Koenig & Bauer News Feed https://www.koenig-bauer.com/ en Koenig & Bauer AG Sun, 20 Jun 2021 04:52:02 +0200 Sun, 20 Jun 2021 04:52:02 +0200 news-2008 Mon, 14 Jun 2021 14:20:22 +0200 Koenig & Bauer Customer Service Specialists Provide Expertise Leading To Double-Digit Productivity Gains http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-customer-service-specialists-provide-expertise-leading-to-double-digit-productivity-gains/
  • Dedicated Customer Service Specialists (CSS) underscore their commitment to delivering excellence for complete press life cycle
  • This program highlights the company's core guarantee to holistic ongoing customer-centric support 
  • CSS team along with online customer communication portal and proactive services ensures that customers exceed their production goals
  • When one of Koenig & Bauer’s largest packaging firms called upon its Customer Service Specialists to visit its facility, the customer was successfully operating its high-performance Rapida 145 large format press but was seeking to better contend with its rapid expansion and growing production demand. After working one-on-one with the firm’s production and press crews, John D. Starratt Jr., a Regional Customer Service Specialist, was able to help the firm increase its production by 20%, reduce makeready by 40%, and provide outstanding overall improvements in press speed, downtime, and quality.

    John D. Starratt Jr., a Regional Customer Service Specialist, is a member of the Koenig & Bauer CSS team that offers its expertise to customers.

    “Koenig & Bauer has an excellent reputation for its superior press technology,” says Michael Eichler, Koenig & Bauer Sales Director Service Select. “To ensure that the press is running up to its full capacity and potential, our CSS team of highly-skilled multifunctional experts is called upon to directly support our customer base, lend critical support, and deliver unique solutions with the utmost ease and responsiveness.”

    In the case of this leading packaging firm, Starratt made both monthly and quarterly visits to the facility. His goal was to increase press performance, reduce makeready, refresh the press crews with training, and offer targeted analysis, advice, and recommendations to implement new standards and best practices.

    “My initial review was that the press crew needed to improve their standard procedures to operate the press and we needed to retrain for better utilization of the press,” says Starratt. “Within a short amount of time, all of the numbers greatly improved. The press was displaying exceptional run speeds and increased throughput.”

    By working with the press crew, Starratt was able to improve processes and provide guidance on how targeted training can stabilize and further improve the efficiency of Koenig & Bauer’s equipment. By standardizing the press process, he gave each press operator a particular responsibility. This, in turn, turned the pressroom into a more structured and organized operation.

    “We immediately saw a huge improvement and major benefits within the pressroom,” says Starratt. “After only a few visits, the procedures we put in place dramatically decreased makeready times. We could see opportunities to increase their production and we showed them what the press was capable of if it is operated optimizing all the inherent simultaneous processes to ensure the highest productivity.”

    Due to the noticeable productivity gains, extraordinary benefits, and return on investment (ROI) derived from Starratt’s work, the customer has asked for additional CSS assistance at its other facilities in which Koenig & Bauer presses are in use.

    “Employing our team’s proactive advisory role, we’re able to make recommendations to the customer and point out particular issues,” says Eichler. “This approach allows us to offer personalized support and builds a strong and loyal partnership with our customers. They appreciate the expert insight and holistic services that include their entire facility including prepress, press, and post-press. Our dedicated support structure is a hallmark of the Koenig & Bauer commitment to its customers.

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    news-2005 Wed, 02 Jun 2021 13:27:47 +0200 Superior Litho’s New Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 Press Investment Strengthens Its Folding Carton Growth Strategy http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/superior-lithos-new-koenig-bauer-rapida-164-press-investment-strengthens-its-folding-carton-growth-strategy/
  • New Rapida 164 will be running 24/7 producing litho-lam labels, litho-lam top sheets, and folding carton work
  • Large press format boosts capacity and makeready by 50%, develops opportunities and generates more business
  • Superior Litho partners with Koenig & Bauer for its fourth Rapida press
  • Business is strong and growing at premier packaging specialist Superior Lithographics. Its 110,000 sq ft facility in Southern California hums with activity, producing high quality large format litho and top sheets for the corrugated box industry and printing and converting folding cartons for these dual fast-growing markets. Later this year, the pressroom will increase its output with a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 164 64-inch seven-color offset press.

    Superior’s management team has long believed in product diversification and capital investment to maintain its steady growth and leadership position. Recently it’s found new opportunities in the folding carton market, which has fuelled the necessity for additional press capacity. The team is eager for the new Rapida press to arrive and ‘flip the switch’ to see its newest large format machine begin production.

    “Our plan is to run the new press 24/7, printing anything and everything that helps our customers grow their brand awareness and allows increased speed to market,” says Jeff Ku, Superior’s Vice President of Operations.  “It will be used for all three categories: litho-lam labels, litho-lam top sheets, and folding carton work.”

    (Left to right) Superior’s Doug Rawson, President and CEO; Mark Hoppenjans, Vice President of Sales; and Jeff Ku, Vice President of Operations, eagerly await their newest investment: a Rapida 164 seven-color press later this year

    As a long-time Koenig & Bauer customer, Superior’s massive pressroom floor features a full suite of its presses. Its most recent delivery in the summer of 2019 was a Rapida 145 57-inch seven color press, which tripled its overall job throughput and impression output. The firm also operates a Rapida 162a 64-inch six-color press and a Rapida 205 81-inch 5-color press, both with UV curing capabilities. Superior plans to keep all four Rapidas operating, which will provide the greatest flexibility and ability to ensure the fastest job turnaround.

    Doug Rawson, Founder and CEO, expects the new Rapida press to significantly impact his business and the markets they serve. “It will provide a massive 50% increase in capacity,” he says, “and will help to train our operators on next-gen technology similar to our recent Rapida 145 addition. The new press will also dramatically decrease our makeready times by 50%.”

    Both of its newest press models are configured as seven-color models, thus allowing for expanded color gamut, custom brand colors, and enhanced photographic images. Its clients, such as name brands in the food market, expect their products to match box-to-box on the retail shelf and look enticing to consumers. Superior has also developed proprietary processes for certain combinations of varnishes and coating, which the seventh printing unit will allow.

    “Ever since our prior Rapida 145 installation, we’ve witnessed incredible improvements within our facility,” says Ku. “We believe this new Rapida press will provide our customers and our company with exceptional results that will pave a path towards our vision.

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    news-2004 Wed, 02 Jun 2021 12:06:04 +0200 Saica Pack Dublin starts up a Rapida 106 with 15 printing and finishing units http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/saica-pack-dublin-starts-up-a-rapida-106-with-15-printing-and-finishing-units/
  • Printing and finishing with conventional and UV inks/coatings
  • High automation for fast makeready
  • Production speeds up to 18,000 sheets per hour
  • Cutting-edge quality control and reporting
  • The Rapida 106 with its 15 printing and finishing units is the new centrepiece in the press hall at Saica Pack (1)

    A few days ago, a new Rapida 106 went into production at Saica Pack Dublin. The press in question is an individually tailored medium-format installation (for sheet formats up to 740 x 1,060 mm) with a total of 15 printing and finishing units and an overall length of 32 metres. The configuration is as follows: a printing unit, coater and two intermediate drying towers, followed by an adaptable perfecting unit, seven further printing units, another coater, two more intermediate drying towers, a third coater and a three-section extended delivery. The Rapida 106 stands on a 900.mm base and is equipped with pile logistics for the feeder and delivery.

    The new press has been purchased to print and coat high-quality packaging with up to seven colours and additional finishing, including products with printing and finishing on both sides of the sheet. Saica Pack produces corrugate supplies for major brands from across Great Britain and Ireland – including well known names in the food and fashion industries.

    Saica Group operates plants in a total of nine European countries, as well as in the USA. They serve four business areas: waste management, paper recycling and corrugated board production, board packaging and flexible packaging. The Group currently has five plants across the Republic and Northern Ireland alone.

    At a length of 32 metres and with comprehensive automation, the Rapida 106 sets new standards for packaging production (2)

    Outstanding automation

    The Rapida 106 incorporates accessory packages for board printing and plastic films and in this way grants Saica Pack’s exceptional flexibility with regard to substrates. This comes in addition to the equipment for UV/mixed operation, which permits the use of both conventional and UV inks and coatings. The UV process, in particular, enables high-quality finishing in a single press pass.

