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

  • 2020/ Sustainability

    Fresh or recycled? It’s not an either/or

    ​When shopping for your groceries, do you choose packaging based on how environmentally friendly you think it is? If, like us, you want to make the best choices for the planet, there are a few things it’s important to know. ​For example, how environmentally friendly are cartons made from non-recycled fibre (also called virgin or fresh fibre) compared to recycled ones? You might be surprised by the answer.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Forecasting trends in pharma packaging

    ​Eson Pac are pharma packaging specialists, with expertise in all aspects of producing and delivering packaging solutions for the pharma supply chain. Niklas Bengtsson, Sales and Marketing Director at Eson Pac, shares some insights into current and future trends.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Better with Less – Design Challenge – Meet the winners

    In a series of interviews we ask the winners of the Better with Less – Design Challenge what inspired them to enter their inspirational ideas.

    Read More
  • Rapala package for luring fish

    2020/ Customer case

    Cooperation with a digital printer created an alluring package for luring fish

    ​Rapala, a leading fishing lure innovator, chose Metsä Board’s premium lightweight paperboard for its striking lure packaging. The packaging was digitally printed by PackageMedia.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Markets and trends

    Food safety isn’t just about food - the packaging is important too

    With people choosing to eat at home more often, it's important that groceries and takeaway food can be delivered to consumers safely. Packaging has a vital part to play in this process. Marjatta Punkka, Product Safety Manager at Metsä Board, says that food safety certification is one way to guarantee safe production methods and minimise risk throughout the production chain.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Markets and trends

    What does e-commerce mean for food packaging?

    Packaging for food must meet certain basic requirements to be fit for purpose, but are there different factors to consider when it's sold online? With online grocery sales on the rise, brands must consider how packaging can enhance the shopping experience for their customers. We spoke with Anna Keinänen, Business Intelligence Manager at Metsä Board, to uncover some key considerations for food packaging when selling online.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Where’s the line between healthy eating and indulging?

    ​Historically, eating healthily and treating oneself have largely been viewed as mutually exclusive, with self-indulgent foods thought of in terms of takeaways and fatty, sugary or spicy foods and healthy food often perceived to be bland and boring. Can a balance be struck between these extremes? We explore this fascinating theme with Anu Rehtijärvi, Business Intelligence Manager at Metsä Board.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    It takes three to tango: Collaboration drives innovation

    Today’s companies are faced with a growing number of requirements. They’re expected to provide rapid new solutions on a global scale, especially in cost-effectiveness and sustainable development. The problems to be solved are complex. Issues and challenges must be examined from multiple perspectives if sustainable solutions are to be found.

    For example, consumer packaging must be more environmentally friendly and cost-effective, and it must better reflect the product’s brand.

    Read More
  • 2020/ Customer case

    An outstanding organic coffee package uses Metsä Board’s paperboard

    When Dutch coffee brand Zuivere Koffie was developing its new coffee range, it wanted the packaging to be both sustainable and eye-catching. In order to achieve this dual aim, Zuivere Koffie collaborated with Metsä Board. The converter, Remmert Dekker Packaging, challenged themselves to find an extra special something to bring to the project.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board's new graphical brochure

    2020/ Products and services

    Metsä Board's new demo brochure shows how to create stunning graphical print

    Packaging and graphical professionals are constantly looking for new ways to attract consumers. There is often an artistic vision and haptic feeling that the printed piece should convey. With modern printing techniques it is possible to produce various touch and feel properties, but outstanding technical characteristics are also required from the paperboard. 

    Read More
  • 2020/ Insights

    Demand for authenticity challenges pharma packaging

    ​Alongside growing consumption, the need for authenticity is increasing in pharma packages. Pharma companies and consumers alike want to be sure that the medicine is legitimate – not a forgery and has not been tampered with. Tamper-evident features are a tool to ensure the safety of the packed product. 

    Read More
  • cartonboard cosmetics

    2020/ Products and services

    A perfect match made both in sustainability and look

    SIM Finland Oy is a cosmetics manufacturer that emphasises purity, quality, and design in its products, and pays special attention to sustainability issues. When the company recently renewed its SensiDO professional hair colour range it chose a packaging material that mirrored these exacting values. MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright is a lightweight fresh fibre paperboard with a low carbon footprint manufactured in Finland by Metsä Board.

     

    Read More
  • waterproof coating, paperboard, beverage cooler, packaging, cooling tray

    2020/ Customer case

    Innovative and recyclable drink cooler made with paperboard

    ​Showcasing a sustainable alternative for food packaging – that was the aim of the new demo project by Weilburger Graphics. The company created an innovative and recyclable beverage cooler made from paperboard and using a completely new waterproof coating.  

