value chain

    ​Food is a necessity too precious to be wasted. With high-quality packaging, food waste can be reduced.

    Read More
  • Pro Carton ECMA Award winner 2016

    2016/ Products and services

    Metsä Board successful in 2016 Pro Carton ECMA Awards

    Three cartons using fresh fibre paperboards from Metsä Board won at the 2016 Pro Carton ECMA Awards, including the award for the Carton of the Year.

    Read More
  • Behind the scenes of making a video of Husum's new proction line

    2016/ Products and services

    Lights! Camera! Action!

    ​At the beginning of 2016, Metsä Board started up a new folding boxboard production line at its Husum mill in Sweden. A new video was produced to highlight this, made in collaboration with Valmet – the technology company who supplied the new line.

    Read More
  • Parents walking in the forest with their child

    2016/ Sustainability

    Metsä Board is an 'a-lister' in combating climate change

    ​Metsä Board has been recognised as a global leader for its actions to combat climate change by CDP, the international not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable economies.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board Kyro mill

    2016/ Sustainability

    Making the most of water

    ​Metsä Board’s mills are located in the most water rich areas in the world. Still we use our water resources efficiently.

    Read More
  • Husum mill water usage

    2016/ Sustainability

    Metsä Board on CDP's Water A List for the second year in a row

    ​Metsä Board is among the leading companies in sustainable management of water resources.

    Read More
  • High stumps and retention trees support biodiversity

    2016/ Sustainability

    High stumps and retention trees support forest nature's biodiversity

    ​​Forest owners and the forest industry work daily for supporting the Finnish forest nature. One of the most visible examples of Metsä Group's efforts are retention trees and high stumps, left at felling sites in the context of regeneration felling which is important for sustainable bioeconomy and forest nature biodiversity.

    Read More
  • Partiolaisten adventtikalenteri

    2016/ Products and services

    A feel-good purchase made from Metsä Board's paperboard

    ​Did you open the window on an advent calendar this morning? A calendar brings joy and excitement in the middle of the darkest time of the year. Let us introduce you to five perspectives to the traditional Advent Calendar of the Guides and Scouts of Finland. 

    Read More
  • T2 apple tea packaging

    2016/ Products and services

    Intriguing experiences for curious tea drinkers

    ​For tea and teawares company T2, packaging is an essential part of enjoying tea.

    Read More
  • 2016/ Markets and trends

    Embracing the digital age

    ​In Metsä Board’s view, digital printing is challenging the whole packaging value chain, from design to box manufacturing.

    Read More
  • A variety of Metsä Board consumer packaging products

    2017/ Products and services

    Managing the product safety cycle

    ​With close cooperation throughout the entire value chain, Metsä Board is able to create a safe and sustainable product life cycle for the benefit of its customers.

    Read More
  • 2016/ Sustainability

    Barilla and Metsä Board – Good for the future

    ​The collaboration between Barilla and Metsä Board began in 2007. It is no surprise that the companies share interests related to sustainability.

    Read More
  • Leena Yliniemi, technical marketing director, Metsä Board and Veijo Korkalainen commercial director of the corrugated segment at

    2017/ Products and services

    The future of retail-ready packaging looks Brite+

    ​Metsä Board’s white linerboard range has a recent addition, Kemiart Brite+. This grade is a specially designed coated white-top kraftliner suitable for brand, retail and consumer packages, and is also safe for food packaging.

    Read More
  • Safe fresh fibre paperboard

    2017/ Products and services

    Further proof our paperboards' safety

    In 2016 Metsä Board carried out a study on mineral oil migration into food from packaging and got some convincing data on its paperboards product safety.  

    Read More
  • Xeikon, digital printed packaging

    2017/ Markets and trends

    Fruitful cooperation in digital printing

    ​Both research and feedback from the field indicate that folding boxboard and digital printing have a bright future ahead of them. Digital printing technology company Xeikon has seen the signs and recently dedicated an entire team to the folding carton business.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board food service products

    2017/ Products and services

    Catering to a growing need

    ​With the trend of convenient and fast on-the-go eating growing globally, the demand for food service paperboards is on the rise. In addition to our home markets in Europe, we at Metsä Board have identified the Americas, as well as the global food service market, as our focus areas for future growth.

    Read More
  • Paperboard food packaging safety

    2017/ Products and services

    Hot topic: product safety

    ​Metsä Board has the same food safety certificates as the food industry. That’s just one example of how Metsä Board secures the product safety of its products.

    Read More
  • T2 fruit tea packaging design

    2017/ Products and services

    Metsä Board’s designs achieved double success at prestigious iF Design Awards

    ​With two highly creative designs, Metsä Board earned a double recognition at this year’s iF Design Awards. T2 Mini Fruit Tea packaging won an iF Design certificate for ‘Beverages’ and the company’s own innovative Elevated drink box won another iF Design certificate for ‘Independent Packaging’.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board liner and microflute sheets

    2017/ Sustainability

    The circle of life

    Metsä Board’s way of working guarantees safety and strength throughout the product life cycle.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board's innovative paperboard cup solution, Lidloc

    2017/ Products and services

    Lifting the lid on Lidloc

    ​In many industries today, eliminating dependence upon fossil-fuel-based materials is a firm aim, but this is more challenging in some applications than others. Take the paper cup, for example. How could you possibly order a café latte on the move without a plastic lid to keep the hot liquid safely inside until you reach your destination?

    Read More
  • Stina Drotz Husum

    2017/ Products and services

    Metsä Board Husum mill breaking new barriers

    ​The new extrusion coating line at Metsä Board Husum mill will start up in the first half of 2017. With PE coating capacity of some 100,000 t/a, the new line enables Metsä Board to serve the global food service market even better.

    Read More
  • Lidloc sketch

    2017/ Products and services

    How can packaging design help us do better with less?

    ​There are more and more people on this planet, consumption is constantly growing, and so is the demand for packaging. Designing packaging in a smarter way can have a big impact on sustainability – raw materials can be used more efficiently, and the package can be made more easy to recycle.

    Read More
  • Food packaging trends

    2017/ Markets and trends

    Five trends shaping food packaging

    ​We take a look at the biggest trends affecting food packaging today, from premium branded coffees to multi-pack snacks.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board FSB cups and plates

    2017/ Products and services

    The freshest addition to the Metsä Board portfolio

    ​In April 2017, we announced the start-up of our new extrusion coating line at our Husum mill in Sweden. Representing an investment of 38 million euros, and with an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes, the new line propels Metsä Board to the front line of suppliers of integrated solutions for fresh, frozen, and on-the-go food-packaging.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board On the go products

    2017/ Products and services

    The US perspective updated

    ​Nina Happonen, VP of sales at Metsä Board Americas, shares her thoughts on the US market today.

    Read More
Print