Xaar aims at a larger slice of the Indian market

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Samples of print output achieved with Xaar printheads. Photo PSA

Xaar Plc., a leader in industrial inkjet technology, presented its range of premium inkjet printheads and products, and announced its new strategy for the Indian market. Speaking at a press conference at Hotel Trident in Gurugram, Haryana, the chief executive officer of the company, Doug Edwards, confirmed that Xaar is strengthening its business in India with its wide portfolio of inkjet printheads and new technology for a variety of print applications. Xaar dominates the printhead market for ceramic tiles in India with over 80% share of this market but now it seriously intends to make its presence felt in the other segments of the printhead market. In this regard, Edwards said, “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.” 

The recent launches from Xaar have begun to shift the company’s focus towards the printhead market that covers the coding and marking, labeling and packaging segments, including direct-to-shape (DTS) printing. The Xaar printheads are compatible with a range of solvent, oil, non-oil and UV curable inks, offering OEMs access to robust and reliable technologies. Edwards said, “Product revenues outside of ceramics are growing by 60%; global sales in 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.” 

Coding and marking application 
The Xaar 502 GS15 is a versatile printhead that provides industrial reliability for high production up-time while printing good quality text, data and bar codes to secondary packaging or printing directly onto shaped products or primary packaging. It has a specialized control logic and electronics for flexible control and fine-tuning of inks. The unique PrecisionPlus architecture of this printhead optimizes the actuator performance with more uniform drop formation and velocity across the print swathe resulting in much better print quality at longer throw distances. The uniform print swathe of the Xaar 502 GS15 allows OEMs to mount the printheads easily together, which compliments the other innovative features of the printhead and ensures easy integration for faster time-to-market. 

Label printing and direct-to-shape printing with Xaar 1003
Typical label printing involves roll-to-roll conventional processes such as flexographic, letterpress, offset, gravure and screen printing but such processes cannot meet the increasing demand for shorter run jobs and special or customized designs. Digital printing is perfectly suited to meet these customer requirements since it doesn’t limit the run length. The Xaar 1003 printhead is used in many single-pass inkjet label presses that compliment other processes like laser cutting and over-varnishing, which requires continuous printing. The printhead offers good production up-time and very little operator intervention, which ensures high productivity while its TF Technology ensures shorter maintenance cycles and instant start-up as the printhead has self-priming capability.   

In addition to customized label printing, the Xaar 1003 printheads are also used in high-quality, high-volume single-pass inkjet printing of full color images and text directly onto smooth and shaped containers such as cans, bottles, sleeves for beverage, personal care and home care products. The ability to print directly onto containers and change designs in short notice helps brands meet consumer demands for greater choice and allows them to customize their product design and messaging. Xaar’s TF Technology which optimizes ink re-circulation along with the innovative Hybrid Side Shooter architecture ensures continuous ink flow at a high rate directly past the back of the nozzle during drop ejection. This carries away air bubbles and other particles present in the fluid and improves reliability even in the harshest of industrial environments. 

Edwards is quite optimistic about Xaar’s ability to move beyond ceramics and make a significant impact in the labeling, packaging, and coding & marking segments in India. He also outlined the importance of the Indian market to his company’s global goal of reaching annual sales of £220 million by 2020. Considering the size and potential of the packaging sector in India, Edwards feels that just a tiny fraction of this market would be enough for him to achieve his global revenue goals, thereby making it clear that India is going to be a crucial market for Xaar’s future growth.