    Read More
  • Mika Joukio

    2020/ Insights

    Mika Joukio: Climate change is driving companies to renew

    ​Even though the coronavirus crisis has impacted our daily lives in many ways and dominates the news headlines, concern for the impact of climate change has by no means disappeared. Combatting climate change and the risks and opportunities that the changing climate brings with it are questions that companies need to answer through their actions.

    Read More
  • e-commerce packaging sustainble fresh fibre

    2020/ Sustainability

    E-commerce changes recycling patterns and challenges recycled fibre quality

    ​E-commerce has, during the past few years, seen a particular boost before Christmas. In 2020, the pandemic will, without doubt, bring e-commerce sales to a new Christmas record, as shoppers avoid brick-and-mortar stores.

    Read More
  • Single-use fibre-based packaging

    2021/ Insights

    New study shows that single-use fibre-based packaging in quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusab

    ​​A study published by the European Paper Packaging Association (EPPA) reveals that single-use fibre-based food and drink packaging used in European quick service restaurants provide significant key environmental advantages when compared to reusable tableware.

    Read More
  • 2021/ Insights

    When I go to work in the morning, I leave my inner designer at home

    ​As packaging designers, the first mistake we often make is to create a package that pleases us rather than the people who will buy the product inside. My trick to avoid this is to leave my inner designer at home and step into the consumer's shoes instead.  

    Read More
  • 2021/ Insights

    Pharma packaging – what’s on the horizon?

    ​Finnish packaging converter Jaakkoo-Taara is an ISO-certified company with decades of experience in producing a diverse range of packaging solutions for the demanding and strictly regulated pharma industry. We spoke to CEO Thomas Brusila about the hot topics that are shaping his business.

    Read More
  • Excellence Centre

    2021/ Products and services

    Let’s wrap up the perfect package – together

    ​Sustainable, renewable and recyclable packaging is in serious demand right now, and so are solutions that enhance consumer experience. Wrapping up the perfect package requires teamwork based on strong collaborations, which is exactly what we are developing at our new Excellence Centre. Our new workshop concepts for co-creating solutions with our customers and partners are purpose-built for deep collaboration. These sessions, which can also be run virtually, have been very successful at bringing together the right people in the right place at the right time to innovate new sustainable packaging solutions.

    Read More
  • Making medical products sustainable

    2021/ Customers

    Making medical products sustainable

    ​​Creating a sustainable packaging solution for medical products was the goal that ERBA Diagnostics Mannheim and AR Packaging Graz set themselves for the new ISE-Analyzer EC Cartridge.

    Read More
  • Metsä Board packaging transit

    2021/ Products and services

    Intelligent packaging tested for sheeted paperboard transit

    ​​Clever packaging concepts are not only made from Metsä Board's sustainable paperboard – the paperboard itself can utilise new types of intelligence too.

    Read More
  • 2021/ Insights

    Hygiene and safety are important in the new normal

    ​​Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are all more aware of the importance of good hygiene. This also affects how we look at food products and packaging. In fact, packaging has taken on a completely new meaning during the past year.

    Read More
  • 2021/ Insights

    Environmental benefits from using renewable energy and lighter weight fresh fibre boards

    ​Rising environmental awareness has become a megatrend, with many consumers changing their behavior to adopt a greener lifestyle. They consciously pay attention to the environmental impact of the products they are purchasing, and the packaging is also under critical scrutiny. Packaging made of recycled materials is often assumed to be a more sustainable choice which, based on many aspects, is not always factually true.

    Read More
  • Digital printing

    2021/ Customers

    Digital printing brings a consumer’s voice to packaging

    ​​Finland's leading ready-to-eat food company, Saarioinen, launched soup packaging just before Valentine's Day, for consumers to share their own messages. An online platform combined with digital printing, opened up exciting new opportunities for the packaging.

    Read More
  • 2021/ Customer case

    Metsä Board’s paperboard protects COVID-19 vaccines

    ​Creating sustainable, safe and pure medical and pharmaceutical packaging solutions that are compliant with good manufacturing practices and quality management is on the increase globally, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been increasing the need further.  

    Read More
  • 2021/ Insights

    A revolution that began at the Kemi mill

    ​Ever wondered what the secret is behind the bold, bright and beautiful designs on the box for the new TV or laptop you've just bought, or the eye-catching vegetable boxes and store displays at your local supermarket? The answer is coated white top kraftliner, a material that changed the corrugated packaging market for good after its introduction in the early 90s. 

    Read More
Print