Koenig & Bauer News Feed https://www.koenig-bauer.com/ en Koenig & Bauer AG Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:06:02 +0100 Sun, 25 Oct 2020 11:06:02 +0100 news-1772 Wed, 29 Jul 2020 07:15:00 +0200 Koenig & Bauer publishes its H1 report 2020 http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-publishes-its-h1-report-2020/
  • Delivery and pandemic-related revenue decline by 20.1%
  • Order intake 16.2% below prior year, considerably better than industry trend
  • Earnings significantly impacted by low revenue
  • On the cost side, massively counteracted with short-time working from 1 April 2020 and other measures
  • Equity ratio of 32.2%
  • In addition to the general investment restraint on the part of many customers in the corona crisis, travel bans, lockdowns and other restrictions significantly affected the business figures of the Koenig & Bauer group in the first half of 2020. The restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic particularly impeded deliveries of the presses to the international customers as well as the worldwide deployment of the assembly staff and service technicians. At €480.2m, orders were 16.2% lower than in the previous year, although this was better than the sector trend for printing presses published by industry association VDMA. At €404.5m, revenue fell short of the previous year by 20.1%. On the cost side, massive measures were taken to address the effects of the crisis, introducing short-time working from 1 April 2020 alongside other steps. EBIT improved substantially from –€34.9m in Q1 to –€6m in Q2. For the first half of the year, EBIT was –€40.9m after €0.6m in the previous year. At –€44.2m, net earnings as of 30 June corresponds to earnings per share of –€2.68.

    Despite substantially lower trade receivables and higher customer prepayments, the half-year loss and the increase in inventories had major impacts on cash flows from operating activities, which came to –€68.6m (2019: –€96.5m). The equity ratio stood at 32.2% at the end of June 2020.

    Die bei der virtuellen Messe Koenig & Bauer Live im Juni neu vorgestellte High-End-Maschine Rapida 106 X für das Bogenoffset-Mittelformat setzt neue Leistungsmaßstäbe im industriellen Druck (1)

    Segment performance

    Despite the substantial gains with large-format sheetfed offset presses and folder gluers, order intake in the Sheetfed segment declined by 12.9% over the previous year’s figure of €330.6m to €288m due to lower orders for medium and half-format presses. Revenue of €205.5m was 20.6% lower than the previous year’s figure (€258.9m) for delivery-related reasons and due to the effects of the pandemic. With the book-to-bill ratio coming to 1.4, order backlog rose from €261.6m to €265.9m. Due to lower revenue, EBIT of –€17.4m was below the previous year (–€1.3m).

    Order intake in the Digital & Web segment came to €56.7m, down from €89.9m in the previous year, due to lower orders in the web offset press business and for flexible packaging printing. At €51.6m, revenue was down on the previous year (€64.5m). The order backlog contracted from €111.2m to €71.2m. The lower revenue had a significant impact on the EBIT of –€12.1m (2019: –€10.8m).

    The decline in order intake in the Special segment from €175.3m to €150.7m reflects lower orders for security printing, marking and coding as well as glass direct printing. In metal decorating, there was an increase in new business. Revenue fell from €204.9m to €160.1m. The order backlog reached €278.1m after €316m in the previous year. After €6.3m in the previous year, EBIT came to –€10.3m in the first half of 2020 for revenue-related reasons.

    Die Umsätze und Bestellungen der im Verpackungssektor eingesetzten Bogenoffset-Großformatmaschinen und Faltschachtelklebemaschinen legten auch in der Krise zu (2)


    CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “In view of the high volatility and the great uncertainties surrounding the severity and duration of the coronavirus pandemic and the success of health, economic and monetary policies, the further global economic development is uncertain. Given these uncertain underlying conditions, it is currently not yet possible to issue any revenue and earnings guidance for 2020 for our group. The management board is working intensively on the Performance 2024 efficiency programme to increase the operating profitability. We have applied for a KfW loan to supplement the existing syndicated credit facilities. In addition, improvements in working capital and cash flow are at the top of the agenda together with the strategic focus on packaging printing and digital services.”

