Commentary & Analysis
We lost Derek Kyte and Lucien De Schamphelaere
A Rememberance by Frank Romano
By Frank Romano
Published: January 23, 2017
Derek Kyte was an engineer at Linotype in the 1960s. He joined Linotype-Paul when they acquired the Purdy and McIntosh phototypesetter, which became the Linotron 505. His signature device was the Linotron 202, a CRT phototypesetter that was very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. When Linotype closed down the British operation, he and several engineers formed Chelgraph, which developed typesetting peripherals and scanners. I told him that one of his scanners looked like a Dalek from the Dr. Who series.
Chelgraph was later absorbed into Crossfield Elecronics.
Derek Kyte was 90.
Lucien De Schamphelaere was an engineer at Agfa Corp. who designed and built their coating lines. He became interested in digital printing and developed their early laser printers, forming the company's Electronic Imaging System Department, which introduced the world's first LED-based, 400 dpi Postscript printer, the Agfa P400, at the start of the 1980s. But he took a few young engineers and created a skunk works to develop a laser printer for color. The result was Xeikon, the first roll-fed color printing system. It was introduced in September, 1993, the same day that Benny Landa introduced the Indigo color system. Xeikon printed on both sides of the web at virtually the same time. It is a testament to his vision that the Xeikon is still used and sold around the world.
The Xeikon was also sold by Xerox, IBM, and others, as well as through dealers, agents, and direct.
He retired after Xeikon went public and established Triakon with his sons, a service bureau that used digital printing for unique customer requirements. As the quintessental engineer, he loved to solve complicated problems. He was so detail oriented that he would take notes if you visited him, even over dinner. It was my practice to visit with him and his sons after every Drupa as Eddy Hagen and I visited the companies in Belgium. RIT presented him with the Cary Award in 1995.
On a side note, he drove one of those gaudy American cars all over Belgium. I think it was a Chrysler New Yorker. He gave me a ride once (and once was enough).
Lucien De Schamphelaere was 85.
I have been lucky to have known many of the people who invented the technology that built our industry. Machines build businesses and innovative visionaries build machines. Our industry is better because of Derek and Lucien and the legacy they left us.