The Netherlands-based Xeikon, manufacturers of digital printers primarily serving the label and packaging, document printing and commercial printing markets, with facilities in Illinois, Japan, and a manufacturing and R&D facility in Belgium, announces the recent death of its founder, Lucien De Schamphelaere, at the age of 85.
The Belgian-born De Schamphelaere was considered a pioneer in the world of digital printing. He spent a 40-year career with Agfa-Gevaert, where he was key in launching the company’s electronic imaging system department. Seeking a new challenge, in August 1988 he left Agfa and founded Ellith NV, which started with just five employees. That name would soon be changed to Xeikon, the combination of the Greek words “xeros” (dry) and “eikon” (image).
Five years later, at a European trade show, the company unveiled its first digital printer, the DCP-1, a digital color printing press that could print without an ink sheet. The following year, in 1994, the company introduced its Variable Data System, which allowed single-pass personalizing of individual pages.
The company joined the NASDAQ in 1996, becoming just the second Flemish company to do so.
De Schamphelaere retired as CEO at age 67 and then in 1998 resigned as president of Xeikon.
Xeikon went on to be acquired by Flint Group in 2015.
According to a remembrance on the company’s web page, over his whole career, De Schamphelaere remained very socially engaged, was involved in his local parish and supported charities such as the ‘Rijsactie’ to help local missionaries.
“We were so saddened to hear the news of Lucien’s death,” says Wim Maex, Xeiklon’s current CEO. “He had an amazing passion for digital printing and unstoppable drive that lead him to achieve such an incredible amount in his lifetime. His dedication and pioneering approach remains a key cornerstone of Xeikon today.”
In one other piece of Xeikon news, the company announces the opening of a dedicated sales, service and support operation in Australia and New Zealand. The company says it will cease its collaboration with its dealer in that region, Absolute Electronics, and work directly with its customers.