Xeikon coming of age and then some

Laurel Brunner's picture
Laurel Brunner

When HP bought Indigo in 2001 many pundits cynically thought it could be the kiss of death, as a major corporation with a very different culture moved into professional digital printing. Fortunately, the pundits were wrong big time, and digital printing has thrived.

Xeikon and Indigo were the two earliest pioneers of high-end digital colour printing dating back to 1993 when this technology was presented to the market. Over the years Xeikon has more than held its own against its giant rival and a host of other arriviste competitors. With its acquisition by Flint Group in 2016, Xeikon is now well-placed to advance its technologies and its market share. This is particularly true for the packaging and label markets, worth over $3.5 billion worldwide and growing exponentially. The decision to stop the Trillium One liquid toner press development, sharpens Xeikon’s focus on its core strengths.

Back in 2001 Xeikon was undergoing a sort of midlife crisis, with a management team at best described as mercurial and at worst distracted. Like other players, Xeikon’s technology position was exclusively on commercial print, which was making life harder than it needed to be. Changes in management and research and development philosophies rapidly expanded Xeikon’s activities to include labels and folding carton production. And, fortunately, the changes have taken Xeikon into more profitable areas where the company has clearly differentiated itself to become a leading and innovative equipment manufacturer in digital printing, especially for labels.

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The Verdigris Project investigates the environmental impact of print media and provides information about sustainability initiatives for the international printing community. Keep up to date with the weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner.