Koenig & Bauer ‘Sprinting Ahead’ at Drupa with Offset and Digital Print Innovations
KBA is the only one of the three major German manufacturers to have weathered recent storms by its own efforts, and was likewise the only press manufacturer to post a pre-tax profit in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The sums, however, are still insufficient to finance all the necessary investments and innovations, and so work continues on the optimization of structures and processes, the broad and modern product portfolio, and the group sales organization. Negotiations with a Chinese partner, for example, are already well advanced and envisage the local manufacturing of entry-level sheetfed offset presses for this enormous market, alongside the high-tech presses imported from Germany. Bolza-Schünemann emphasized that KBA would be maintaining its commitment to innovation, because an abandoning of technical progress would in his opinion worsen rather than solve the problems of the print branch in the online age.
Sprinting ahead: KBA active in shaping the future of print
Marketing Director Klaus Schmidt explained that the slogan “sprinting ahead” also serves to spotlight the encouraging opportunities for print in the multimedia age. As an innovative press manufacturer, KBA intends to remain active in helping to shape the future of print. That was one of the reasons behind the group’s move into digital print and the merging of digital inkjet technologies with analogue offset print.
Despite the importance of thrift, the drupa stand is the same size as in 2008, and the number of innovations on show has even been increased. The five sheetfed offset presses in small-, half-, medium- and large-format sizes (three of which are completely new), three web offset installations for commercial, packaging and newspaper print (two of which are completely new) and the new inkjet web press from KBA will be complemented by a five-color Rapida 106 coater for waterless UV offset and a Genius 52UV on the neighboring stand of Japanese partner Toray Industries. The comprehensively equipped Rapida106 is configured for eco-friendly production on plastic films and other high-quality substrates.