ICE is designed for heat-sensitive substrates such as polyethylene (PE) and thermal labels that are pliable and commonly used on flexible packaging.
According to the manufacturer, the new toner, which will run on all new and installed Xeikon 3000 series digital presses, is highly lightfast with a "top opaque-white quality" and can be printed onto conventional substrates without the need for priming. ICE will be commercially available from Q4 of 2013.
Lode Deprez, vice-president of consumables and process group at Xeikon said that ICE was a breakthrough in dry toner technology for the firm.
"Until now, dry toner technology was not expected to be able to work with substrates for this type of job. Following requests from our user base, Xeikon specifically developed the ICE toner to be suited for heat-sensitive materials. We pushed back the boundaries in toner development and digital label printing," he said.
Xeikon’s marketing communications manager Frank Jacobs told PrintWeek that the toner, which has undergone "extensive testing", had been developed as a result of research and feedback from the manufacturer’s label customers.
"This opens up new opportunities for us and our customers and will be particularly suitable for those working in cosmetics and healthcare labeling where there is a need for flexible packaging such as bottles and tubes that need to be squeezed."
Unveiling the new toner this week at Xeikon’s UK Print Café, hosted by Midlands-based CS Labels, Jacobs also announced details of a new "low-threshold" initiative to give label converters the opportunity to test their own labels on Xeikon presses.
From 15 June to 15 September this year, label converters will be able to upload their own label designs to a dedicated website (www.seetheproof.com) and have them printed onto paper labels, structured wine label material, metalised labels, transparent and white PE labels.
All labels will be printed using the new ICE toner and can be picked up from Xeikon’s stand at this year’s Labelexpo Europe, in Brussels from 24-27 September. Labels that aren’t collected at the show will be sent to companies afterwards.
Jacobs said that Xeikon had increased its footprint by 60% since the last Labelexpo Europe, to take a 465sqm stand.
He added: "Labelexpo is very important to us. We are a clear number two after HP Indigo in this market and we want to be present everywhere. We already have a 30% share of the European market, which we want to grow, but globally we have 20% and we want to grow this to 30% as well.
"Latin America and Asia Pacific will now become very important markets for us going forward."