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Under the Hood

Xeikon X30/CX50

With the label printing sector growing, Brian Sims takes a look at the Xeikon CX30 and CX50, which are presented as entry-level machines that can be upgraded if necessary

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The CX30 is a narrow web press with a maximum web width of 330mm

High quality label production

There are a number of challenges when considering the selection of equipment and none more so than when looking into the correct press for label printing. One of the largest issues is that of volume against return on investment. Quality is needed for high value products, but these in themselves can be limited due to the fact they are high value and production levels are lower.

Well Xeikon considers it has the answer in the next group of machines housing the Cheetah 2.0 dry toner digital printheads, namely the CX30 and CX50. Entry-level machines, which are upgradeable if production needs change; due to the modular construction of the group of presses, more than capable of delivering offset quality colour reproduction but at traditional digital production levels.

The CX30 and CX50 sit in the same stable as the CX300 and CX500 already known to be capable of delivering high quality label production on a large number of substrates.

Basically, the CX30 and CX300 are deemed narrow web presses with a maximum web width of 330mm and the CX50 and CX500 being seen as wide width presses with a web width of 520mm. All four machines have the same scope for substrate thickness, 40 to 350gsm.

The CX50 is a wide-width press with a web width of 520mm

The additional zero in the CX300 and CX500 adds 10 metres per minute to the speed, improving the CX30 and CX50 from 20 to 30 metres per minute. What is clever is depending on which model you choose to start with (CX30 or CX50) you can upgrade either with speed and width, even on site. This gives a user the opportunity to test the market they feel could be available and if it grows and further capacity is needed, it is possible to expand the machine without a wholesale reinvestment and new installation.

The CX300 and CX500 are 10 meters per minute faster than the CX30 and CX50

From a point of production values, the CX30 is capable of 396 sqm/h with the CX50 at 624 sqm/h; out of interest the upper limit of the CX500 being 936 sqm/h.

Beating heart

As stated before, the heart of the machine is the proven technology of the Cheetah 2.0 dry toner digital printheads. The basis of these heads is a full-rotary, LED array based head containing a set of electronics, water cooling jacket, LED module and lens. There are five of these heads in each press to give a very broad scope of colours.

As stated before, the heart of the machine is the proven technology of the Cheetah 2.0 dry toner digital printheads

Each press comes capable of printing CMYK process colours as a standard ink set, along with technical colours such as opaque white and UV reflective varnish. There are gamut extension colours available such as red, green, orange, blue, super black and additional magenta with creative colours such as matte and palladium silver. If this is not enough and your client is demanding colours yet unheard of, you can even create your own colours to match these expectations.

With such scope for colour and the fact the dry toner units have no solvents, VOCs or chemicals to cause issues of ink migration, the CX30 and CX50 can fit perfectly into a wide range of packaging production

With such scope for colour and the fact the dry toner units have no solvents, VOCs or chemicals to cause issues of ink migration, the CX30 and CX50 can fit perfectly into a wide range of packaging production set-ups which would normally pose some challenges to more traditional printing processes. The products produced meet FDA regulations and Nestlé guidelines for food contact products.


The final upside of the Cheetah 2.0 printheads is the fact they all work on variable repeat length. This means regardless of the product lay down, quality or colours needed the print speed is not impacted. As would be deemed as standard now the dot reproduction is at 1,200 dpi with variable dot density.

As previously described the difference between the CX30 and CX50 is the web width, 330mm against 520mm. The press is of a reel to reel configuration which can take reels up to 1,500mm in diameter. Substrates that can be used on the CX machines are varied such as paper, board, vinyl, clear film, metalized substrate and virtually any standard label materials. The upside of the dry toner technology being no primers or special substrates are required.

There are a number of options for the rewinder which can be selected as options. These include reels from 600mm up to 1,000mm depending on what is selected and which option chosen. Other options that are available are things such as stackers, converters and other solutions.

To ensure quality is maintained, there is an inline, closed loop spectrophotometer which controls the printed materials to which ever standard is selected. The device also controls register on the fly so the high quality sought for some products can be assured.

There needs to be a mechanism that pulls all this technology into focus and delivers the potential of all the key components. For the CX30 and CX50, this is the Xeikon X-800 MyPress Controller.

This is the intuitive operator graphic user interface (GUI) and is the brain of this press series.

It is far more than a pre-set station controlling aspects of the press operation. The X800 frontend is an automated production tool which allows for the effective planning and scheduling of the jobs aimed for the printer.

The device is able to digitalise the production which in turn allows any operator or management team to base their production decisions on facts and not off of gut reaction or being reliant on a crystal ball gazing. Added to this the ability to base the information on the cloud, gives the management teams the flexibility to keep the printer running as long as possible.

The X800 can tackle variable data print production across any number of file formats and flexible and fully automated workflows. All this technology means Xeikon can rightly claim of the industry’s highest values of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for the CX30 and CX50.

The market for this sort of press is wide, self-adhesive or heat transfer labels, pharmaceutical products, food wines and spirits along with health and beauty and industrial labelling are all seamlessly produced on either of these presses.

For more information on the issues discussed in this article you can contact Digital Print Innovations (UK) Tel: 01332 228150 or visit www.dpi-uk.com

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