    The outstanding automation solutions of the Rapida 106, which is engineered for production speeds up to 18,000 sheets per hour in straight printing mode, include DriveTronic SPC for simultaneous plate changing, CleanTronic Multi washing systems in conjunction with DriveTronic SRW (simultaneous roller washing), and Anilox Loader for automatic anilox roller exchange. QualiTronic ColorControl and QualiTronic PrintCheck control the colour in an inline process and compare the printed sheets with a defined reference. Process-free printing plates are used, and these plates can also be mounted on the printing units without prior bending.

    Colour control and sheet inspection were two of the critical factors which clinched the deal for the Rapida 106: Every single sheet is measured, a control check takes place every tenth sheet. The control and reporting functions consider each individual ink zone and not just an average over the whole sheet. Furthermore, the sheets are fully printed and finished at the time of measurement, which means that the QualityPass reports provide an accurate assessment of the overall process – an important factor for ISO certification of the packaging production. The facility to disengage printing units which are not required for a particular job was a further feature which favoured the Rapida 106. The effect is greatly reduced roller wear. The short-train inking units also switch the press to colour mode in next to no time, which reduces waste and makeready costs.

    Saica Pack is widely renowned for its modern plant architecture and innovative production installations (3)

    Rapida presses in use across Europe

    Sheetfed offset presses from Koenig & Bauer are also in use in other plants operated by Saica Group, for example in Spain, France and Italy. In almost all cases they are large-format models from the Rapida 142 press series (max. sheet format 1,020 x 1,420 mm) and Rapida 162 (sheet format up to 1,200 x 1,620 mm) – with up to 11 printing and finishing units per press.

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    news-2002 Thu, 27 May 2021 15:45:42 +0200 Koenig & Bauer announces moderate price adjustment http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-announces-moderate-price-adjustment/
  • Raw material costs for copper, plastics, additives sheet metal and wood increased
  • Moderate price adjustment for entire portfolio
  • Koenig & Bauer announces a moderate price adjustment for its entire product portfolio.

    The reduced availability of raw materials such as copper, plastics, additives, sheet metal and wood, and higher shipping and logistics costs require an adjustment in prices. Another reason is the global chip shortage, which is leading to reduced capacities and long lead times for industrial customers, including those outside the automotive sector

    Worldwide, prices for many industrial metals and electronics have risen rapidly. Even wood, which is needed for packaging for transport, is in short supply

    "The price adjustment comes in an environment of increasingly scarce resources and is a necessary step to enable us to continue offering our customers the quality, customised solutions and reliable service they expect from us," says Ralf Sammeck, Member of the Executive Board at Koenig & Bauer.

    "The global challenges facing the industry would have to be mastered together in order to maintain our innovative strength," Sammeck continues.

    The innovative technology of Koenig & Bauer's highly automated presses and their unique selling points in automation, makeready times and inline processes bring economic benefits to users and enhance their future viability. The moderate price increase enables further innovations and is thus an investment in the future for the industry.

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    news-1997 Tue, 25 May 2021 08:05:24 +0200 Evo XD for Morocco http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/evo-xd-for-morocco/
  • Growth market for flexo printing
  • High press efficiency and quality
  • Ultramodern Evo XD 8
  • Right after signing the contract (left to right): Taha Hilali, external consultant for Multisac; Najib Moumni, Koenig & Bauer France; Mehdi Iraqi, general manager of Multisac; Stefano Paiano, regional sales director for Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica (1) *Picture was taken before the Corona pandemic

    Multisac SA is a relatively young company that is active in the field of flexible packaging. Operating from its headquarters near Casablanca in Morocco, it is currently enjoying a dynamic growth phase, and has earned itself an excellent reputation among its customers. This made expanding its production capacity with a new Evo XD press from Koenig & Bauer the next logical step for the company to take. Mehdi Iraqi, general manager of Multisac SA: “We are convinced that Koenig & Bauer is the ideal partner to help us meet the high expectations we have of ourselves. The outstanding technology that the Evo XD offers will enable us to set new standards for the packaging segment.” Multisac SA was founded in 2006 and has grown to become a leading company in North Africa. Multisac SA produces packaging and flexible materials in a modern environment. Almost 1 million units of flexible packaging are produced every day, which are meanwhile being exported to 21 countries. More than 700 employees provide the company’s customers with support through all process steps, from the initial idea to a finished product. “The cooperation between our two companies has been very professional and has a solid basis in trust. Multisac guarantees its customers quality and no delays – and that is precisely what the Evo XD allows us to offer,” says Stefano Paiano, regional sales director of Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica. In some regions and industries, the economy is booming. Thanks to the modern technology from Koenig & Bauer, the company hopes to gain a competitive advantage in packaging printing with the new machine. „We are on a very good course with our machines. Our technology, the quality of our products and our professionalism are highly regarded around the world,“ continues Luigi Magliocchi. CEO of Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica.

