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Xeikon appoints Robert Welford as Vice President R&D


by Danny Mertens

Xeikon announces Robert Welford as its new Vice President of Research and Development. He will also join Xeikon’s Leadership Team when he takes on the role on October 1st. Rob will run the Research and Development Department which includes engineering, ink and toner competence centres, print process and the project management office.

A unique R&D perspective

Rob comes to Xeikon with a unique R&D perspective, having spent several years in R&D in the automotive industry where he developed a robust and clinical approach to product development, project and programme management and ultimately R&D leadership. Among other things, he ran programmes including the implementation of BMW diesel engines into LandRover products and led Power Train activities for the Rover 45 replacement (which became the BMW 1 Series) which were recognised as ‘best in class’.

Since leaving the automotive industry, Rob has been associated with the printing industry for 18 years holding numerous positions including Chief Engineer at Fujifilm Electronic Imaging, where he led R&D, manufacturing and production engineering, and oversaw product launches. At Xaar, as Director of R&D, he was responsible for activities from conception through to production and launch on new print head technology platforms. His latest position of Director Programme Management Office at Xaar gave him responsibility, amongst other things, for co-development programmes in both America and Asia. 

In welcoming Rob to Xeikon, Benoit Chatelard, Xeikon’s President and CEO, says, “In the rapidly evolving printing industry, and with the challenging roadmap Xeikon is pursuing to broaden and strengthen its product portfolio over the coming years, strong R&D leadership is crucial. Rob’s broad experience in R&D, manufacturing engineering and programme management at an international level, and his genuine enthusiasm for technology and engineering, will help us drive efficiency, product development and the company group dynamic to the next level. His experience in industrialisation and inkjet will complement and strengthen the Xeikon Leadership Team. We look forward to seeing in action his skills in bringing fresh thinking to the Leadership Team, product development group and the company as a whole.”  

Rob adds: "I am thrilled to be joining Xeikon at a pivotal time in the company’s evolution. We have a unique opportunity to leverage our capabilities in ink formulation and digital workflow. That, together with the opportunities provided by the consolidation and acceleration of the existing toner product portfolio and markets, means Xeikon’s future is extremely exciting."