    Figures at a glance

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

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    news-1644 Thu, 19 Mar 2020 07:25:00 +0100 Koenig & Bauer publishes its annual report for 2019: On Future Track http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-veroeffentlicht-geschaeftsbericht-2019-auf-zukunftskurs/
  • Managing the possible consequences of the corona crisis is currently a top priority, professional project organisation already established
  • Good order intake in Q4 2019, although not all expected orders were placed in security printing and metal decorating
  • Follow-up orders of strategic importance in digital decor and corrugated printing received after the close of the financial year 2019
  • Group revenue in 2019 at the previous year’s level
  • EBIT margin of 4.6% below target due to some special items
  • Significant cash flow improvement in Q4
  • Equity ratio of 34.3%
  • Suspension of the dividend payment for 2019 in view of the significantly increased uncertainties caused by the corona crisis
  • Impacts of the corona crisis on group performance in 2020 are currently completely open
  • With its strategic focus on the growth market of packaging, Koenig & Bauer is on track to reduce the dependency on politically volatile und lumpy security printing business by increasing revenue and earnings in this area. Through the acquisition of Iberica and Duran, the joint venture with Durst as well as various partnerships in the software field, the portfolio for packaging printing markets was expanded further. Following a testing phase of the CorruCUT sheetfed flexo press for analogue direct printing on corrugated board, the prestigious pilot customer and development partner Klingele accepted the newly developed machine after a demanding factory acceptance test. The machine is now producing in two shifts at the Klingele plant in Delmenhorst near Bremen, Germany. With the CorruFLEX order from Thimm Packaging Systems, Koenig & Bauer received a strategically important follow-up order in corrugated board printing. Interprint ordered the third RotaJET for digital decor printing. After the sixth press sale for digital decor printing and the key order from Tetra Pak for digital full-colour beverage carton printing, the RotaJET digital printing platform is particularly successful in the market. The service initiative launched in 2016 is also bearing fruit. The service revenue share in the Koenig & Bauer group increased significantly from 25.9% in the previous year to 28.2%.

    Der Service-Umsatzanteil konnte 2019 im Konzern auf 28,2 % gesteigert werden (1)

    CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann: “The end markets we address are fundamentally intact with packaging printing showing good structural growth. However, growth requires normal business years. Due to the increasing economic uncertainty, we decided to invest significantly in reducing manufacturing costs and to join forces more strongly within the group. With these measures, we aim to position ourselves to a greater extent independent of the economy and more competitively for the future.”

    Dr Andreas Pleßke, the Management Board member responsible for the Performance 2024 programme explains further details: “With the Performance 2024 programme, we are currently targeting reducing costs by over €70m by 2024 with one-off costs of €30m to €40m. We expect the package of measures to be expanded further. The focus of the various projects aimed at optimising group-wide structures and processes is on considerably reducing manufacturing costs to achieve a significant improvement in the earnings situation in the new machine business. This includes design-to-cost projects, purchasing optimisations and some further measures. Bundling tasks as shared services as well as the reduction of holding costs and SG&A expenses are also on the agenda.”

    CFO Dr Mathias Dähn adds: “In addition to the cost-cutting projects, the efficiency programme aims to reduce lead times in assembly and accelerate customer acceptance. In addition to shorter delivery times, this will lead to a drop in working capital and a cash flow improvement. Moreover, we work with further activities and a sophisticated controlling of all measures with permanent monitoring on the significant reduction in working capital. We see considerable potential for improvement, particularly in security printing in terms of inventories and receivables through optimised sales management and stepping up export financing. The comprehensive package of measures also aims at a more even distribution of revenue over the year in the Sheetfed segment.”

    Business performance in 2019 in the Koenig & Bauer group

    Not all expected orders in security printing and metal decorating were awarded in 2019, therefore order intake and order backlog of €1,141.3m and €533.7m respectively were below the figures for the prior year (€1,222m and €610.9m respectively) favoured by the major Egyptian order. With €1,218.5m, group revenue reached the level of the prior year (2018: €1,226m). Earning were burdened by high investments in the growth offensive 2023. While a lack of profit contributions due to delayed or shifted contract closings and higher costs in order processing further reduced earnings, one-time income had a positive effect. On balance, a margin of 4.6% was achieved with EBIT of €56m (2018: €87.4m and 7.1% respectively). At €38.4m, group net profit (previous year: €64m) translates into earnings per share of €2.31 in 2019 (2018: €3.86). In view of the significantly increased uncertainties caused by the corona crisis, the Management Board and Supervisory Board will propose to the annual general meeting to suspend the dividend payment for the financial year 2019 and to carry forward the retained profit generated by the holding company Koenig & Bauer AG to new account. The fundamental policy of distributing 15% to 35% of group net profit remains unaffected.

    Mit eigenen Entwicklungen, Akquisitionen und Kooperationen hat sich Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed zum One-Stop-Shop-Partner im Wachstumsmarkt Faltschachteln entwickelt (2)

    Business performance in 2019 in the segments

    In addition to the strong service business, more orders for large- and medium-format presses led to growth in order intake in the Sheetfed segment of 8.9% to €625.3m (2018: €574.3m). Compared to 2018 (€615.9m), revenue increased by 2.6% to €631.8m. The slightly lower order backlog of €183.4m compared to the previous year (€189.9m) remained at a good level. Due to the product and regional mix and higher order processing costs, EBIT of €19.4m was below the figure from the prior year (€35.4m).

    In Digital & Web, order intake of €144.9m was 18% below the prior-year’s figure of €176.6m. In addition to the shrinking web offset service business, lower orders in flexible packaging printing were the main reason for this decline. Revenue increased by 7.4% from €153.3m to €164.6m. On balance, the order backlog decreased from €85.8m to €66.1m at the end of 2019. The EBIT of –€16.5m (previous year: –€10.2m) was burdened by high market-entry and growth-related expenses as well as the negative result in flexible packaging printing.

