In January of this year, a KBA Rapida 105 press went into production at the Dauir Printing House in Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan. The four-colour press is equipped for commercial printing and outputs up to 16,000 sheets per hour.
Dauir was founded back in 1932, then under the name Printing House No. 2. During the Soviet era, the company printed over 3,000 different newspaper titles and books in high-volume runs. The sheetfed department was already then a domain of “vista blue” presses from Saxony.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the company was privatised. As chance would have it, Dauir – whose name translates as “our times” – was acquired by a group of investors headed by Svetlana Nazarbayeva, sister-in-law of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The building was renovated from the ground up, and the machinery base was modernised. In fact, a new printing press or downstream finishing machine was purchased almost every year.
Today, Dauir counts a workforce of almost 600 employees, many of whom have studied at the Moscow Institute of Printing. The product portfolio centres around illustrated books, encyclopaedias and popular literature. For the past 12 years, textbooks for all levels of education – from pre-school to university – have also become standard products, together with a diversity of materials for the further training of teachers and lecturers.
A publishing subsidiary Kitap was founded in 2003, not least to better coordinate the publishing of school textbooks, as well as scientific literature from the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and world history. Further activities embrace a wide range of poetry and fiction, alongside some 60 newspaper titles.
A year ago, in January 2016, KBA president Claus Bolza-Schünemann visited the company and prepared the ground for the latest investment. After a break of over 25 years, during which several printing presses were purchased from other German and Japanese manufacturers, the Dauir Printing House has now once more taken delivery of a press “Made in Saxony”.
The inkjet web press KBA RotaJET L, which was demonstrated in live production for the first time at drupa 2016 and recently ordered in the version RotaJET 130 by Finnish book printer Bookwell Digital Oy, stands at the focus of the presentations planned by KBA-Digital & Web Solutions for the forthcoming Hunkeler Innovation Days in Lucerne from 20th to 23rd February. The KBA experts will be available on Stand 24/25 to provide all pertinent information on the technology and possible fields of application of high-volume inkjet web printing. The RotaJET L series is offered in 1/1 and 4/4 configurations for web widths from 77 to 138 cm. The press can be tailored extremely flexibly to individual applications, and also allows for retrospective expansion in terms of width and number of colours.
The modular RotaJET L models are complemented by the RotaJET VL series for web widths up to 225 cm. Maximum flexibility, excellent print quality and ultimate productivity are the hallmarks of KBA’s RotaJET digital web presses. KBA currently builds the world’s widest inkjet web presses for the book printing, decor, publications, packaging and advertising segments. One of the greatest assets brought into play in press manufacture is a sheer boundless wealth of technical know-how relating to web control and substrate handling. The combination of precision engineering and modern inkjet head technologies also achieves excellent print results on complicated substrates, as KBA-Digital & Web demonstrated admirably at the last drupa.
Branch VIPs gather in Halle
More than 100 prominent guests attended the inauguration ceremony at the MZ print centre, among them Christian DuMont Schütte, chairman of the supervisory board of the DuMont media group in Cologne, his deputy Isabella Neven DuMont, CEO Dr. Christoph Bauer, CFO Stefan Hütwohl and COO Otto Christian Lindemann. In his address, Stefan Hütwohl emphasised that the investment in the new press from Koenig & Bauer was for DuMont not only a commitment to the group’s Halle location, but at the same time a demonstration of faith in the future of the printed newspaper.
It was almost a year ago to the day that contracts were signed for the new Commander CL, continuing a partnership which has thrived for more than 180 years between DuMont and Koenig & Bauer. “I would like to give special mention to the exceptional cooperation with Koenig & Bauer. The past months have shown us that our investment in the Commander CL was very definitely the right decision,” said Bernd Preuße, managing director of the print division DuMont Druck.
