Punch Graphix, through its Xeikon brand, has unveiled details of a trend-breaking full-color digital print solution aimed directly at the transactional and direct mail print production markets. The solution will make its world-wide debut at the Graphics of the Americas / Xplor event in Miami Beach, Florida, USA, which runs from February 1 to February 5, 2006. It will also be prominently featured at the company's IPEX exhibit in England in April of this year.
Xeikon's exhibit will feature a flexible and multi-functional digital front-end and workflow. The breakthrough element is the introduction of the Xeikon X-800 IPDS: a front-end which is now capable of handling typical data centre as well as mainstream graphic arts workflows. The brand new native IPDS controller enables the digital printer to be fully integrated in today's transactional printing environment.
Research indicates that the next level of sophistication in both direct mail and transactional print will be the integration of high-quality full-color print with detailed personal data, delivering highly persuasive messages in traditional mailing documents such as credit card invoices, financial documents and utility statements.
The company believes that the demand in these segments will expand significantly over the next few years, with both direct mail and transactional printers seeking to offer their customers a more personalized and focused approach, thereby increasing response rates.
The solution being displayed at GOA / Xplor is a total transactional and direct marketing printing solution, with Xeikon's 5000 full-color digital print engine enhanced with the Xeikon Print Protector, which protects printed material from scuffing and scratching in mailing systems. This operates in-line with a brand new post-press system developed by Kern to slit, merge, and perforate, providing stacked delivery of letter-size documents. The system allows for dynamic perforations in two directions, for the production of tear-off strips (reply cards, bank order payments, checks, etc.) on mailings and statements.
Commenting on the market, Danny Mertens, Business Development Manager at Punch Graphix, said, "Transactional printing in full color is an emerging market. Cost differences between monochrome and color production are narrowing, with the added value offered by color growing in importance in the minds of marketers. Producing such print in color removes certain other costs from the equation, such as the cost for pre-printing, stocking, and transportation of the pre-printed sheets.
"Xeikon's solution is the perfect fit for the emerging color digital market in transactional and direct mail print production. It can be seamlessly integrated with today's monochrome workflows, using the same kind of roll-fed stock and converting equipment, and, because of the engine's format, is capable of printing 2-up. The Xeikon 5000 delivers graphical color quality which is required to deliver the highest added value in color transactional printing applications."
Punch Graphix has made a significant investment in understanding the needs of this complex market and developing the IPDS controller, providing a platform for color which monochrome transactional and direct marketing print producers require, and are used to working with. Furthermore, Punch Graphix has created a segment oriented sales and support force to help customers make the right choice when it comes to developing new applications. "All service bureau and data centers have their own, often proprietary, workflows. Our "integrated solutions" force helps in deploying our solutions at the customer site with specific attention focused on color management, as knowledge on this topic is often weak within transactional producers," added Danny Mertens.
Punch Graphix is a member in the AFPTM Color Consortium trying to broaden the AFPTM standards for full color print production.