    In the Special segment, order intake of €406.7m was below the prior-year’s figure of €505.1m, which was impacted by a major order in security printing. After €491.5m in the previous year, revenue of €463.9m was achieved. Order backlog at the end of 2019 was €287.3m (31 December 2018: €344.5m). As a result of the lower revenue, product mix and unexpected project expenses for the major security printing order, EBIT amounted to €43.9m after €48.2m in the previous year despite one-time income.

    Above-average balance sheet ratios

    In addition to the high investment expenditures and the dividend payment, cash flows were influenced by one-time effects such as the significant capital lock-up resulted from the major Egyptian order. Accordingly, cash flows from operating activities of –€7.9m and free cash flow of –€52.3m were below the prior-year figures (€66.3m and –€19.5m respectively). The long-term credit facility syndicated by renowned banks is strengthening the group’s stability. In terms of balance sheet ratios, the Koenig & Bauer group is well-positioned with an equity ratio of 34.3%.

    Guidance for 2020

    CFO Mathias Dähn: “Even before the outbreak of the coronavirus, global economic conditions were demanding. Given the daily worsening global economic situation due to the coronavirus, the impacts on our company and the achievement of our planning are currently completely open. For 2020, we are planning to achieve a largely stable group revenue compared to the previous year and the prior year's EBIT level without the around €10m in special expenses from the efficiency programme. Managing the possible consequences of the corona crisis is currently a top priority.”

    Figures at a glance

    The Annual Report can be downloaded as a PDF file from here.  

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    news-1633 Thu, 12 Mar 2020 17:39:02 +0100 Blackmore’s print is certified to be of the highest quality http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/blackmores-print-is-certified-to-be-of-the-highest-quality/ •       Independently audited quality

    •       Colour managed and controlled

    •       Sustainable print

    Blackmore Management Team (L-R) - Production Director Nigel Hunt, Managing Director Andy Robbins and Commercial Director Simon West

    Watford, 03.03.2020
    Rapida 105 LED UV user Blackmore has recently completed the rigorous testing process and achieved the prestigious BPIF Colour Quality Management Certification Scheme’s ‘Professional Certificate’. Whilst many schemes for colour measurement and control are used around the world, the BPIF version is one of a handful of schemes where there is a requirement to have internal processes assessed by a 3rd party auditor. In this case, UKAS are the chosen auditors which means that these certifications are globally recognised.

    Describing the process, Production Director Nigel Hunt stated: “We understand that 80% of printers who apply for certification fail on the first audit due to the presumption that they would get some guidance during the assessment process. We were made aware that the auditor is there purely to observe the processes you have in place and provide feedback at the end. Therefore, we had to consult with a few suppliers in advance such as Sun Chemical’s Kevin Purdy to ensure our processes were up to scratch. We already have great control of our colour management but this was an opportunity to re-evaluate what we do and I am delighted to say we passed in all areas.”

    Describing the process, he continues “The auditor takes sheets every 300 sheets during a 3000 sheet run and these form the basis of the evaluation from the print side of things. To keep the colour consistent we use QualiTronic ColorControl, the inline colour control system on the press. Additionally, we print using LEDUV on the Rapida 105 which means that we don’t have to concern ourselves with the effects of dry back of the colours; an important requirement of the standard.”

    Blackmore's Rapida 105 LED UV press

    Blackmore Managing Director Andy Robbins states: “We have already received a number of enquiries in relation to our certification from new and existing clients. We have an excellent reputation for providing high quality print. However, for us to make the statement that we are an officially accredited printer rather than stating we are “working to the requirements of ISO 12647-2” is a real bonus for us and our customers.” He adds “We have other accreditations for sustainability such as the Kodak Sonora Green Leaf Award and we have accreditations for ISO 9001, 14001, 18001 and we are also FSC certified.

    Continuing on the subject of sustainability Mr Robbins adds “Our press is running zero alcohol and we use very little waste due to our colour management processes. Additionally, the press uses LEDUV drying which means we use a fraction of the power required to dry our sheets that traditional litho presses require. With this accreditation we can now offer the complete package of sustainable, and certified high quality print.”

    Chris Scully, Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director

    Koenig & Bauer UK Sales Director Chris Scully states: “We congratulate Blackmore on their recent successful audit and accreditation. Their print quality has always been first class and the fact that they have achieved this using the Rapida 105 LEDUV press and its colour control equipment makes us feel especially proud. They now join an exclusive group of Koenig & Bauer press users in the UK who have had their print output certified by an external auditor and passed with flying colours.”

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    news-1621 Wed, 04 Mar 2020 18:23:59 +0100 Qualvis Print and Packaging hail the flexibility of the Rapida 106 http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/qualvis-print-and-packaging-hail-the-flexibility-of-the-rapida-106/ Watford, 24.02.2020
    Leicester based, high quality carton manufacturer Qualvis Print and Packaging Ltd have completed 4 years as a Koenig & Bauer customer with their Drupa 2016 ordered Rapida 106. The investment in the press alongside the support from Koenig & Bauer has enabled the family owned business to transform their product range and to keep them at the forefront of the recent trends for sustainable packaging. The 3 jobs that they submitted recently for the Koenig & Bauer 1814 Performance Excellent Awards in November 2019 saw them awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate as well as opening up new markets for the business.

