Eede, the Netherlands, 20 September, 2018 – Xeikon announces Robert Welford as its new Vice President of Research and Development. He will also join Xeikon’s Leadership Team when he takes on the role on October 1st. Rob will run the Research and Development Department which includes engineering, ink and toner competence centres, print process and the project management office.
Rob comes to Xeikon with a unique R&D perspective, having spent several years in R&D in the automotive industry where he developed a robust and clinical approach to product development, project and programme management and ultimately R&D leadership. Among other things, he ran programmes including the implementation of BMW diesel engines into LandRover products and led Power Train activities for the Rover 45 replacement (which became the BMW 1 Series) which were recognised as ‘best in class’.
Since leaving the automotive industry, Rob has been associated with the printing industry for 18 years holding numerous positions including Chief Engineer at Fujifilm Electronic Imaging, where he led R&D, manufacturing and production engineering, and oversaw product launches. At Xaar, as Director of R&D, he was responsible for activities from conception through to production and launch on new print head technology platforms. His latest position of Director Programme Management Office at Xaar gave him responsibility, amongst other things, for co-development programmes in both America and Asia.
In welcoming Rob to Xeikon, Benoit Chatelard, Xeikon’s President and CEO, says, “In the rapidly evolving printing industry, and with the challenging roadmap Xeikon is pursuing to broaden and strengthen its product portfolio over the coming years, strong R&D leadership is crucial. Rob’s broad experience in R&D, manufacturing engineering and programme management at an international level, and his genuine enthusiasm for technology and engineering, will help us drive efficiency, product development and the company group dynamic to the next level. His experience in industrialisation and inkjet will complement and strengthen the Xeikon Leadership Team. We look forward to seeing in action his skills in bringing fresh thinking to the Leadership Team, product development group and the company as a whole.”
Rob adds: "I am thrilled to be joining Xeikon at a pivotal time in the company’s evolution. We have a unique opportunity to leverage our capabilities in ink formulation and digital workflow. That, together with the opportunities provided by the consolidation and acceleration of the existing toner product portfolio and markets, means Xeikon’s future is extremely exciting."
Xeikon, a division of Flint Group, is a long-standing leader and innovator in digital printing technology. Grounded in the principles of quality, flexibility and sustainability, Xeikon designs, develops and delivers web-fed digital colour presses for label and packaging applications, document printing, and commercial printing. These presses utilise different imaging technologies, open workflow software and application-specific consumables.
As an OEM supplier, Xeikon also designs and produces plate makers for newspaper printing applications. In addition, Xeikon manufactures basysPrint computer-to-conventional plate (CtCP) solutions for the commercial offset printing market. For the flexographic market, Xeikon offers digital platemaking systems under the ThermoFlexX brand name. ThermoFlexX systems provide high-resolution plate exposure combined with unique plate handling, flexibility and unmatched productivity
In 2015, Xeikon joined Flint Group to create a new “Digital Printing Solutions” division for the leading global print consumables and solution provider to the packaging and print media industries. Flint Group develops and manufactures an extensive portfolio of printing consumables. These include a vast range of conventional and energy-curable inks and coatings, pressroom chemicals, printing plates and equipment, printing blankets and sleeves, and pigments and additives for use in inks and other colourant applications. Headquartered in Luxembourg, Flint Group employs some 7900 people. On a worldwide basis, the company is the number one or number two supplier in every major market segment it serves.