Xerox has opened a new demo centre, the Impika Inkjet Innovation Centre, in Aubagne in southern France as part of a move to raise the profile of its subsidiary, Impika. The 8,454 square metre showroom is next to Impika’s existing R&D and production facility, which has itself been expanded.
Xerox bought Impika in 2012 after recognising that some customers simply prefered aqueous inkjet to Xerox’s own solid ink Cipress inkjet range. As it is, customer demand is roughly equal between the two product lines. Xerox has been careful to give Impika the resources and freedom to continue to grow, while also looking for synergies between the two, such as adding the Freeflow server added to the Impika range and with further co-developments planned for the future.
As it happens, I talked last year with Paul Morgavi, the former head of Impika who has now become the COO of Xerox’s Inkjet division. He told me that Impika was working closely with the major substrate manufacturers to design a new generation of inks for a broader range of substrates. He added: “I think that inkjet is so clearly designed to be one of the major technologies in the printing industry in the next 10-15 years.” He predicted that inkjet would take on applications that are still dominated by other technologies such as offset and flexo but refused to be drawn on which other markets are in Impika’s sights.
Meanwhile, Xerox has also enhanced its Gil Hatch Centre in Webster, New York, which will now feature the new Versant 2100 printer plus expanded workflow and finishing options. Situated on the Xerox manufacturing campus, this centre hosts over 1,200 customer visits annually and, at 100,000 square feet, is said to be the largest graphic arts demo centres in the world.