    Qualvis Print and Packaging Sales Director Richard Pacey

    Speaking about the new direction for the business, Qualvis Print and Packaging Sales Director Richard Pacey states “We have re-focussed our strategy on value added packaging in a broad range of markets rather than pure volume work in predominantly food sectors. We are now fully able to explore the possibilities of our Rapida 106 and make recommendations to our customers that can elevate their brands packaging and offer them something a little bit different. We have become trusted advisors to them in a partnership approach. We have come up with some really exciting products and effects on the press whilst allowing our customers to reduce the impact of their packaging on the environment.”

    The print production hall at Qualvis Print and Packaging with the Rapida 106 and 3 Iberica die cutters

    Mr Pacey continues: “The Rapida 106 has been critical to our success. The service, support and print quality over the whole of the last 4 years has been fantastic. We recently had to produce a job for a prestigious client on a highly textured material and the quality of print we got from the Rapida was exceptional. We know that this result would be difficult to achieve on a different press. Additionally, we get lots of repeat jobs in shorter batches and we need a press that can give us the same consistent result every time. We can also be very flexible in being able to print with both UV and conventional inks and coatings dependent upon the brand requirements.”

    The Rapida 106 7LTTL at Qualvis Print and Packaging

    Highly commended print

    The 3 jobs submitted for the Performance excellence awards were 3 case studies:

    Job 1: A biscuit pack that reduced plastic by 90% whilst maintaining product integrity. The smaller packs reduced the carbon footprint by half, grew sales for the brand which meant an improved market share for the client. The make ready for the job was completed in just 13 minutes and waste for the job was 4%.

    Job 2: Qualvis were tasked with developing a new range of “luxury sustainable packaging” A cosmetic products carton which was traditionally printed on metpol board, this product was substituted for a fully recyclable cold foil solution. The packs were printed in both UV and conventional inks and coating and colour consistency and control throughout the run was superb.

    Job 3: A luxury cosmetics pack which was traditionally produced a rigid box design. The client wanted to convert it to a more sustainable flat folding carton design but maintain the luxury feel of the product. The product was printed with UV inks and matt varnish with a high resistance to scuffing. A total of 200,000 sheets were produced with just 0.81% of waste and an average speed of 14,000 SPH.

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    news-1589 Wed, 15 Jan 2020 09:48:12 +0100 Offset Print and Packaging return to Koenig & Bauer for a dual post press investment http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/offset-print-and-packaging-return-to-koenig-bauer-for-a-dual-post-press-investment/ Watford, 02.01.20
    Kent based, high quality carton manufacturer Offset Print and Packaging Ltd. have returned to Koenig & Bauer for two post press investments; an Ipress 144 K large format cut and crease machine from Koenig and Bauer Iberica and an Omega Allpro 145 folder gluer from Koenig & Bauer Duran. The double investment ensures Offset Print and Packaging the first company in the U.K. to be equipped with the full range of printing and finishing equipment from Koenig & Bauer.

    Offset Print and Packaging Managing Director of Operations Vince Brearey

    Speaking about the investment Vince Brearey, Managing Director of Operations at Offset Print and Packaging states: "We have been looking into cut and crease investments for the past 18 months in line with our strategic growth plans and were undecided on format size and manufacturer.  Having looked at alternatives and deciding on format size we were impressed with build quality and operator friendly equipment on offer from Koenig & Bauer Iberica.

    The Koenig & Bauer Omega Allpro 145 was not in our initial plans but after seeing a machine at the Koenig & Bauer Open House we decided to invest and upgrade our gluing department with this additional piece of kit to maintain our position at the forefront of production technology. Both machines are built in Europe, to a high specification and offer a cost-effective solution for our ever-growing business."

    The Koenig & Bauer Iberica IPress 144 K

    IPress 144 K

    Offset Print and Packaging have selected a Koenig & Bauer Iberica IPress 144 K which brings additional capacity alongside their an existing equipment and will be delivered in March 2020. The new machine incorporates both stripping and blanking and has a maximum speed of 7500 sheets per hour with 600 tonnes of punching pressure. The stock range is paper, cardboard and corrugated board up to 4mm thick.

    The machine is being adapted to take existing forms from the original manufacturer to save retooling costs and the options selected include: Lateral Optical Printed Mark Register (OPMR) with detects printed register marks on the sheets and a dynamic waste removal system to ensure the perfect release of all shapes of waste.

