Xeikon (Eede, the Netherlands) has chosen Robert Welford as its new Vice President of Research and Development. He’ll join Xeikon’s Leadership Team when he takes on the role October 1. He’ll then run the Research and Development Department which includes engineering, ink and toner competence centres, print processes and the project management office. Welford 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 program management, and ultimately R&D leadership. Among other things, he ran programs 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) that were recognized as ‘best in class’. “I’m thrilled to be joining Xeikon at a pivotal time in the company’s evolution,” he said. “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 that Xeikon’s future is extremely exciting.”
Since leaving the automotive industry, Welford 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 numerous product launches. At Xaar, as Director of R&D, he was responsible for activities from conception through to production and launch on new printhead technology platforms. His latest position of Director Program Management Office at Xaar gave him responsibilities, amongst other things, for co-development programs in both the U.S. and Asia.
In welcoming him to Xeikon, Benoit Chatelard, Xeikon’s President and CEO, added: “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 program 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 industrialization 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.”