Modern newspaper press technology
The new four-high Commander CL is engineered to print up to 45,000 full-colour newspapers per hour, either with 32 pages in Rhine format or 64 pages tabloid. Almost 200,000 copies of the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung and a further 1.3 million copies of the advertisers Wochenspiegel and Super Sonntag will now be produced on the new Commander CL from Koenig & Bauer.
At the beginning of 2016, one of the country’s flagship companies – Fleximat S.A. – took delivery of the first medium-format press of the new KBA Rapida 105 PRO series to be installed in Africa. The six-colour coater press stands on 450 mm raised foundations to accommodate the higher piles which are typical in packaging printing, and is now producing alongside two further Rapidas in the recently built print centre in Mohammedia, approx. 40 km from Casablanca. Abdelaziz Benchekroun, president of Fleximat, is very positive in his assessment: “The market launch of this new press came at the perfect time for us. Our decision in favour of the Rapida 105 PRO was carried by the confidence that, even without exceeding our investment budget, we would be able to incorporate a number of interesting technical solutions which are otherwise only available in the highly automated Rapida 106.”
The emerging North African markets are characterised by high price sensitivity. As economic prosperity increases, fixed costs increase to a similar extent – and print production is here no exception. When planning long-term investments like a printing press, the technical features and automation must secure competitiveness not only today, but also in the foreseeable future. CEO Mehdi Benchekroun: “It was against this background that we chose to integrate fully automatic plate changing, facilities for non-stop pile changing at the feeder and delivery, and the energy-saving VariDryBlue dryer technology, for example.”As one of the leading packaging producers in Morocco, Fleximat places a strong focus on customer service in both gravure and offset printing. To escape price pressures, the management is careful to ensure that any new investments strengthen the technological lead over other companies. Tailored solutions from KBA are here seen as an ideal vehicle.
Christoph Müller, managing director of KBA-Digital & Web Solutions AG & Co. KG – based at the KBA headquarters in Würzburg – and at the same time a member of the group management, has taken on additional responsibility as managing director for KBA-Flexotecnica S.p.A. with effect from 4st January 2017. Claudio Bisogni, who led the company with great dedication before and after the acquisition by Koenig & Bauer in December 2013, left the company at the end of 2016 to continue pursuit of his personal career roadmap.
The management change at KBA-Flexotecnica S.p.A. is expected to intensify cooperation between the locations and will simplify access to technical and human resources at the main production facility in Würzburg. In the coming year, Koenig & Bauer plans to open a demo centre at its Würzburg main location. Exploiting the convenient transport links to Frankfurt Airport, as a key hub for international business travellers, this will provide modern opportunities for presentation of both the technically outstanding flexo web presses from Tavazzano and other product lines. As demand continues to increase, the allocation of additional facilities for assembly of the CI flexo presses designed in Italy is a further option.
Michael Kummert held various management positions at roller bearing manufacturer SKF before joining Koenig & Bauer AG as executive vice-president for production in April 2012. Over the following years, he managed the successful restructuring of production activities at the Würzburg and Radebeul sites, establishing an independent profit centre to provide manufacturing services to the member companies of the KBA Group as well as external clients. In 2015, he was appointed managing director of the newly founded subsidiary KBA-Industrial Solutions AG & Co. KG. As a member of the group management, he was furthermore responsible for KBA-Gießerei GmbH in Würzburg, KBA-Grafitec in the Czech Republic and Albert-Frankenthal GmbH in south-western Germany.
Dr. Martin Kraus (49), now sole managing director of KBA-Industrial Solutions AG & Co. KG, joined the company as head of production on 1st June 2015 and was subsequently appointed co‑managing director on 1st April 2016. He had previously held management responsibility in several companies of the Bosch group over a period of almost 15 years. Since moving to KBA, he has contributed very actively to further efficiency enhancement in the restructured manufacturing centres. As managing director of KBA-Industrial Solutions, with a total workforce of approx. 1,000 employees at the plants in Würzburg and Radebeul, Dr. Kraus will be assisted by commercial director Markus Weber and at the Radebeul location by head of production Dr. Imke Kellner.