    The Koenig & Bauer Duran Omega Allpro

    Omega Allpro 145

    The Omega Allpro 145 folder gluer ordered by Offset Print and Packaging has a maximum belt speed of 300m/min is suitable for cartonboard ranging from 200 gsm to 600 gsm. It can also handle corrugated materials N, F, E, C, B, EC and EB flute. The machine will be shipped with a multitude of time and efficiency saving features, as well as improved quality control systems such as a side register unit for improved control of the cartons blanks to ensure precise squaring prior to entering the folding section. For high speed crash lock carton folding without hooks, an innovative Airfold system is used for easier set up as well as a servo backfold system for 4 & 6 corner box capability. The machine  also incorporates a touch screen for rapid set up.

    High quality and ease of use

    Other features include: a top driven final fold section giving improved control and quality of corrugated boxes and a pneumatic squaring system for micro flute crash lock boxes, which improves quality and reduces waste.

    Koenig & Bauer Duran folder gluers have a long history of being operator friendly and have an easy belt change facility to reduce make ready times as well as having standard size belts and bearings for stress free maintenance. The Omega range of folder gluers also come with the reassurance of a comprehensive remote service support facility.

    Chris Scully, Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director

    Koenig & Bauer U.K. Ltd Director of Sales Chris Scully stated: “I am delighted that Offset Printing and Packaging have once again selected Koenig and Bauer as their graphic equipment supplier; this time for post press equipment from our Iberica and Duran business units, We expect this to be first of many similar installations in the U.K.” He continues: “Offset Print and Packaging are an extremely successful business who continue to invest in well-engineered, high end technologies to keep them ahead of the game. We have continued to build upon our already strong relationship and now they have the complete solution from us for both press and post press.”

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    news-1567 Tue, 10 Dec 2019 15:15:10 +0100 Double Winners for this year’s 1814 Production Excellence Award http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/double-winners-for-this-years-1814-production-excellence-award/ Watford, 03.12.19
    New and existing Rapida 106 users were the recipients of this year’s annual 1814 Production Excellence Awards. DG3/Leycol who installed a Rapida 106 5 plus coater in May 2019 picked up the award for commercial print for 3 jobs and Offset Printing and Packaging picked up the packaging award for 2 jobs produced on their Rapida 106 6 plus coater with simultaneous plate changing which was installed in June 2017.

    DG3/Leycol L-R: Chris Scully (Koenig & Bauer UK Sales Director), Nick Wilson (DG3/Leycol Commercial Director), Andrew Pang (Koenig & Bauer UK Managing Director) and Jason Manchester (DG3/Leycol Technical Manager)
    Commercial printing award

    The 3 jobs submitted by Gillingham’s DG/Leycol; a high end wine society brochure and 2 other high quality brochures for publishers, with one featuring 2 different languages. The wine society brochure was produced in 5 .16 hours, 66% faster than the last time it was produced on a 12 colour perfector press. The other 2 jobs brought net running speeds of 17,683 sheets per hour and savings in production times of 49% and 31% respectively.

    All 3 jobs were produced to the I.S.O. 12647-2 standard; DG3/Leycol are one of a handful of companies who hold the BPIF’s Colour Accreditation Scheme Elite Certificate which is independently verified by UKAS. The extremely low make ready and run waste levels on all the jobs (as low as 0.81%) demonstrates the high skill levels within DG3/Leycol and the fantastic colour control systems on the press.

    Offset Print and Packaging L-R: Edward Bone (Managing Director - Sales), Mark Jeavons (Works Manager), Hugh Jarvis (Owner), Mike Cass (Operations Director) and Vince Brearey (Managing Director - Operations)
    Packaging printing award

    For the packaging award, Offset Print and Packaging of Aylesford in Kent produced 2 jobs; a range of high quality tea cartons and a mail order meal kit solution pack. The tea cartons produced on 450 micron Incada Excel material, which consisted of 18 separate conventional pantone inks and with water based varnish throughout. They achieved an average of 11 minutes make ready time throughout over 10 versions with 19 roller and ducts washes and an average waste count of 285 sheets.

    The mail order meal kit selection pack was produced on 450 micron Scancote Elegance material and consisted of CMKY plus 2 pantone colours with matt emulsion and neutral varnishes. The run speed was 39% higher than estimated and the 5 make readies included 24 plate changes. The overall waste count for the jobs waste 2.4%.

    Koenig & Bauer Sheet-fed Vice President of Sales Sven Strzelczyk provides a company update.
    The event was held at London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel and was attended by journalists from the major UK print trade publications. Koenig & Bauer (UK) Managing Director Andrew Pang welcomed all the attendees before inviting Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed’s Vice President of Sales Sven Strzelczyk to present the latest developments within Koenig and Bauer. Following the presentation of the awards Koenig & Bauer’s Vice President of Global Strategic Selling Andy Rae shared the insights he has gained since joining the company in the summer and went on to highlight the future potential for the company.

    Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed Vice President of Global Strategic Selling Andy Rae provides the guests with his insights into the company.
    Koenig & Bauer U.K. Ltd Director of Sales Chris Scully stated: "We congratulate the staff and owners at both DG3/Leycol and Offset Print and Packaging with the quality of entries we had this year we felt that it was unfair to choose just one winner for the 1814 Production Excellence Award. There are significant differences in the methodology for producing commercial print and packaging and each discipline brings its own challenges. The performance of both companies was exceptional for their own sector and this is why we have taken the unprecedented decision to make two awards this year. However, what it does show is that the Rapida 106 will bring the highest performance levels to all of our customers whichever markets they serve."

    Chris Scully, Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director

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    news-1502 Fri, 27 Sep 2019 12:52:09 +0200 Bell & Bain choose Koenig & Bauer again for 2 large format Rapidas. http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/bell-bain-choose-koenig-bauer-again-for-2-large-format-rapidas/

    No subscription or click charges required

    • ‘Easy decision’ to meet growing demand

    • Further growth and investment predicted

    Watford, 05-09-19
    Following the purchase of J Thomson Colour printers to form an impressive £30m turnover group, Bell & Bain have invested again in 2 New Rapida 145 Presses from Koenig & Bauer. The highly specified new presses, both perfectors, an 8 colour and a 4 colour, will be installed in Bell & Bain’s Thornliebank site in Glasgow and will increase capacity to match the desired growth aspirations of the newly formed group. This latest investment will see the company pass the £20m mark in less than 24 months with ‘not a click charge in sight’.

    The company has now ordered a total of 36 large format units from Koenig & Bauer since 2004 including the milestone 3000th large format unit produced when they ordered their first large format 8 colour press during Drupa 2012. They also have 2 Rapida 106 presses, a 10 colour and a 6 colour LED press with a coater installed at the J Thomson Colour Printers site also in Glasgow.

    Having been founded in 1831, Bell & Bain are one of the oldest independent book and journal printers with bindery facilities in the UK. Their prestigious client list includes: The Open University, Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press for whom they print business, educational, scientific and medical journals amongst other products. The newly acquired J Thomson Colour Printers and 21 Colour produce print for financial educational and arts institutions giving the Bell & Bain group huge coverage in the commercial print sector.

    L-R Koenig & Bauer U.K. Ltd. Sales Director Chris Scully, Bell & Bain Managing Director Karen Baillie and Bell & Bain Group Holdings Chairman Stephen Docherty
    Bell & Bain Holdings Group Chairman Stephen Docherty states ‘We already know what these machines can do so it was an easy decision for us. However, the investment is also to make life easier on my team here by removing some bottle necks created from an upswing in orders. Our customers are used to the highest of quality standards and now we will be able give our customers more of what they need and deliver for them when they need it.’ On subscription and click charge purchasing models he adds: ’When we buy the machine we own it. We choose the finance and the products we want to buy from all our suppliers independently. We are making money to invest heavily and Bell & Bain has a vault of assets. Our model is solid as a rock‘

    On the projected growth of the company he states: ‘We expect the extra capacity to be filled very quickly and turnover for Bell & Bain will zoom past the £20m hurdle. This should set the group up nicely to head towards £40m.’ He continues ‘We need to give our customers more and make things a little less stressful around the factory. Koenig & Bauer have helped us do this with ease over the years so that is why I can be confident in these investments.' He adds ‘I have stated many times before that if Bell & Bain did not invest in a Koenig & Bauer press in 2005 we would not be here today. We have the can do attitude and we have the presses that can do also. This will not nearly be litho or almost the same, this will be the benchmark. This, of course, allows confidence to grow far and wide throughout the group and with our clients.’

    Giving consideration to further investments to cope with additional output Mr Docherty states: ‘We are investing continually and every penny we make I reinvest. These investments will be in machines, people and training. There will be further investments over the next year.' Speaking about the deal to purchase the presses he continues: ‘I would like to thank Chris Scully of Koenig & Bauer for making this deal happen and keeping everything on track. I would also like to the Nick Aust of Close Brothers for his backing in making yet another dream come true. They are simply a great bank to work with and Nick is a very good guy.'

    The Rapida 145 8 Colour Perfecting Press

    Performance and Quality

    The new presses feature high speed packages giving them a top speed of 15,000 sheets per hour and Simultaneous plate changing (SPC) which allows them to change plates in 51 seconds, a 49% reduction from their last Rapida 145 press. The washing system, CleanTronic Synchro allows simultaneous washing of the blankets and impression cylinders and as these are SPC machines this can take place during plate changing process saving 43% against a traditional plate changing and washing systems.

    Materials and colour control

    For total paper control both presses are equipped with Koenig and Bauer’s unique Sensoric Infeed System (SIS) which allows trouble and mark free production at the highest speeds. Colour control on both presses is via Koenig & Bauer’s QualiTronic ColorControl which reads a full colour bar on every sheet and provides updates to colour values after every 10th sheet. This system provides waste savings of up to 60% when compared to offline systems and it makes 46% more measurements than other comparable inline systems on the market. The ultra-flexible QualiTronic and ErgoTronic control systems can control to both density and CIE Lab values providing Bell & Bain customers total reassurance that their work is produced to the highest quality on every sheet.

