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Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) is developing its first digital single-pass press for flexible packaging, using Xaar 5601 printheads for piezo inkjet technology, heralding a new era in flexo packaging production.

The announcement from W&H is a significant milestone in the development of an economical and stable digital printing process for flexible packaging, following the successful adoption of digital technology by the labelling and commercial printing sectors.

Digital flexo offers the potential of short run work, with variable data, offering brands promotional opportunities, versioning and minimal lead times.

W&H is one of the world's leading flexo machinery manufacturers, next year the German based company will celebrate 150 years of operation. It manufactures a range of flexo and gravure presses, and has annual sales of around €850m ($1.375bn).

Hermann Veismann, general manager Business Unit Printing and Finishing at W&H said, “We saw an opportunity for digital printing in flexible packaging, driven by the need for faster time-to-market and very short order lengths, and aim to overcome the traditional difficulties in this area using our expert knowledge and outstanding new technology. We are delighted to be developing our latest system using the Xaar 5601.”

ven Michael, head of the W&H digital team said, “The new digital machine will be characterised by higher quality and higher speeds and opens up new possibilities in flexible packaging. It includes the Xaar 5601 printhead, which achieves excellent print quality at high production speeds.”

Windmöller & Hölscher is the first company to publicly announce that its next generation of printers will be driven by the Xaar 5601. The development is also a first step into digital solutions for W&H and reinforces its focus on delivering leading edge products to its customers.

The Xaar 5601 incorporates a number of innovative technologies. Using Xaar's new Thin Film Piezo Silicon Mems technology, the Xaar 5601 is high resolution with 5600 nozzles, capable of jetting up to 8 litres of fluid per hour. New innovations such as AcuDrp Technology allow complete control over greyscale drop ejection for perfect image quality. In addition, the Xaar 5601 incorporates TF Technology to maximise production up time, print quality and lifetime.

“This announcement is a significant milestone for Xaar,” comments Doug Edwards, CEO at Xaar. “Windmöller & Hölscher is a major player in the flexible packaging machinery market and is renowned for placing innovation at the heart of its new product developments. I’m delighted that the Xaar 5601 has been selected for this new development on the basis of the printhead’s high performance.”

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