    The new Evo XD for Multisac SA (2)

    New technologies for the Evo XD

    The CI flexo press from the successful Evo XD series is suitable for using solvent- and/or water-based inks to print a broad range of substrates such as plastic films, very thin and sensitive ‘breathable’ LDPE or laminated materials, as well as papers. It is engineered for a web width of 1320 mm and cut-off lengths between 370 and 1000 mm. The technical highlights include a highly efficient, energy-saving ventilation system in the bridge dryer, and the fully automatic impression control system AIF, which allows makeready settings to be made without ink consumption. The user-friendly register control system REGI_Touch minimises start-up waste, and all important automation and operating functions are integrated into the new touchscreen to facilitate intuitive machine learning and operation. When it comes to automation for fast job changeovers, the Evo XD represents the state of the art. Depending on the particular substrate in use, production speeds up to 500 m/min are possible. 

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    news-1993 Thu, 20 May 2021 07:55:17 +0200 Eson Pac opts for future-oriented sheetfed offset technology from Koenig & Bauer http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/eson-pac-opts-for-future-oriented-sheetfed-offset-technology-from-koenig-bauer/
  • Comprehensive automation features
  • Latest technology for future-proof production
  • Reliable supply chains across all production segments
  • A Rapida 106 X with seven printing units and coating facilities will soon herald the next step in the modernisation of the press hall at Eson Pac in Veddige, Sweden (1)

    Over the past 18 months, Swedish pharmaceuticals packaging specialist Eson Pac has invested heavily in both its label and leaflet production capacities. This modernisation strategy has now been continued with the company’s purchase of an 18,000 sph Rapida 106 X for cardboard packaging printing. The seven-colour press is configured with an inline coater and extended delivery, as well as automation solutions such as DriveTronic SPC for simultaneous plate changing. Delivery and commissioning is scheduled for late summer this year.

    Pierre Åkesson, COO at Eson Pac, explains: “By installing this seven-colour printing press in our plant in Veddige, we will significantly increase our flexibility and printing capacity. We have had several Koenig & Bauer presses up and running in Veddige for a few years now.”

    Print manager Daniel Skarp, production technician Tobbe Svensson and COO Pierre Åkesson (left to right) are looking forward to arrival of the new technology (3)

    The new Rapida 106 X, which is replacing a press made by another manufacturer, replicates the platform and equipment features of the Rapidas which are already in use, thereby promising considerable benefits and synergy effects. The Rapida 106 X represents the state of the art and makes Eson Pac “fit for the future” – with advanced technological solutions for the highest levels of productivity. “This is ideal for us and our customers, and a natural step for Eson Pac with our continued focus on pharmaceutical packaging production. Additionally, the investment in new technology reduces our carbon footprint by lowering energy consumption, which is very important in terms of sustainability,” says Pierre Åkesson.

    As the Eson Pac COO is proud to point out, “To be the owner of the best production equipment on the market for all our production segments enables us to make further improvements to our service levels and guarantee our customers a reliable supply chain.”

    Pierre Åkesson, COO at Eson Pac, with one of the company’s current Rapida 106 presses: “By installing this new seven-colour printing press, we will significantly increase our flexibility and printing capacity.” (2)

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    news-1990 Tue, 18 May 2021 07:32:29 +0200 Koenig & Bauer’s Apprenticeship Program Boosts Number of New Service Technicians http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauers-apprenticeship-program-boosts-number-of-new-service-technicians/ After investing in a unique 18-month apprenticeship program, Koenig & Bauer is proud to announce that two of its students have graduated and are now working in the field here in the U.S. Kaitlin Sullivan and Flavio Tello-Saenz are trained electricians and working at customer sites. Both graduated from Texas State Technical College with associate degrees before joining the Koenig & Bauer apprenticeship program.

