Former KBA President Dr. Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann Dies

Dr. Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann

In 1995, at the age of 69, the architect of the KBA group’s breathtaking expansion retired as president and joined the supervisory board, where he served as deputy chairman until 2006. Even in retirement Dr. Bolza-Schünemann continued to place his strategic perspectives and outstanding engineering skills at the company’s disposal, for example in the development of the 74 Karat digital offset press. On his 75th birthday in 2001 he received an award for 50 years service. Throughout his long life he never failed to impress younger executives and staff with his ideas, his expertise and his innate ability to motivate others.

Prolific inventor and design engineer
Dr. Bolza-Schünemann contributed perhaps more than any other to driving technological advances in the print media industry through groundbreaking innovations. As the fifth generation to head the company, he identified strongly with the principles inherited from the two founders, Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Bauer. Their invention of the mechanical printing press in the early 19th century signalled the end of the Gutenberg era and laid the foundations for large-scale print production.

Over 250 patents bear Dr. Hans-Bernhard Bolza-Schünemann’s signature, and he played a decisive role in major technological advances. These included the development of a multicolour sheetfed gravure press, the Rembrandt MT III, in the 1950s, a high-speed letterpress machine, the Rotafolio, in the 1960s, the world’s widest newspaper press, the Jumbo-Courier, in the 1970s, and the first Rapida sheetfed offset press, also in the 1970s, whose 15,000sph output was way ahead of its time. In the 1980s and 1990s he actively promoted KBA’s pioneering role in keyless inking systems for multicolour newspaper and sheetfed presses. His outstanding achievements as an engineer were acknowledged in 1960 with the award of a Ring of Honour by the VDI (The Association of German Engineers) and in 2003 with the Leonardo da Vinci Prize by the AIPI (Association of Italian Industrial Engineers).