ANN ARBOR, MI and CAMBRIDGE, UK—Xitron, a leading independent developer of Harlequin RIP and workflow products for commercial, flexo, digital and high-speed inkjet printing, has been acquired by Harlequin RIP manufacturer Global Graphics PLC from Vanguard Graphics International (VGI). A nearly 30-year Harlequin OEM, Xitron is one of Global Graphics’ longest standing partners.
“Xitron is the lead player in prepress RIPs with some 35,000 Harlequin RIP-based installations around the world and an impressive network of dealers and distributors,” said Gary Fry, CEO of Global Graphics. “This acquisition allows us to further develop our digital print strategy with a more complete offering for industrial inkjet, such as textiles and décor, and with a broader range of prepress components for digital applications.”
Xitron’s Navigator RIP provides prepress independence by allowing users to connect with hundreds of different output devices manufactured by a “Who’s Who” list of suppliers such as Agfa, Fujifilm, Screen, Presstek (Mark Andy) and Heidelberg. Since the company’s inception in 1977, it has been a mainstay in professional prepress production and was recently awarded a patent for its unique USB-SCSI interface.
Its recent concentration in high-speed inkjet systems has fostered the release of the Navigator-based Digital Front End (DFE), which supports a wide variety of popular inkjet heads from Memjet, HP, Kyocera, XAAR, Konica-Minolta, Ricoh, Canon Finetech, and Fujifilm Dimatix, among others. The DFE supports drive electronics from Meteor Inkjet and Global Inkjet Systems, which are used in many of the most popular high-speed presses available from top tier suppliers in the market today.
“Having developed prepress software solutions around the Harlequin RIP as an OEM partner, Xitron is looking forward to the collaboration and growth opportunities associated with this change,” said Karen Crews, president of Xitron. “As we continue to expand beyond our well-established presence in offset, flexography, screen printing and high-speed inkjet, we’re excited to be a key part of Global Graphics’ strategic initiatives.”
Stan Goldberg, CEO of Vanguard (which also owns Printware LLC) said he believes the sale will benefit both companies. “As a long-time developer of the Harlequin RIP, Xitron’s prepress software products and markets align very well with Global Graphics’ strategic directions,” he said. “At the same time, Printware will have the additional financial resources necessary to take full advantage of inkjet market growth through product development or potential acquisition opportunities.”