    Chris Scully, Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director

    Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director Chris Scully states: ‘We are delighted that Bell & Bain have placed their trust in us once again. We have a long history with the business and we have enjoyed watching them go from strength to strength with each investment decision they have made. With the bold acquisition of both J Thomson Colour Printers and 21 Colour they have become one of the largest commercial printers in the UK and have plans to grow even further. We are looking forward to seeing our Rapida 145 presses contributing to their future successes.

    He continues: ‘Bell & Bain are a fantastic real world reference for high quality industrial litho on demand; this traditional purchase model produces the highest levels of productivity in their sector balanced by criterion rate per copy. This investment bucks the current trends for click charges and subscriptions systems. He adds: ‘In my opinion, this model clearly demonstrates that "Subscription model quick fixes" are a poor substitute for any customer right through the entire supply chain. Click charges are bad news for the industry as a whole as they allow unsustainable\ailing businesses in the short term to source high value capital equipment to disrupt the market with unsustainable business designs.

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    news-1279 Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:28:18 +0100 Castle Colour Packaging Ltd. round off an extensive investment programme with a Rapida 106 http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/castle-colour-packaging-ltd-round-off-an-extensive-investment-programme-with-a-rapida-106/ As part of a significant investment strategy to improve efficiency and broaden their offering to customers across the whole business, Norwich based Castle Colour Packaging have invested in a Rapida 106 7 Colour with coater.

    The press purchase is the latest stage in a programme of investment which has encompassed pre-press workflow, additional finishing capabilities as well as additional manufacturing and warehousing facilities.

    Castle Colour Packaging, which was established in 1991 before being bought out by the current owners in 2002 produces a range of products including cartons, sleeves, blister cards and shelf ready packaging. The customer-focused business whose moto is "To be the best at what we do" offers the full range of services from Cad-Cam, product sampling, pre-press, print, die cutting with blanking and gluing as well as packaging, storage and delivery.

    The technical team from Castle investigated the leading suppliers of printing presses before deciding that the Rapida 106 met their expectations for highly efficient performance and the highest print and colour quality.

    Castle Colour Packaging Operations and Technical Director Paul Densley (right) and Koenig & Bauer Area Sales Manager Len Taylor (left).
    Castle Colour Operations and Technical Director Paul Densley states: "We selected Koenig and Bauer as our partner because we wanted a robust packaging press from a supplier who had designed the machine with the user in mind. The service back up looks very impressive and the extensive training and performance programme offered will allow us to make full use of the quality and performance capabilities of this machine. We share the same vision of increased automation in the packaging work flow and coupled with our other investments the whole package offered by Castle Colour is very exciting for our customers."

    The Rapida 106 7+L - The press of choice for high quality packaging printers

    Broadest Substrate Range

    The new press, set to be installed in April 2019, is an 18,000 sheet per hour 7 colour plus coater with the ability to print with both conventional and UV inks and coatings. Typically for a packaging press, it is equipped with a CX package which allows printing of substrates up to 1.2 mm thick. Additionally, the press is also equipped with a plastics printing package and a 450mm raise. As is standard with the Rapida 106, the press is supplied with Koenig and Bauer’s unique sensoric infeed system and servo driven motors for the feeder drives and suction belts. This feature enables mark-free, reliable, high speed feeding on all stocks.

    Autonomous production

    ErgoTronic Autorun technology also allows several jobs to be queued on the press. Minimum operator involvement is required as jobs are autonomously produced to the desired colour quality and run length. The fully automatic plate changing and semi automatic coating form changing also allow plates to be changed in under two minutes.

    Quality Controlled

    To ensure that the press produces print with flawless quality, it has been specified with Koenig & Bauer‘s inline colour control system QualiTronic ColorControl which allows extremely tight colour control throughout the print run with Delta E values based upon individual key values rather than an averages across the sheet. However, additionally included in the package is QualiTronic PrintCheck which enables image inspection to an 'O.K.' sheet on every sheet during a production run.

    To complete the set of quality control and automation tools, auto camera registration and image zoom has been selected. To ensure compliance with the ISO 12647-2 colour standard, reporting via Quality Pass will allow scoring of the print quality against the parameters indicated in the I.S.O. 12647-2 document.

    Efficient reporting

    As monitoring and improving production efficiency is essential to Castle Colour Packaging’s management team and to ensure press performance stays at its peak, LogoTronic Professional and Cockpit have been selected. These tools allow detailed analysis of the output and quality produced by the press as well as indicating where improvements could be made. 

    Chris Scully, Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director
    Koenig & Bauer (UK) Ltd’s Sales Director, Chris Scully commented: "We are thrilled that Castle Colour Packaging have chosen us to be their press supplier as part of this exciting investment programme. The Rapida press is established as an extremely efficient printing press capable of producing both long and short runs for the high quality packaging sector." He continues "There many reasons why the Rapida 106 has become the press of choice for the U.K. packaging market. However, in particular, our colour control systems meet all of the requirements of packaging printers who work with many special materials, colours and coatings. When you combine this with our inline inspection systems, automation and reporting you have an unrivalled production solution. We look forward to playing our part in the growth of Castle Colour Packaging.


