Powering short-run book printing with Xeikon

Over the past two decades, digital technology has redefined the book printing market with solutions that are profitably producing short to medium runs on demand. With Xeikon’s introduction of SIRIUS dry toner technology in 2020, as implemented in the Xeikon SX30000 and SX20000 full colour, duplex roll-fed presses, printers worldwide are now successfully carving out a bigger slice of this growing segment by reaping the multiple benefits of the breakthrough innovation for high quality print production.

Dimitri Van Gaever, Market Segment Director for Graphic Arts, states, ‘Digital book printing is the fastest growing digital application by volume. While traditional book production is under pressure, printers who have adopted digital technology are in a much better position, because they can handle small and even ultra-small orders, which can be printed to order thereby reducing turnaround time and eliminating warehouse costs. What Xeikon has brought to the table with SIRIUS is exceptional quality combined with unrivalled substrate and format flexibility, with a low printing cost.’

Following a number of successful installations, including at BookBaby in the US where two Xeikon SX30000 presses are producing books on demand, the first public showing of the SIRIUS technology is taking place at Hunkeler Innovationdays in Switzerland. Visitors are able to experience Xeikon’s Book Production Solution in action demonstrating three high-end applications, including a coffee table travel book, a full colour tourist guide and a highly illustrated book on architecture.

The single-pass, duplex Xeikon SX30000 roll-fed press is running live in-line with a Hunkeler Gen8 roll-to-stack solution producing book blocks that are being bound on an offline Müller Martini Vareo Pro with Infinitrim. The paper for both the inside book pages and the covers were supplied by Sappi and UPM Specialty Papers.      

As the most productive of the SIRIUS family, the flagship Xeikon SX30000 can deliver up to 2 545 full colour printed B2 sheets an hour (equivalent to 404ppm A4) with lower setup costs than conventional technologies. Tackling the widest range of substrates in this category, it prints on uncoated papers, digital coated papers in silk, gloss or matte, and standard offset papers up to 350 gsm, and shines not only in book printing (including covers, dust jackets and lay-flat photobooks), but also in direct mail, point-of-sale, security documents and general commercial printing.

In addition to the ability to print very high duplex coverage and 1200 dpi resolution, the sustainability of the process is also unequalled. The dry toner is produced in a plant powered 100% by green energy, there are no VOCs emitted, energy consumption is low and the print is fully deinkable in existing waste streams. 

Visitors to the Xeikon stand are able to learn about the Xeikon SX20000 roll-fed press, a cost-effective option for implementing SIRIUS technology into graphic arts production. Other applications on display include marketing communications, PoS, specialty print and interior decoration. 

Van Gaever concludes, ‘Xeikon has proven its dedication to developing premier solutions for driving more value in book printing, particularly in the high-value, luxury segment and in the fast-moving on-demand market. With SIRIUS state-of-the-art digital printing, we are enabling our customers to deliver superior quality that matches offset without compromise at a very competitive TCO; a value proposition that has already been validated in the field.’