    “We’re very proud of our newest technicians,” says Jens Haensch, a senior technician at Koenig & Bauer who has been mentoring the graduates. “They’re bringing all of their new knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm for the industry and working directly with our customers to solve challenges and present solutions. They’re young and ambitious, they learn very quickly, and they soak everything up. Our customers have fully embraced them, and they’ve integrated very well with our team.”

    Sullivan, who earned an A.S. Degree in Wind Energy Technology (WET), and Tello-Saenz, who earned an A.S. Degree in Mechatronics, began their internships in mid-Janaury 2019. In Germany, they received a mix of working in the press assembly hall, specialized training in the training center at the factory, and classes at the German Apprenticeship School located at the Radebeul factory near Dresden while at night taking German lessons at the Goethe Institut. Since their return, they’ve been supporting German electricians with machine installations and will soon be working on their own. 

    Kaitlin Sullivan is a trained electrician who graduated from the unique 18-month Koenig & Bauer apprenticeship program

    “There are many different aspects of the job that I value,” says Sullivan. “When there’s a problem on the machine, and you’re able to place/repair this problem, there’s no greater feeling. You’re able to meet people from all different walks of life. I’m currently at a customer where it feels more like a family than a job.”

    “Working here in the U.S. has been great,” says Flavio Tello-Saenz. “My favorite part of the job is the troubleshooting process. I enjoy analyzing how to make these technologically advanced presses operate at their best. Every week there is something different and I’m always learning.”

    Ericka L.Luneau, director of human resources at Koenig & Bauer (US), spearheaded the apprenticeship effort. “We see great value in the next generation of employees who are being trained,” she says. “The goal of our program is to fulfill the growing need for trained operators to meet the future demand of current and potential customers. Our 203-year-old company depends on highly skilled technicians to maintain our reputation for a high level of service.”

    Luneau is grateful to Haensch, who has mentored the two students through the program. His involvement with them has helped tremendously with their success, she says, not just from a technical sense; but also preparing them for a life on the road, instilling strong work ethics, building loyalty with the company, and keeping them excited and motivated. Additionally, Florian Spiekermann, director of analytics and special projects, was a key member who worked with Koenig & Bauer’s German team to develop the learning path for the program and assisted with the recruitment.  

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    news-1989 Tue, 11 May 2021 11:25:42 +0200 Shareholders approve all items of the agenda with a clear majority http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/shareholders-approve-all-items-of-the-agenda-with-a-clear-majority/
  • Company still on a recovery trajectory – strategic stability underpinned by the diversity of the product portfolio
  • Focus on P24x performance programme resulting in improved operating earnings and financial strength
  • Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Hatschek re-elected to the Supervisory Board as a shareholder representative
  • New remuneration system for members of the Management Board (“say on pay”) adopted 
  • Around 57,4 per cent of Koenig & Bauer AG’s share capital was represented at its 96th annual general meeting for the 2020 financial year. Held in virtual form for the second time for the protection of all participants due to the ongoing pandemic, the annual general meeting was declared open at 11 a.m. by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Professor Dr.-Ing. Raimund Klinkner. He presided over the meeting and outlined in the Supervisory Board’s report the main aspects of its activities, stating that, in a business environment dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Supervisory Board’s activities had particularly focused on stabilising and improving the Group’s operating earnings and financial strength and dealing with Management Board matters, strategic issues and, above all, the Management Board’s response to the coronavirus crisis. “The Supervisory Board would like to thank all employees, the Management Board, all managers and the employee representatives for their great commitment to our Group in 2020, which was an extraordinarily difficult year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our thanks also go out to our shareholders for their confidence in our company,” Klinkner emphasised.

    The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Professor Dr. Ing. Raimund Klinkner, announcing the results of the proposed resolutions, which the shareholders adopted with a large majority (2)

    In the live steam, the Management Board reported to the shareholders on the company’s strategy and business performance in 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. Following the successful implementation of the P24x efficiency programme, Koenig & Bauer is aiming to increase Group sales to around €1.3bn by 2024 with its excellent and innovative products and services. This will also be aided by the diversity of the printing products created using Koenig & Bauer presses and equipment. There is hardly any substrate that cannot be printed on: from cardboard, corrugated board, foil, sheet metal and glass packaging to banknote, book, display, marking and coding, magazine, advertising and newspaper printing. As Chief Executive Officer Dr Andreas Pleßke explained: “This diversity ensures us of strategic stability. We are well positioned for the future as the end markets that we address and particularly also the structurally growing packaging printing segment, e.g. for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are fundamentally intact. Despite all due caution in view of the still uncertain economic conditions, we take this as a sign that we are focusing on the right end and future markets with our range of presses and services. For example, corrugated-board printing could experience a significant boost in the coming years given the growth in e-commerce. In banknote printing, current market indicators such as the project pipeline and production figures point to a continuation of the robust business environment. Accordingly, we still see our proven broad product range as appropriate for achieving our goals.”

