Xeikon consolidates its operations in Belgium

Growing its digital production

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Xeikon returns to its Belgian roots

Established in 1988, Xeikon started digital full color printing out of a former Agfa production site in Mortsel, near Antwerp in Belgium. There it built the very first DCP-1 machine that was to be launched at Ipex 1993.

In 2002, it moved its headquarters – including R&D, manufacturing and innovation center – from Mortsel to a brand new building in Lier, Belgium. Since 2008, the company’s head office is based in Eede, the Netherlands, just across the northern Belgian border.

Last year, Xeikon celebrated its 30th anniversary and 25 years of digital printing. Under the motto ‘PastPrintFuture’, it also got ready for a new future with Flint Group as its new owner, and inkjet technology as an added part of its broadened digital portfolio. In 2018, it opened both an inkjet and a toner technology competence center in Lier to strengthen its R&D efforts and stay ahead at a technological level. The consolidation to Belgium is the next logical step in the consolidation process to continue growing in chosen digital production applications.

Benoit Chatelard, who took the helm in 2017, is convinced that Xeikon is in the right position to leapfrog the competition, and he is making sure the company is in the right shape and in the right place to do so. The transfer to Lier is a gradual process that started in January 2019. The main activities will be transferred by 1 July 2019, and at the end of the year, the Eede location will be closed. All customers, partners and suppliers will be informed in due time.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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