The company provided a visit to the parent plant in Würzburg, Germany.
Visitors got a first-hand look at state-of-the-art production facilities, the new Demo Center for digital and flexo printing presses ‒ soon to be equipped with machines ‒ and a piece of history.
That included a circular motion press from 1868, which printed an engraving of the company's birthplace: the monastery Oberzell. A Super Orloff Intaglio III press printed a specimen banknote; the Genius 52UV from KBA-NotaSys printed a security document; the digital web press RotaJET L printed a 2.2m long poster of the Würzburg-born Dirk Nowitzki, the 7-foot, star power forward for the NBA's Dallas Mavericks; and the world's largest inkjet press, the HP T1100S, produced for HP by Koenig & Bauer, printed a 2.8 m wide topliner for corrugated board.
CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann described some of the company's acquisitions from the past 25 years, which have turned the company into a leading player in package printing.
"From morning to evening, we meet printed products that were produced on Koenig & Bauer presses: from the directly printed perfume bottle in the bathroom in the morning, the newspaper at the breakfast table, banknotes, credit cards and a wide range of packaging when going shopping, to books or magazines in the evening," said Bolza-Schünemann. "The best thing about this is that most of these print products cannot be replaced by online media or computer screens, and the demand is continuing to rise. This makes us optimistic for our future."
Earnings and share price reflect successful strategyWith the introduction of a holding structure and a clear focus by the operating companies on their respective market segments, Koenig & Bauer largely completed its comprehensive reorientation in 2015, after the slump in the printing industry.
Koenig & Bauer achieved the best result in the company's long history in 2016, with an EBIT of € 87.1 million. The increase in the share price from €10 at the beginning of 2015 to significantly over €60 now reflects the company's convincing strategy and development.
Growth in packaging and industrial printing"After a decade of declining sales, growth has become the central pillar of our corporate strategy," said CFO Dr. Mathias Dähn. "All business units should contribute to this and work profitably."
Koenig & Bauer wants to improve its market share further in flexible packaging printing, corrugated board printing and the marking & coding sector. New products such as the VariJet 106 digital hybrid press featured at Drupa 2016 as well as digital, flexo and offset presses for corrugated board, metal sheets and beverage cans are intended to contribute to this. In the course of the official jubilee ceremony, Bolza-Schünemann announced the order of the first digital CorruJET sheetfed press for corrugated board from a German customer. A further example of the expansion strategy on the packaging market is the purchase of the Spanish die-cutter manufacturer Iberica in July 2016.
A young but expanding business area is that of industrial applications such as decorative printing, which Koenig & Bauer successfully addresses with the RotaJET VL, which is up to 2.25 m wide. On account of the drop in demand for new presses in the business with web offset presses for newspaper and commercial printing, the Würzburg company now plans to expand its services to cover older presses. New services have also been offered within the framework of digital transformation (KBA 4.0). The service turnover for sheetfed and web presses has grown significantly and is expected to rise to 30 perecent of group turnover.
According to Dähn, the Koenig & Bauer Group has set itself a goal for the anniversary year of 2017, with a group turnover of approximately €1.25 billion and an EBIT margin of around 6 percent. The planning for the period up to 2021 provides for a growth in sales of 4 percent p.a. and - depending on the development of the world economy - an annual EBIT margin between 4–9 percent.
Spectacular commemorative publication in the jubilee boxFor the company's birthday, Koenig & Bauer presented a commemorative publication: "People ‒ Machines ‒ Ideas". Marketing Director Klaus Schmidt said the almost 2 kg (4.4 lbs.) heavy tome with three "books" that differ greatly in terms of content and design in an elaborate jubilee box is not a chronological enumeration of the events and achievements of the last 200 years.
Said Schmidt: "Our unusual commemorative publication is a printed declaration of love for the past, present and future of print."
The small-format hardcover book "People" is a fictional reading book with hand-drawn illustrations. In 12 chapters, it tells the history of people at Koenig & Bauer, from the founders until today ‒ embedded in the historical events of the respective time.
"Machines" is a collection of 13 richly illustrated posters printed on both sides showing printing presses from Koenig & Bauer from 1814 until today.
Schmidt described it as "a striking wall decoration for everyone who understands or wants to understand printing technology."
The magazine "Ideas" presents countless facts, figures and thoughts as a future-oriented workshop with a highly modern layout.
"This is worth reading by all those who deal with the future of the print sector," said Schmidt.
Relaunch of the ageless brand Koenig & BauerThe printing press manufacturer is starting off the company's 3rd century with a new market appearance.
The brand KBA, which was introduced in 1990 after the takeover of Albert-Frankenthal AG, will revert to the original brand of Koenig & Bauer, albeit with a completely new look for the logo, means of communication, business equipment and product design.
"Koenig & Bauer AG today has 33 subsidiaries," said Bolza-Schünemann. "Twelve of them produce their own products for their own customers. We see the company anniversary as an ideal time to place all activities of the Group, from classic printing to digital printing - including prepress and post-press and top service - under a strong common roof again."
The relaunch is "intended to strengthen the employee’s pride in the history of the company and the pride of new employees, who have joined the Group through acquisitions, in the common brand Koenig & Bauer, and to allow old and new customers to feel the strength of this traditional brand even more, with a modern appearance and product design," according to Bolza-Schünemann.
New claim "we're on it" …The ampersand between the surnames of the founders of the company was chosen as the short form of the brand name Koenig & Bauer, designed in the new company font, for promotional activities, stickers, drawings, spare parts, etc.
It now also stands as a 3 m (9.8 ft.) high cast column beside the new Demo Center.
"Our mission is to bring together what moves our customers forward," said Bolza-Schünemann. "The ampersand symbolises the brand core of Koenig & Bauer and combines the values of the company, which are 'Tradition & Innovation,' 'Requirements & Technologies' and 'Approachability & Professionalism.'"
... and the new product designThe new product design is intended to make the extraordinary quality, performance and user orientation of the presses and systems supplied by the companies in the Koenig & Bauer Group even more visible. The forms of the machine design are based on basic geometric structures that demonstrate clarity and self-confidence. The traditional company colour blue becomes warmer and more accentuated, while its use is reduced. It harmonises perfectly with the new dark and light shades of grey. Added to this is a contemporary interface design that is also attractive for "digital natives." The new design is to be implemented immediately for new products, and successively up until Drupa 2020 for all other product families of the Koenig & Bauer Group. The objective is a harmonious symbiosis of corporate design and product design.
Photos courtesy Koenig & Bauer