    In the three-part speech held by the members of the Management Board, COO Michael Ulverich went into detail about the numerous projects including those in connection with the P24x efficiency programme in the areas of production, purchasing and logistics, for which he is responsible, and also presented the new plans for standardisation across the business units in the interests of sustainable and effective reductions in production costs. “We view the establishment of a modular and platform strategy across all new press types in the Group as a decisive prerequisite for our long-term future orientation,” says Michael Ulverich.

    Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO, summed up the savings effects achieved from the P24x efficiency programme and added: “Our efforts are beginning to pay off, as can be seen from the improvement in operating earnings and financial strength. With our active net working capital management, we were able to significantly increase free cash flow to around €22m in the first quarter of 2021. We have thus succeeded in returning to our pre-pandemic net financial position thanks also to the reduction in net working capital. With an equity ratio of 26% and freely available funds of more than €250m, we are financially well positioned. This is also reflected in the gratifying performance of Koenig & Bauer shares, which have gained over 26% since the last annual general meeting in 2020.”

    The speakers at a glance: Koenig & Bauer AG’s annual general meeting was held in virtual form for the second time due to the Covid-19 pandemic (1)

    High approval by the shareholders

    The company’s shareholders were asked to vote on eight of the nine items on the agenda at the annual general meeting, including the re-election of Dipl.-Ing. Matthias Hatschek as a shareholder representative. They accepted management’s proposal with a large majority, also approving item two of the agenda, providing for the holding company Koenig & Bauer AG to carry forward the unappropriated surplus. In addition to ratifying the actions of the Management Board and the Supervisory Board, the shareholders elected PricewaterhouseCoopers, Frankfurt am Main, as the external auditor of the annual financial statements and the consolidated financial statements for 2021. As well as this, the shareholders approved the proposed amendment of the remuneration systems (“say on pay”) for the Management Board and the Supervisory Board. Under item nine of the agenda, they approved two profit transfer agreements, likewise with a large majority.

    The individual voting results can be found at www.koenig-bauer.com/investor-relations/hauptversammlung/

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    news-1986 Mon, 10 May 2021 13:27:12 +0200 Direct Edge Media Captures New Opportunities With Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 41-Inch Capital Investment http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/direct-edge-media-captures-new-opportunities-with-koenig-bauer-rapida-105-41-inch-capital-investment/
  • Recently expanded facility merges its sheetfed digital, sheetfed offset, and bindery under one roof
  • New inline UV capabilities expand important innovative finishing techniques
  • The new Rapida 105 will provide a competitive advantage and meet the growing demands of its high-end clientele
  • Enter the brand new 26,000 sq ft facility of Direct Edge, an industry-leading print communications company with locations in both Southern California and Colorado, and visitors are sure to see some of the most innovative and unique print work being produced for its well-known national portfolio of customers. Its team of employees might be creating innovative packaging for an exciting movie premiere or producing a new boxed kit to encourage shoppers to try a new skincare line. Promotional items for the Nascar season opener at Daytona are being printed alongside window displays to attract attention at the Downtown Disney complex in Anaheim.

    Celebrating its 20th year in business, Direct Edge has earned its stellar reputation for being technology driven, visually inspired, and offering progressive solutions through its mix of both digital and conventional offset printing. This spring, the firm added firepower to its pressroom with a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 41-inch fully automated press.

    (Left to right) From left to right: Jay Sheffield, director of operations of Direct Edge; Ryan Clark, co-founder of Direct Edge; Marcus Schoen, Koenig & Bauer regional sales manager; Toby Johnson, director of sales at Direct Edge; and Ryan Brueckner, CEO and co-founder of Direct Edge

    “We have been able to produce amazingly creative work for our clients because of our deeply rooted core value of ‘Say Yes’ and a commitment to exhaust all options to deliver results,” says Ryan Brueckner, CEO and co-founder of Direct Edge. “Over the past 20 years, Direct Edge has built its success on providing our customers with industry leading customer service, while investing in superior technology and innovation to deliver powerful print and visual marketing solutions. This focus allows us to continuously evolve and expand our capabilities without limiting what we can offer our clients.”

