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Xaar eyes packaging, textile markets in India with new products

22 September 2017

Xaar, the UK-based leader in the development of inkjet technology and the leading independent manufacturer of industrial inkjet printheads, has its eyes set on the burgeoning packaging market in India. The company also sees textile printing as another important market in India. Doug Edwards, CEO, Xaar, has confirmed that the company is strengthening its business in India with its wide portfolio of inkjet printheads and new technology for a variety of print applications. Attending a press conference in Gurgaon on 19 September 2017, Edwards also outlined the importance of the Indian market to the company’s global goal to reach annual sales of 220m pound by 2020.

doug-edwards Doug Edwards, CEO, Xaar

Edwards said India is an important market for the company, which already the largest share in the ceramic tiles decoration market. Now, as digital printing is gaining footholds in packaging printing and in textile printing, the company sees a great potential for inkjet for these segments. The company also has products for coding and marking (Domino being one of its biggest clients). Another area that Xaar is focusing on is direct printing on product. Besides, Xaar is also looking to explore the potential in the commercial printing market.

In fact, Edwards said, Asia is Xaar’s biggest market, followed by Europe and North America.

“Our product revenues outside of ceramics are growing by 60%; global sales into the graphics sector grew by 33%, and we have also made good progress in our packaging and product printing markets, where global sales jumped by 54%. We expect the packaging and product printing area of the business to be about a third larger than ceramics by the end of this year. In addition, we have seen an increase in our Asian business, which now makes up 47% of the company’s overall sales,” Edwards said.

Founded in 1990, Xaar, listed in London Stock Exchange, has a turnover of 96.2m pound and employee strength of 600. The company has a regional office in India for the last 13 years. Edwards said it is the only printhead manufacturer to have a local direct presence.

About its ‘re-establishment’ plans in India, Edwards said the company has developed seven new products in the last 18 months. Plus, the market is ready for inkjet more than ever.

“Our focus for the last two years has been to broaden our horizons into a wider range of print applications, all of which are of significant interest to our customers and partners in India. I am delighted to say that results from the first half of this year show that we are making good progress,” he said.

New High Laydown Technology  

During the press conference, Edwards also announced that Xaar’s High Laydown (HL) technology, initially launched in the Ceramics market, is now available for packaging customers, enabling raised effects to be added to substrates, transforming standard labels and folding cartons into high value packaging for products that can command a premium.

In ceramics applications, High Laydown allows effects such as gloss and adhesives to be applied with unprecedented laydown levels. For example, the Xaar 1003 C with HL technology can achieve a laydown of up to 90 g/m2 at 35 m/min line speed. For labels and packaging, High Laydown technology with UV varnish enables raised or tactile effects to be printed in single pass and with a single print bar – for example, the Xaar 1003 U with HL technology can achieve a varnish film thickness of 80 microns at 25 m/min line speed. Competitor offerings typically require multiple print bars or much lower line speed to achieve the same result.

Aqueous printheads

In addition, the recent printhead launches from Xaar are starting to shift the company towards a broader reach. Of particular interest to the Indian market are the Xaar 1201 and Xaar 5501, both of which are capable of handling aqueous inks. This means that OEMs looking to produce textiles or graphics printers using water-based inks now have access to robust and reliable technologies.

Already making a significant impact in Asia, the Xaar 1201 is a Thin Film Piezo Silicon Micro Electrical Mechanical System (MEMS) technology printhead for printing wide-format graphics and textiles with dye sublimation, eco-solvent or aqueous inks. To complement the Xaar 1201, the company recently announced the Xaar 5501, which previewed in China a few months ago. This compact and lightweight printhead is the first product resulting from Xaar’s collaboration with Xerox, and delivers high print quality combined with low printing costs, whilst integration costs will also be kept to a minimum. 

Local focus

“We are committed to supporting our customers and partners in India,” said Edwards.  “Because we have a regional base in India, our customers and partners benefit from local technical expertise, a quick response and a printhead partner with a more in depth understanding of the Indian marketplace. Our focus is always on helping our customers get to market quickly with a range of products their own customers want and need. Having a local presence is the only way to serve our customers well.”

Bob Bobertz, director of sales, Asia, Xaar and Namrata Sharma, commercial account Manager, India, Xaar, also attended the press conference and gave detailed presentations on the company’s latest products.

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