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Digital with punch – Xeikon arrives back

Thursday, 06 April 2006
By Print 21 Online Article
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At IPEX, Xeikon owner Punch Graphics announced record sales and profits.

The Xeikon 5000 is a digital press like no other. It’s a 500mm web machine that can duplex in one pass and do variable print. A variety of finishing options cater for inline bookmaking, die-cutting, carton forming and so on.

Xeikon proudly paraded its UK customer Ravensworth, operator of two Xeikon machines. This is industrial-strength digital printing with typical run lengths of 20-50 copies, but an incredible 2,000 – 2,500 job changes per day for the Real Estate industry.

Ravensworth is averaging 1.5 million A4 colour impressions per week. Most duty cycles for digital presses are less than that per month.

Whatever problems Xeikon had in the past are well behind now and Punch Graphics is also bolstered by an OEM CtP platesetter deal with Agfa and its ownership of BasysPrint.

BasysPrint is a UV platesetter that images on conventional plates. With the arrival of processless violet CtP plates from Fujifilm and Agfa, Punch was quick to announce compatibility with this technology. Presumably it means a light source replacement as photopolymer processless plates image at around 405nm in the blue-violet range, rather that Ultra-violet.

Xeikon now has a local Australian office headed by Warren Davey, who is here at IPEX, and he has scored runs with a couple of installations, notably to SOS Printing in Sydney.

13 years after the launch of the Xeikon Mk 1 – which was followed by a patent stoush with Xerox that bought about the company’s demise – Xeikon is back punching its weight. Don’t write off this ‘junior’ digital player – word around the London bourse is that it’s a ‘buy’ for rapid growth.

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