The Xeikon 6000 was born out of four years of research and development by a dedicated Punch Graphix team and the ends result is an important advancement in the company’s digital print offerings.
Not only is the Xeikon 6000 claimed to be the fastest digital colour press on the market, offering graphic arts quality at an unparalleled speed of 160 A4 pages per minute, but it also outperforms competing machines in a range of other performance categories.
Guests at the launch were treated to a series of presentations, conveying the Punch Graphix message that the Xeikon 6000 is the “most sophisticated full colour digital press technology in the world today.”
Echoing these sentiments was the host of the launch and vice president of sales for Punch Graphix North America Digital Division, Rob Mayerson. Mayerson says the Xeikon 6000 is unsurpassed in speed and print quality.
“The Xeikon 6000 is faster, smoother and complete with more advanced features than its predecessor the Xeikon 5000. The introduction of this system will see dramatic increases in productivity for the high-end printer and today’s launch represents a milestone in the company’s global operations,” he says.
“Improved speed means higher productivity yields and by leveraging on the Xeikon 5000 platform, the Xeikon 6000 tops the already exceptional uptime of the Xeikon 5000 by more than 80 per cent. Additionally, the Xeikon 6000 has a higher speed, higher productivity and lower equipment cost per capacity unit than any other competitive digital press, including the Fuji Xerox iGen3,” says Mayerson.
According to figures presented at the launch by chief technology officer at Punch Graphix, Frank Deschuytere, compared with the iGen3, the Xeikon 6000 delivers
50 per cent more throughput and 30 per cent more throughput than the Xeikon 5000. Deschuytere adds that, at 160 ppm the Xeikon 6000 is faster than its nearest rival in speed, the HP Indigo 3250.
“Not only is the Xeikon 6000 the fastest digital press in the world today for graphic arts quality, the Xeikon 6000 has the widest flexibility for substrate range and highest flexibility for paper sizes, as well as a significantly lower cost per capacity unit than any other press in the world,” adds Deschuytere.
“These features allow for a basic logic of productivity,” he explains. “Higher print speeds and superior uptime, with lower capacity cost per unit, means maximum productivity - allowing a dramatic increase in capacity for the profitability of a business,” he says.
So what changes has the company made to create such a sophisticated engine? The Xeikon 6000 is the result of intensive research and development by the Punch Graphix team.
“To spell out the changes that have been made; we have continued our development of the digital front end and variable data management, we have made improvements in printing design - offering new capabilities unheard of in the past and we’ve updated our toner to ensure a smoother more consistent and richer colour print than ever before,” says Ben Van Assche, CEO of Punch Graphix. “We’ve also introduced new customer service initiatives that will further the company’s commitment to customers.”
Managing director of Punch Graphix Oceania, Sunny Moon, who was in Chicago for the launch, says the benefits of the Xeikon 6000 will be well received by the rapidly advancing Australian digital market.
“Australia is a very important market for Punch Graphix. It’s comparable to places like Canada where there is a large economy with a small population,” he says.
“We’re looking forward to letting Australian printers know about how powerful the Xeikon 6000 is for increasing their business productivity. We expect the technology to be well received in Australia,” he says.
In a nutshell, the cornerstone of the Xeikon 6000’s power as a digital press, is its speed, flexibility and the numerous enhancements - such as the groundbreaking new FA Toner and improved X-800 Digital-Front-End, which ensures new levels of high-end variable data printing.
The Xeikon 6000 is an environmentally friendly web-fed press, delivering one-pass duplex printing with 600dpi variable dot density offset quality. It has an LED array-based interface and fully automated in-line density and registration control for superior operation.
The Xeikon 6000’s unparalleled speed of 160 A4 multi-page documents per minute translates into an hourly printing speed of 9600 ppm and a duty cycle close to 4m pages per month. This speed comes without any sacrifice of print quality and is sure to deliver dramatic improvements in productivity.
Deschuytere says the Xeikon 6000 offers customers the flexibility to expand their substrate and paper capabilities and, therefore, business opportunities.
