Learning How Digital Press Vendors Think
Seeing the equipment and software on the show floor are only part of the value of shows like Graph Expo. At least for analysts and members of the press, a big part is learning how companies are approaching the market and how they think about their products and services.
Xeikon finds its niche
In Xeikon’s usual low-key, classy style, small groups of analysts joined Xeikon Americas President Mike Ring in a hotel suite on a high floor of the Hyatt McCormick Place Hotel where he talked about the company and its place in the market.
Xeikon is far smaller than its rivals and is content with its position in the market, Ring explained. He noted that despite the economy, both the company’s equipment sales and revenue have been up over the past year.
“If we can be in the top three in a niche market that’s just fine,” stated Ring. “There’s a lot of business out there.”
The market he sees holding rich potential for digital printing is labels and folding cartons. Run lengths in this segment are changing, with more versioning and even customization required, making digital presses the only effective solution.
Xeikon’s top-of-the-line presses for labels are the 3300 and 3500 models, which are seeing success both in the United States and Europe. Some customers are like Odyssey Printing in Tulsa, OK, which uses a 3500 for labels and a Xeikon 5000 press for folding cartons.
“On the last 10 deals we’ve gone into against our biggest competitor, we’ve won nine of them,” reported Ring. “That tells me we have the technology customers need.”
According to Ring, that technology is the result of a substantial ongoing investment in R&D and a focus on delivering quality first, then adding productivity while lowering operating cost. “The upcoming challenge,” he continued, “is to compete with the next generation of inkjet in both packaging and publishing.”