Xerox acquired Impika for $53m (£31.6m) in February 2013. It has now made a further multi-million dollar investment in expanding Impika’s facility in Aubagne in the south of France. Burns said the $21.4bn turnover technology and services giant intended to capitalise on double-digit growth in production inkjet printing to build a business of the same scale as its xerography operation.
High-end production printing kit accounted for 21% of its $8.9bn document technology division last year.“We need to build the same depth of portfolio in inkjet as we have in xerography,” Burns stated. “We could have thrown a lot of money at building it up from scratch, but we didn’t have to. Impika was a great fit and we’ll do that [acquire] every single time if we have the chance. It jump started us in the marketplace.“As we continue to grow, change and diversify our business you should not be surprised about us acquiring capabilities.”Jeff Jacobson, chief operating officer of Xerox Technology, said the group was intent on achieving market leadership in production print across both toner and inkjet systems.
“We want to become number one overall in the commercial graphics space,” he said.Impika currently uses Panasonic and Kyocera printheads, and there was a hint that Xerox could either develop its own head, or acquire a printhead manufacturer. The opening of the new facility was combined with a two-day inkjet summit attended by customers from across Europe. “The reason this facility is here and not in Webster or some other massive Xerox centre is because it helps us do what we’ve been doing today – operate quickly and try things fast, diversifying our thinking and expanding our skillset,” Burns added.
Impika’s product line-up includes high-speed mono and color drop-on-demand inkjet systems that can be configured as hybrid/overprinting systems or complete presses, and to work with various types of ink. Its installed base includes customers in transactional, direct mail, book and security printing. It is targeting growth in books, direct mail and commercial printing with its latest range of products. Xerox now has more than 200 people working in its inkjet business worldwide. Its inkjet portfolio also includes the ‘waterless’ solid ink CiPress range, which has found applications in niche markets such as printing onto low-cost paper.