Xerox and Alexir look to the future of digital packaging


Xerox has hosted a joint openhouse event with one of its users, packaging manufacturer Alexir Partnership, as part of its strategy to promote digital printing technologies within the packaging sector.

Xerox used the event to announce that its new White Dry Ink, launched earlier this month and compatible with its iGen 5 digital cutsheet press, has been "performing very well" in sales.

Around 140 printers and brand owners attended the event last Thursday (19 October) at Alexir's premises in Edenbridge, Kent, to hear presentations from Xerox, Alexir and their partners on the trends currently dictating developments in the sector.

“We have hosted several of these events with our packaging partners and we are receiving the message that there is a brewing need for companies to understand what is happening in digital packaging,” said Claire Virazels, marketing manager for Xerox international operations.

Xerox’s flagship automated packaging workflow, which is based around its iGen family of digital cut-sheet presses – most recently the 150ppm iGen 5  was the focus of the event. 

“Our solution is something packagers have to have – it provides the full end-to-end process in a single room. Tests with our customers Esmark Finch in Ireland showed that the workflow can produce 250 fully folded and glued boxes in 22 minutes. The system has a 15 minute setup time for jobs, which gives it an edge on litho and analogue alternatives.”

The workflow, built around the iGens, can include coaters from Xerox partners Epic and Tresu, as well as die-cutters and a buffering stacker line from Kama.

Seminar hosts throughout the day included representatives from Kama, XMPie and EFI.

Alexir sales director Tom Sene spoke to attendees about how his company’s £1m investment in digital technology in 2014 made it a pioneer for digitally printed packaging in the UK, printing up to 400 million cartons a year for brands such as Tesco, Nestlé and Premier Foods.

Xerox and Alexir welcomed brand owners from Love Cocoa, RubyBellsFoods and Dragonfly Tea to demonstrate samples of their products and talk about how Alexir’s digital processes for folding cartons have benefited their businesses.

Visitors were also shown around Alexir’s premises, where they could see the Xerox workflow in operation alongside the rest of the company’s machinery portfolio.

“Packaging as an industry is worth over $400bn (£304bn) and is forecast by Smithers Pira to make up the majority of print retail by 2019,” added Virazels.

“With personalisation and other trends demanding shorter runs and greater product variation, printers need to be capable of creativity, flexibility and quality, which is what our digital line provides.”

Virazels indicated that further developments to the workflow would include continued investment in iGen technology.

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