    That was the impetus when the firm decided to retire an older offset press and seek an upgraded machine with the latest automation that also included inline UV coating. After thoroughly vetting all of the top press manufacturers, Direct Edge chose the Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 for its quality, high speed, superior automation, and UV capabilities as well as its press efficiency and real time production tracking. Partnering with Koenig & Bauer’s more than 200 years of experience also gave Direct Edge peace of mind as it reinforced the confidence in ensuring that the firm exceeds its strategic goals, added Brueckner.

    Currently the firm’s litho department produces 60% of its work digitally and 40% using conventional offset. “We plan to grow our high quality litho clients with the new Rapida,” says Jay Sheffield, director of operations. “Its high production will help accelerate faster turn times. While lower costs, higher quality and quicker turn time have remained a constant trend, we have also noticed that clients are looking for impactful finishing techniques that are cost effective. The Rapida’s UV capability will increase our capabilities by offering additional specialty coatings to our clients.”

    Toby Johnson, director of sales at Direct Edge, sees potential in expanding the firm’s finishing techniques through the new UV capabilities. “We’ll be able to offer flood gloss and dull UV, spot gloss and spot dull UV, strike thru UV, reticulating UV, and textures such as sandpaper,” he remarks. “We believe the Rapida will help give us a unique advantage over our competitors and meet the growing demands of our clients in order to ensure the highest value and ultimate customer satisfaction.”

    About Direct Edge Media, Inc.

    Direct Edge Media Inc. was established in 2001 and is one of the fastest growing print companies. Co-founded by Ryan Brueckner and Ryan Clark, the company started as a large-format photo printer and quickly evolved into a full-service print communications company, providing a variety of capabilities ranging from its proprietary Print-on-Demand program to print production to warehousing and logistics. With its main office located in Anaheim, California, Direct Edge also has a second production site in Anaheim and a third located in Denver, Colorado. For more information about Direct Edge Media.

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    news-1980 Tue, 04 May 2021 06:43:00 +0200 Koenig & Bauer continuing on its recovery trajectory with its figures for the first quarter of 2021 – strong order intake with double-digit growth in Sheetfed segment and improved earnings despite lower revenue http://metalprint.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-continuing-on-its-recovery-trajectory-with-its-figures-for-the-first-quarter-of-2021-strong-order-intake-with-double-digit-growth-in-sheetfed-segment-and-improved-earnings-despite-lower-revenue/
  • 5.3% increase in order intake, particularly underpinned by double-digit growth in the Sheetfed segment
  • Covid-19-induced decline of 7.8% in Group revenue – but better than the industry average of a 13.5% drop according to VDMA
  • P24x efficiency programme spurring earnings, €8.1m improvement in EBIT despite lower revenue
  • With a positive free cash flow of €22.1m, return to pre-Covid-19 net financial position
  • The Koenig & Bauer Group (“Koenig & Bauer”) entered 2021 on a strong note, posting a 5.3% increase in order intake over the previous year to €286.0m. This was particularly due to a double-digit increase in orders in the Sheetfed segment, of which around 60% can be attributed to the sharp growth in the more pandemic-resistant packaging printing market. This enabled Koenig & Bauer to additionally expand its position in the market for sheetfed offset presses for packaging printing.

    As Dr Andreas Pleßke, the CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG, explains: This favourable order intake shows us that our customers’ spending reticence is beginning to dissipate in many areas. Nevertheless, some new investments are being postponed due to the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. This mainly concerns digital decor and corrugated board printing as well as metal decorating, although we are still seeing noticeable interest on the part of our customers, and corrugated board printing, for example, is likely to experience a considerable boost over the next few years given the growth in e-commerce business. The end markets that we address and particularly also the structurally growing packaging printing segment, e.g. for food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are fundamentally intact. In banknote printing, current market indicators such as the project pipeline and production figures point to a continuation of the robust business environment. Accordingly, we still see our proven broad product range as appropriate for achieving our goals and are convinced that we will strengthen and further expand our market position not only in the area of packaging printing.”

