WallVision is a traditional wallpaper producer, the largest in Sweden which operates under various brands, including the very English Cole & Son which remains wedded to very traditional patterns and production techniques.
It has an archive of block designs that date back to the 1700s, runs screen printing lines and surface printing (think flexo or letterpress where the pattern is raised from the cylinder). This heritage is now being harnessed to meet demand for historic patterns and designs. These are produced digitally.
WallVision itself is no stranger to digital production. It has a Xeikon 8800 at its main plant at Borås in Sweden and at Heimtextil in January it ordered a Xeikon 3500. This machine includes the inline finishing systems that combine with software to make up Xeikon’s recently launched wall decoration suite.
It was Xeikon’s third appearance at the show where it ran the five-colour machine that WallVision has ordered. It included a dedicated wallpaper rewind unit and inline varnishing module to increase the scratch and scuff resistance of the finished roll.
The additional press expands the range of substrates that can be printed and at speeds that are interesting to a commercial wallpaper producer. Frederik Larsson, manager of the plant, says: “For us there is no alternative to high end digital wallpaper manufacturing. Xeikon is the only supplier that offers a high level of productivity combined with low running costs. It’s the ideal wall covering solution.”
The new machine will print 600m2/hr of wallpaper in five colours. The fifth colour will be used to apply special colours or varnish toners for highlight effects. These can create embossing effects as well applying toners with different value added effects.
The investment is part of a corporate strategy to “take advantage of digitisation to inspire, market and in selected markets, to sell our products to end customers”. There will be investment in production equipment to cope with shorter runs and offer greater flexibility the group says in its 2015 annual report.
Frederick Larsson views the Xeikon that the Swedish company has chosen at the Heimtextil event. The Xeikon approach is faster than current inkjet machines and offers a completely safe product thanks to experience in producing packaging.