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    news-1257 Mon, 10 Dec 2018 12:55:36 +0100 Koenig & Bauer UK Ltd recommend Finito® Underpackings to improve press performance http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/koenig-bauer-uk-ltd-recommend-finitor-underpackings-to-improve-press-performance/

    Finito underpackings are able to print for up to 8 million impressions
    Koenig & Bauer (UK) Ltd. Print Performance Specialists recommend Finito® blanket underpackings to help printers improve press performance and maintain print quality.

    Presses fitted with traditional manilla packings can suffer deterioration of print quality and lead to increased downtime during normal operation. However, by equipping a press with Finito® underpackings,  packing lifespans can easily reach 8 millions impressions or 6 months, whichever is soonest.

    Jonathan Hewitt Koenig & Bauer (UK) Print Performance Specialist
    Koenig & Bauer Print Performance Specialist Jonathan Hewitt states: "Finito® underpackings have proven track record for performance due to their unique construction which offers durability and longevity on press. In all cases where we have fitted this product our customers report significant decreases in blanket changes, less down time and a reduction in consumable expenditure."

    The benefits of using Finito® underpackings are as follows:

    • The packings are compressible providing greater resistance to minor smashes.
    • The thickness of the single sheet of packing is uniform in comparison to multiple layers of manilla packings.
    • The packings are resistant to the effects of swelling from oils and solvents.
    • 8 Million Impressions or 6 months lifespan.
    • Unplanned downtime is reduced.
    • Consumable costs are reduced.
    • Quality will be maintained over a longer period.  

    For more details contact Koenig & Bauer (UK) service department for a quotation on +44 (0)1923819922 select “Option 3“ or e-mail UK-Consumables(at)koenig-bauer.com


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    news-1253 Thu, 29 Nov 2018 13:21:29 +0100 The Taylor Bloxham Group announced as 1814 Production Excellence Award winners http://uk.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/details/article/the-taylor-bloxham-group-announced-as-1814-production-excellence-award-winners/
    Taylor Bloxham CEO Robert Lockwood addresses the assembled journalists
    New Rapida 106 users The Taylor Bloxham Group have been awarded the 1814 Production Excellence Award during the Koenig and Bauer (U.K.) annual press briefing at London’s Savoy Hotel.

    3 high quality catalogue jobs were submitted and in all cases the performance superseded the last production runs on their Heidelberg equipment. The jobs were typical of the type of work The Taylor Bloxham Group have become renowned for with high quality imagery and finishing throughout. One brochure particularly stood out for featuring complex tab indexing.

    The data on the jobs, taken from their LogoTronic Professional system showed job one, a Flooring Catalogue with multiple colours, was produced 16% faster than the previous year and two 4 colour process catalogues for high-end auction houses were produced 25% and 44% quicker than the last versions with average make ready times of 4 minutes.

    The other impressive fact about two of the jobs produced is that they were printed to the strict specifications of the Professional Level of the BPIF Colour Quality Management Certification Scheme, verification that ultra fast production and the highest of quality can be easily achieved on the Rapida range of presses.

    Taylor Bloxham Technical Colour Specialist Chris Bolton describes the process of becoming the first company to achieve the BPIF ISO 12647-2 accreditation (Professional Level).
    Taylor Bloxham became the first UK company to achieve the Professional Level of the scheme earlier this year. During his presentation for the trade press, Chris Bolton, Taylor Bloxham‘s Technical Colour Specialist described the process of hitting the required parameters for the standard as "Easy" and "a pleasure" due to the precise control of the press using ErgoTronic Colour Control and QualiTronic Colour Control.

    Taylor Bloxham Group C.E.O. Robert Lockwood reports on the successful restructuring of the business.
    In accepting the award, Taylor Bloxham group CEO Robert Lockwood described how the 80 year old business has undergone significant changes with in the last 18 months and posted it’s highest ever turnover at the end of 2017. The business now encompasses four divisions (Taylor Bloxham, Fastant, Instore and Mailbox) with their own dedicated teams to promote each component of their business.

    Mr Lockwood stated: "The Rapida 106 was the latest step in a £4 million programme of investment in new equipment that enabled us to print higher volumes faster whilst simultaneously improving quality. The installation only took place in April and our clients, who include several prestigious brands, are already seeing and feeling the benefits of the new press."

    Chris Scully, Koenig and Bauer (UK) Ltd. Sales Director
    Koenig and Bauer (UK) Sales Director Chris Scully stated “We are delighted to select Taylor Bloxham for our annual 1814 Production Excellence Award. The levels of performance across the three jobs selected were exceptional. Their name is synonymous with the highest of quality in print. However, this award also demonstrates that from job to job, regardless of the quality level required, our presses will deliver performance increases. He adds "We applaud the whole team at Taylor Bloxham for driving the press to the fantastic levels of performance they achieved and look forward to learning about further successes for their business."

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