    At €243m, Group revenue was 7.8% down on the previous year’s figure due to the impact of Covid-19. However, the decline in revenue was less pronounced than the 13.5% drop in industry-wide revenue from sales of printing presses registered by industry association VDMA. Service business accounted for about 29% of the Group’s revenue in the first quarter of 2021 against the backdrop of the pandemic. This means that the target of 30% for Group service business was almost reached, albeit on the basis of lower new press business than in the previous year.

    Despite the lower Group revenue, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) reached -€8.9m, compared with -€170m in the same quarter of the previous year. The improvement of around €8.1m despite the negative volume and margin effects is mainly due to the P24x efficiency programme and reduced functional costs as well as the use of short-time work. As a result, the EBIT margin improved from -6.4% to -3.7% in the first quarter of 2021. Group net loss shrank from -€19.1m in the previous year to -€11.7m, translating into earning per share for the period of -€0.72 (previous year: -€1.16).

    With machines from Koenig & Bauer, the full diversity of printed products becomes visible - not just in packaging

    Segments painting a mixed picture – Sheetfed with double-digit increase in order intake

    The individual segments were affected to differing degrees by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021.

    In the Sheetfed segment, order intake in particular was very favourable in the first quarter of 2021 thanks to growth in the orders for large-format sheetfed offset presses and parts of the post-press range for example, rising by 20.6% to €193.1m. More than 60% of the orders were attributable to the packaging printing market, which is also growing during the Covid 19 pandemic and, for example, includes folding cartons and labels. At €145.5m, revenue remained at the previous year’s level. The order backlog grew by 23.6% to €379.7m. EBIT climbed to -€3.1m (previous year: -€4.3m), translating into an EBIT margin of -2.1% (previous year: -2.9%).

    Order intake in the Digital & Webfed segment was heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021. Growth in flexo presses for flexible packaging was unable to make up for lower orders for web offset presses. Customers’ pandemic-related reluctance to invest in digital decor and corrugated board printing was also reflected in a 46.1% decline in order intake to €23.5m. The order backlog contracted from €99m to €60.6m. At €30.5m, revenue remained almost at the previous year’s low level and had a material impact on EBIT, which came to -€4.3m (previous year: -€5.6m). The EBIT margin improved to -14.1%, compared with -17.4% in the previous year.

    At €73.4m, order intake in the Special segment was virtually unchanged over the previous year. Orders registered by Banknote Solutions (banknote and security printing) and Kammann (direct decoration of hollow bodies made of glass, plastic and metal) were higher. On the other hand, there was a decline in order intake at MetalPrint (metal packaging). With respect to Coding (coding solutions for all industries), new business remained stable compared with the same quarter of the previous year. The order backlog dropped to €237.5m in the quarter under review. Despite the €18.2m decline in revenue, EBIT improved from -€4.5m to -€3.9m, with the EBIT margin reaching -5.3%, compared with -4.9% in the previous year.

    Significant improvement in cash flow due  reduction also in net working capital and lower net financial position against the backdrop of Covid-19

    Both the cash flow from operating activities and free cash flow increased significantly over the same quarter of the previous year and also compared with the end of 2020. The cash flow from operating activities came to €27.8m, while free cash flow improved to €22.1m also due to the reduction in net working capital. Moreover, net financial debt was lowered significantly to €-26.0m (31 March 2020: €-40.7m; 31 December 2020: €-47.1m) despite the protracted global Covid-19 pandemic. With freely available funds of more than €250m and a slightly higher equity ratio of 26.0% as of 31 March 2021, the Group is financially well positioned.    

    Dr Stephen Kimmich, CFO of Koenig & Bauer AG: “The order backlog, which has again risen by around 7% compared with the end of the year to more than €670m, provides a solid basis for the growth that we are planning for the Koenig & Bauer Group in 2021. With the efficiency measures under P24x, we have also laid important foundations for improving our profitability. In the first quarter of 2021, we were again able to successfully implement further measures, and this should already allow us to break even at the EBIT level in 2021. After the completion of the four-year efficiency programme, we hope to achieve revenue of €1.3bn and an EBIT margin of at least 7% and to reduce net working capital to a maximum of 25% of annual revenue. In the first quarter of 2021, we came a further step closer to achieving this goal through active net working capital management.”

    The financial statements can be downloaded as a PDF file from here

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