From Strength to Strength – Xeikon Asia Pacific (Part 1)
Xeikon, a division of Flint Group, is a technology-agnostic solutions provider with almost 30 years of experience in digital production printing. Grounded in the principles of quality, flexibility and sustainability, Xeikon develops web-fed digital colour presses for label and packaging applications, document printing, and commercial printing. With over 500 digital label presses installed worldwide, the company is one of the market leaders in the self-adhesive label market.
Today, Xeikon has the broadest digital label printing offering in the market satisfying customer needs for dry toner and ink jet technologies.
Print Innovation Asia spoke with Bent Serritslev, managing director for Asia Pacific. In the last three years, he has led Xeikon’s business as head of the region. He brings with him over 32 years of sales and marketing for machines and supplies to the offset, flexo, gravure and digital business in the Asia Pacific region.
1. Please update us on the company’s position in the industry.
Our key focus in APAC over the past three years has been to establish a strong foot hold in professional label converting industry in the region within high quality electrophotostatic digital printing and gradually expand into the folding cartons and commercial print business.
Today, Xeikon is the clear number two supplier of quality, label production presses in the APAC with growing share of the market.
2. How has it been for the company over the last year?
The past 12 months has been very busy indeed with massive strengthening of our infrastructure in APAC.
Just to mention a few, we have gone from a dealer distribution situation in Australia and New Zealand, to a full Xeikon set-up, complete with direct sales, service and support structure through the Flint Group to get closer the market. We have also gone direct in sales and service in Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India.
We upgraded our dealer network and enhanced both the Japanese and the Malaysian Innovation Centers for customer demos, tests and customer training.
And to top it up, we have invested in direct service teams, and more than doubled the number of field technicians and application specialists last year.
For 2018, we target further growth of our service and applications excellence to support our customer and make them more successful, not just within the label space, but also in the increasing growing interest for our affordable folding carton solution and high volume commercial press range.
The new year will also see us introducing our range of Panther inkjet range of presses to the label industry in the APAC region. With this new addition, Xeikon thus far has the largest digital label offering in the market.
3. What is the company’s position on practicing sustainability?
Xeikon is possibly one of the most environmental conscious providers of digital printing technology.
Our dry toner technology does not use any chemistry, does not release VOC (violent organic compounds), and is fully recyclable. Xeikon has the only digital press that provides FDA (Food and Drug Administration) compliant toner for direct, dry food contact.
Furthermore, our presses are very low in power consumption - possibly the lowest - in terms of KwH per squaremeter of printing.
4. What sets the company apart from the competition?
Xeikon’s range of presses have unique stand-out features in the market.
Our roll-fed technology with full rotary printing allows for gapless, no intermittent moving of web and no speed reduction irrespective of number of colors being printed. Our dry toner technology is FDA-compliant, and we have the strongest light fastness without using UV inks / coatings.
Our presses adopt a modular structure, so speed and size upgrades can be performed in the printing plant without having to exchange the press. Additionally, the machines are easy to service with high production uptime.
Finally, our X-800 front end is possibly the fastest RIP technology and workflow solution in the digital label industry, as we are able to RIP single labels and output many, even with variable contents.
5. What are the company’s recent announcements?
At the recently-concluded Labelexpo Europe, we launched new digital label presses in both the UV inkjet and dry toner segments. New product announcements included the Xeikon CX500 wide web digital label press in the company’s Cheetah Series, which is the first press based on a new generation dry toner platform that is ready for Industry 4.0.
The company also introduced the Xeikon Panther Series of UV inkjet digital label presses, including the high-end Xeikon PX3000 and the newly announced entry-level Xeikon PX2000, both to be made available on a 4-colour and a 5-colour configuration.
We have also announced that we have entered into a strategic partnership with EFI for its Jetrion label printing business. Under the partnership, Xeikon will service, support and supply the worldwide Jetrion customer base, and continue the direct sales of Jetrion digital label printing systems as part of our portfolio of digital dry toner and UV inkjet presses for the self-adhesive label market.
With the above announcements, we further extend our digital label printing portfolio, to make it the broadest in the industry.
6. What are the company’s recent activities in Asia Pacific, and what can we look forward to?
The digital label industry in APAC is still dominated by toner technology, as this process still provides top quality reproduction. IJ (inkjet) is, however, fast entering specific segments of the market and with the launch of our range of Panther presses, the PX 2000 and PX 3000, Xeikon now also offers IJ technology. The first Panther presses in APAC is scheduled to arrive in Q2 2018.
Xeikon is the only digital provider to the label business with both technologies under one roof for the label industry to give our customers a choice – we facilitate being application-driven rather than technology-driven.
Customers are increasingly looking for digital printing solutions – not just for short run but more and more migrating to variable contents, new applications, security features and giving their choice between high cost conventional technology or a lower technology entry point.
We have also announced the dates for the fourth edition of our successful Xeikon Café Conference & Exhibit. The event will return on 20 to 23 March at our headquarters in Lier, Belgium.
Read the full article of the feature in the latest issue of Print Innovation Asia.