Paper Cups
Beverage Cups Hot & Cold Drinks


Traditionally beverage cups are produced on a single or double-sided PE coated paper. After printing and potentially varnishing, the rolls are either converted in single cups or a reel of single cups. This is driven by the type of cup making machines that are being used (sheet-fed or roll-fed). The single coated paper is used for hot drinks and the double side coated for cold drinks (after serving, condense could arise on the outside surface affecting the structural strength of the cup when there would be no outside coating). The PE coats allows for the cup to be formed and sealed in the required shape. Conventionally these are mainly printed with web-fed flexo.

Kotkamills has created a plastic-free material for cups, ISLA® Duo cupstock. This plastic-free and easily recyclable cupstock is based on water-based dispersion barrier. Barrier prevents the liquids from immerging into the board or leaking and it is applicated with on-line coating technology. Being plastic free, ISLA® Duo can be recycled with normal paper and board waste. This way the recycling process is made as easy as possible, enabling easy accessibility for both the consumer and the retailer to promote the fibre re-usage for other fibre based products. ISLA® Duo is digitally printable on Xeikon 3500 range using dry toner technology with excellent printability, productivity and toner adhesion.

Production details

Here you can see a beverage cups sample printed on a Xeikon 3500 digital press.

  • Print dimensions: 240 x 110 mm
  • Substrate: Standard paper based substrates with or without PE coating, no priming needed
  • Toner: Food safe CMYK toner
  • Finishing: Roll to roll printing, no extra varnish needed

The Xeikon 3500 has been the press of choice due its superior print quality and a print width of 508mm. Furthermore the ability to print multiple versions without change over costs and last but not least a food safe and migration compliant technology.

Sample of a digital printed beverage hot & cold cup

What is the value of digital printing?

We see a trend and desire refining food service packaging – create better image to end consumer. Customers & brands looking for new experiences are driving short run customizable production.

Furthermore digital printing with Xeikon offers: 

  • flexibility in terms of run lengths as it can vary von 1 to many
  • fast and efficient production process especially when having many different designs of the same size, which can be consolidated into one larger print run
  • food safe and migration compliant technology
  • excellent deinkability to support and ensure optimized recycling process

Which is the preferred digital press for paper cups?

The Xeikon 3500 digital printing press. The flagship in digital dry toner printing, which produces at true 1200 dpi for formats up to B2 stunning speeds while offering with its digital front-end full flexibility:

  • dry toner technology: ensures full compliance to this challenging application from food perspective
  • wide substrate range: coated and uncoated paper between 40 and 350 gsm (27 lb. text to 122 lb. cover)
  • B2 format or bigger: 516 x 730 mm (20.3" x 28.7") or 516 x 1000 mm (20.3" x 39.4")
  • high quality printing: 1200 dpi with wide color gamut and spot colors
  • dedicated food safe toners: making it easy to print on non barrier and PE barrier materials

Which is the preferred digital production solution?

Below you can see an example of a full production set-up for beverage paper cups: a roll-to-roll line including Print Medium Unwinder, a Xeikon 3500 digital press, and a Print Medium Rewinder securing delivering the rolls to a further offline die-cutting process. It is our complete digital printing solution, which comes with all the necessary components for seamless digital print packaging. 

Digital production solution with a Xeikon 3500


You can see this application live in the following events:

Xeikon Café - Packaging Innovations