Takeaways from the Xeikon Quarterly Analyst & Press Update
By Gina Ferrara, Senior Analyst
Xeikon held its first quarterly analyst and press update on February 22nd. Donna Covannon, Xeikon’s Director of Marketing, stated that these updates are a direct response to the numerous requests received from the analyst community who wanted to hear from Xeikon more frequently. Xeikon plans to conduct updates on a quarterly basis.
The agenda was brief, but packed with an abundance of information on Xeikon’s Blueprint, and its strategy in the carton packaging, graphic arts and labels segments. In addition, Xeikon discussed the new Inkjet Competence Center, located in Antwerp, Belgium, the upcoming Xeikon Café events and provided an update on its Panther technology.
Filip Weymans, VP of Global Marketing for Xeikon, began with Xeikon’s Blueprint Strategy and explained that the company had decided to move forward with two strategic goals – enhance electrophotography and become masters in inkjet technology. These two pillars will be layered with more software integration, allowing Xeikon the opportunity to assist and advise customers in the digital manufacturing of their environment rather than just focusing on digital printing. For Xeikon, the future lies in the opportunity to help and guide customers in this arena, including conversion of legacy applications, workflow and other aspects.
Xeikon has chosen to focus specifically on the carton packaging, graphic arts and labels segments. While Xeikon already has some unique offerings in the carton packaging market, the company plans to build an additional platform in the corrugated business. For the graphic arts business, Xeikon plans to focus more on high value specialized segments, including educational books, wall decorations, high-quality direct mail and signage. In the labels market, Xeikon has solidified the number two position; however, Flint, its parent company, holds the number one position in terms of ink and supply. Xeikon now offers a complete solution that goes from workflow to the print presses, all of which is driven out of one unified software integration.
Another strategic move by Xeikon includes the development of their Inkjet Competence Center. The purpose of the center, which is located in Antwerp, Belgium, is to continue to develop industry leading competencies in inkjet technology. The Center currently employs 20 people who are focusing on short-term projects related to the Panther series, along with longer-term projects conducting research and development in water-based inkjet.
Xeikon gave an update on the Jetrion customer base acquisition from EFI, which has been a terrific boost for North America. Xeikon announced its partnership with EFI in November 2017 to take on the sales and support of EFI Jetrion label printers. By acquiring this customer base, Xeikon became an even stronger player in the market with 700+ digital label presses installed, and became the #1 player in the UV inkjet market with an install base of 200+ presses.
There are two Xeikon Café events in 2018, one was in Antwerp in March and a second one will be in Chicago in May. The cafés provide a technical and educational forum for customers to learn, connect and discover innovative end-use applications and packaging techniques. Other workshops are designed to help customers acquire the knowledge and insights to improve their ROI.
Xeikon’s Panther technology, introduced at the Xeikon Café in 2017, is a UV inkjet printer for high-end labels. By integrating workflow technology, enhanced functionality, such as the ability to add variable elements to labels or separate labels within a flow, can be performed. The UV ink uses a patented combination of mercury and LED curing, which exposes the labels to less heat. The Panther technology produces high-quality labels at high speeds and Xeikon will be targeting specific segments such as health and beauty, household detergents, fertilizer and industrial-type labels that are used for computer and machinery components.
Kudos to Xeikon on their first quarterly analyst and press update. This was a packed hour of information and Madison Advisors looks forward to their next update.