“Not only is the Xeikon 6000 fast, but it’s also extremely flexible, with the capability of printing on more substrate types than any other press in the market,” he says.
“Printing can be done on paper stock from 40 to 350 gsm and on a wide array of substrates, including paperboard. As a web-fed press, it can run substrate widths from 320mm to 508mm for unlimited flexible image length - allowing greater business applications,” says Deschuytere.
The Xeikon 6000 is also fitted with a dedicated encoder that ensures images are always transferred onto the web in perfect colour synchronisation and an
in-line densitometer and second encoder to ensure perfect front-to-back and automatic colour registration. Moreover, it is the only digital colour press in the market that accommodates standard formats up to A2 full-bleed or B2 as well as non-standard formats up to A2 full-bleed or B2.
The Xeikon 6000 incorporates a new release of the X-800 Digital-Front-End (DFE). The X-800 offers high-speed support, FA Toner support, a fifth colour and colour management tools and has a new open architecture that easily interfaces with fully automated workflows.
Punch Graphix DFE expert, Jeroen Van Bauwel, says the Xeikon 6000 has increased automation and software integration as a result of the improved X-800 DFE with embedded streamer technology.
“The updated X-800 DFE is an open, scaleable and modular system that combines powerful RIP features with print quality tools and collation capabilities,” he says.
“The new X-800 DFE will easily process PostScript, PDF, PPML and PPML/VDX files at high speed and is designed to support future JDF-based digital printing job tickets, allowing simultaneous set-up, RIPing and printing – offering further improvements in productivity,” says Bauwel.
Lode Deprez, vice president of the toner and developer group at Punch Graphix international, says the company scaled-up its toner production and research to ensure the Xeikon 6000 has the highest possible image quality.
“As part of the company’s up-scaling of toner production, new directions have been exploited to increase the performance of toner products. This includes the scaling-up of the research and development team in the toner plant and the establishment of relationships with providers of chemicals, resins and production technology worldwide,” he says.
Among the changes made to the toner are the inclusion of new smaller shaped granules, as well as new pigments and pigment dispersion technologies for more vivid and lightfast colours.
Punch Graphix is the first to implement polyester based shape-modified toners in high-speed digital colour printing.
As a result of these changes, the new FA toner is a superb quality consumable which delivers enhanced operator comfort, superior image quality, more vivid colours and a wider application range. Punch Graphix has also introduced seven other toners in addition to the basic set of FA CMYK toners.
“The shape and size in combination with the new selected ingredients brings advantages with respect to the overall image quality of the printed image and keeps this quality during the complete life of the developer,” Deprez says.
The FA toner is FDA approved for indirect food contact and the Xeikon 6000 equipped with FA Toner is also Pantone licensed, which allows the full gamut of the Xeikon 6000’s unique digital colour image quality to be utilised on a wide variety of substrates up to 350gsm.
The fourth pillar of the Punch Graphix launch of the Xeikon 6000, is the announcement of an improved customer service culture. As part of the Punch Graphix improved customer support initiative, every Xeikon 6000 will be equipped with an Axeda Device Relationship Management (DRM) client-software solution.
The Axeda works by allowing the Punch Graphix service organisation to remotely monitor a customer’s press and proactively intervene in the event a problem occurs.
President of Punch Graphix America’s, Patrick Canavan, says a high level of customer support is achieved by the company’s commitment to getting to know the customer on a deeper level.
“Punch Graphix offers our customers the very best customer support. We really focus on getting to know our customers intimately. I know that we have this philosophy here and it’s the same at the Punch Graphix locations around the world. “Only by having that familiarity with customers can we truly offer our customers the level of service that they require,” he says.
And according to global chief of sales at Punch Graphix plc, Siegfried Trinker, part of providing advanced customer service is to make sure there is an ongoing process of customer feedback.
“We listened to what our customers were saying,” he says. “They were saying they wanted to reduce uptime, increase speed and reduce costs and we value any feedback from our customers and from the marketplace,” he says.
“We are very confident that the Xeikon 6000 achieves all these targets and, more than this, this press paves the way for a whole gamut of different applications that are only now just coming into light in digital technology,” says Trinker.