Becoming official yesterday (1 November), the Jetrion range of digital label and narrow-web inkjet printers that were launched in the mid-noughties will be rebadged as the Xeikon Jetrions and the Belgium-headquartered company now has the exclusive rights to sell, market and support the products and their user base.
Xeikon communications manager Danny Mertens confirmed its status as the biggest global provider in the area, after a raft of launches at LabelExpo Europe in September, and said that the relationship had been forged as Flint Group, Xeikon owner since 2015, was involved in the initial manufacture of the machines around a decade ago before selling to EFI.
“There has always been a bit of a relationship here,” said Mertens.
“EFI was looking for a party so that they could take a focus on different areas and we are obviously very eager to grow, and really grow in the digital label market.
“We launched our own UV inkjet technology earlier this year and so now this makes us the biggest global UV inkjet provider for digital labels. That was an important step for us.”
EFI chief executive Guy Gecht said the business wanted to focus on its range of industrial inkjet printers, and described Xeikon as "the ideal partner".
"As we expand our portfolio of industrial inkjet products, we prioritised our go-to-market investment and resources," he said.
"It was a clear choice for us to pick Xeikon, one of the undisputed leaders in digital label printing, as the ideal partner to continue a trustworthy sales and service operation for the Jetrion product line."
Mertens also praised EFI as a “strong provider” in both printing and software and said that it would work with its current Jetrion agents, the likes of Stockport-based LPP, to see if they could continue selling. The machines will now go through a period of technical evaluation to see if there is potential for upgrades or new launches.
“We really appreciate the technology and they have a very strong user base,” added Mertens.
“It gives us the opportunity to put the Jetrion and Panther series next to each other, sell both the systems and put them both as roadmap machines, defining the future roadmap based on those technologies.”
The range, which includes machines such as the LED 4950LX, costs from £150,000 up to around £900,000, with additions such as varnish, lamination, rewinding and laser die-cutting available.
Earlier this month, Xeikon called time on its Trillium liquid toner programme, which was first revealed in 2012. Mertens said the process of reassigning the 30 to 40 Trillium employees at its Lier, Belgium plant was “still going on”.
He added: “We are also wanting to get more of a grip on inkjet in general. So there is plenty of work."