Xeikon Update: Notes From Q1 Analyst Call

India Tatro
Mar 5, 2018

Xeikon, much in the news in 2017 for its “Xeikon Café” events and its debut as an inkjet technology vendor, held a first-ever quarterly briefing for press and analysts in all regions. On hand were top managers: Filip Weymans and Jeroen Van Bauwel, both from Xeikon’s headquarters in Belgium, and Dave Wilkins and Donna Cavannon, marketing and sales leaders for Xeikon North America, based in Illinois.

 

The Xeikon “Blueprint”

Filip Weymans, Xeikon’s VP of Global Marketing kicked off the presentation with an overview of the strategy or “blueprint” for the company. The key point was that Xeikon will now continue product development based on both dry toner electrophotographic and inkjet printing technologies, also that Xeikon will continue to expand finishing and workflow offerings for Xeikon’s commercial print and industrial printers. Xeikon will have a particular emphasis on folding carton printing on the industrial side and on high-value graphic arts applications like direct mail and educational books on the commercial print side. At the same time, Weymans noted that Xeikon has a long-term goal of moving into the corrugated market. In the meantime, though, Xeikon will focus on the label printing applications that today are the core of its industrial printer business.

One other point of emphasis on the call is that Xeikon now has a dedicated “Inkjet Competence Center” from Antwerp, Belgium. The facility, with 20 staff, was created in 2017 to continue research and development of inkjet printing technology.  In the near term, the team is continuing work on the Panther (PX 3000) series of UV curing inkjet label webs, as well as Xeikon’s “Fusion” technology for in-line embellishment of digital printed webs. Long term projects at the center will target flexible packaging and corrugated. While Xeikon for now offers only UV inkjet technology, the company is evaluating aqueous inkjet as well.

 

Updates on the Jetrion Acquisition

In late 2017 Xeikon and EFI announced a deal whereby Xeikon acquired the existing customers of EFI Jetrion; Xeikon now owns all the relationships, services the installed base, while EFI still manufacturers inkjet ink for that base (and will continue to do so until 2021).  Noted at the time of the deal and also during the analyst briefing, at over 200 UV label webs the EFI Jetrion installed base is the largest of all inkjet label printer installed based; its acquisition brings to over 700 the total production digital printers in Xeikon’s installed base.

Jetrion 4900M UV inkjet label press

Xeikon’s managers said on the call that their company will continue to actively market the Jetrion 4900 printer series, not just maintaining the current installed base, and added that there have even been new placements since the acquisition. The service and sales teams from EFI Jetrion have now joined Xeikon, and its global service and support infrastructure; the Xeikon managers said that their company’s localized and timely service have netted a positive reaction from Jetrion customers, with many signing long term service agreements, and some even purchasing additional Xeikon machines.

 

In Other News

During the briefing, Xeikon announced the sale of three PX3000 machines, which will be delivered this summer. PX3000 is the UV inkjet label web that Xeikon first showed at LabelExpo in Brussels in September 2017. Without disclosing the name of the purchaser at this time, managers on the call did say the sale is to an existing Xeikon customer with a large commercial print shop focusing on retail/POP applications.

Panther PX3000 UV inkjet label press

The PX3000 has also been placed with an early adopter in Belgium that has previously only printed with dry toner. This is an encouraging step forward for Xeikon since the success of the PX3000 at this site could help them market UV inkjet to other printers looking to expand their product line to include labels and flexible packaging.

Updates on other Xeikon products, including commercial printing products:

  • German companies PPS and K&L Wall Art signed deals for Xeikon’s Wall Decoration Suite earlier this year at Heimtextil
  • Thompson Press in India is the first in the region to install the Xeikon 9600, a complement to its existing web and cutsheet capabilities
  • An unnamed religious publisher in the US purchased two Xeikon 9600 machines for in-house publications
  • Existing Xeikon customer Labels Unlimited of Winnipeg, Canada purchased two CX3 presses (the 98 fpm “Cheetah”)
  • An existing Jetrion customer in Minnesota added a second Jetrion printer to expand their label printing capabilities
  • A Xeikon 3500 label printer (20” web), has been sold to an undisclosed customer in Montreal

 

Upcoming Events

Xeikon, which exhibited at EFI Connect in January, is a presence at many trade shows, including the ones that it hosts on its own, namely the “Xeikon Café” events that it hold in Europe and North America. Following are the plans for rest of the first half of 2018:

  • Xeikon Café – Antwerp, Belgium: March 20-23
  • Digital Inkjet Summit: April 9-11
  • Flexographic Technical Association: May 7-8
  • Xeikon Café North America – Chicago: May 15-17
  • Digital Print for Packaging Conference: June 4-8

More events are likely to be scheduled for later in 2018, including LabelExpo Americas in Chicago in September. Analysts from Keypoint Intelligence will attend some of these same events, and will continue to report on developments from Xeikon.

 

 

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