Flexible packaging
Cheese Labels

Background

Cheese labels are printed on very thin paper (18 or 21 gsm), and after printing die-cutted and supplied a as stack of single labels. These are then applied with paraffin to the cheese ball. Besides the labels, there are also banderols applied around the cheese ball. It is clear that for these labels there is a high need for food safety. The colors require a supporting white underlayer to ensure the colors stand out.

Self-adhesive labels as such (aka ‘pressure sensitive labels’ or PSL) are made by printing onto a laminated construction of 3 layers: a release liner (otherwise known as the backing paper, carrier or glassine), a layer or adhesive and the facestock material. The laminate is printed and then converted in a roll containing the requested number of labels per roll. A web-fed process brings a high label application speed on the packaging line and allows for more embellishing processes. In addition, its flexibility of application is enormous, either during or after the filling process and on any type of surface/container just by taking another glue.

Production details

Here you can see a cheese label sample printed on a Xeikon 9800 digital press.

  • Print dimensions: Ø 290 mm
  • Substrate: Ultra thin paper substrate
  • Toner: Special food-safe toner
  • Finishing: Sheeted inside the Xeikon press and conveyed on a jogger table

The Xeikon 9800 has been the press of choice because it can print both sides simultaneous with the ability to print >400 mm (>15.7"). The white toner printed on the back allows for unseen color strength of the full color graphics.

Sample of a digital printed cheese label

What is the value of digital printing?

Shorter run, these labels are produced conventional on wide-web flexo presses which come with high start-up costs. Additionally, these presses don’t have a variable repeat length which also makes change-overs costly. Hence, even medium run lengths benefit from being printed on a digital press. Additionally the trend of more local and regional products supports the need for short runs.

Furthermore digital printing with Xeikon offers:

  • the ability to build custom solution which can both rewind and sheet the output of the press
  • the ability to cost efficiently address run lengths of more than 10,000 cheese labels/job

Which is the preferred digital press for cheese labels?

The Xeikon 9800 digital printing press. The ultimate performer in digital printing, which combines top quality printing, speed, versatility in media handling while offering a flexible workflow:

  • wide substrate range: from (un)coated to paperboard between 40 and 350 gsm (27 lb. text to 122 lb. cover) but able to go down even further (18 gsm)
  • top web speed: up to 21.5 m/min (70 ft/min)
  • high quality printing: 1200 dpi with wide color gamut and spot colors
  • variable data capabilities: perfectly suited for high-end marketing work
  • variable printing width up to 512 mm (20.2"): unlimited length

Which is the preferred digital production solution?

Below you can see an example of a full roll-to-sheet production set-up for cheese labels, which includes a Xeikon 9800 digital press, a Web Finishing Module which applies invisible protective layer to enhance scratch and scuff resistance, and a Jogger table to accommodate the stacking of various substrates. It is our complete digital printing solution, which comes with all the necessary components for seamless digital label printing.

Events

You can see this application live in the following events:

Xeikon Café - Packaging Innovations