Xaar has signed a new partnership agreement with Xerox for the development of bulk piezo inkjet printheads.
Xaar chief executive Doug Edwards told PrintWeek that the partnership was similar to the co-operation over thin film technology with Ricoh, which the Cambridge-headquartered manufacturer announced at Drupa.
“It mirrors what we’ve done with Ricoh, but in bulk piezo, where our platform is getting on for 10 years old,” Edwards explained.
“We’re at a point where we’re going to have to invest, and our strategy is to do that with partners – jointly we can effectively spend more than we can do on our own.”
Edwards said more details would be available in March, when the £93.5m turnover group will announce its 2016 results. But he said the intention was to combine the best elements of each company’s platform.
“It’s an important first step. The starting point is the Xerox solid ink printhead. A lot of experience and investment has gone into it, and we will be building on that along with our 25 years of investment at Xaar.”
Xaar will source products from Xerox, “tweak them” for specific applications, and then resell them. “We will probably launch a product in the middle of the year. The benefit to Xerox is it takes their technology into areas where they are not as active as we are, such as the industrial space," Edwards added.
Xaar’s share price rose by 13.9p, or 3.3%, to 434.66p on the announcement.
The company has already announced plans to invest £1m in 3D printing developments this year, with staff and equipment currently moving in to its new facility in Nottingham.