Baldwin acquires QuadTech to create Baldwin Vision Systems

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Baldwin acquires QuadTech to create Baldwin Vision Systems
L-R: John Woolley

On 8 December 2017, Baldwin Technology Company Inc., based in St. Louis Missouri in the mid-western United States, announced the acquisition of QuadTech, Inc., from its parent company, Quad/Graphics. With this acquisition, Baldwin adds all of QuadTech’s highly regarded technology and strategic locations across the Americas, Europe, China, Japan and India. In India, QuadTech expanded its operations in the past year with a new factory in Ahmedabad for assembling registration and inspection automation systems for print and packaging.

QuadTech is a global leader in the design and manufacture of control systems that help commercial, newspaper, packaging and publication gravure printers improve their performance and productivity. Headquartered in Sussex, Wisconsin (USA), QuadTech maintains a worldwide network of sales and service operations, and sells automated systems in more than 100 countries.

Baldwin is now privately owned by BW Forsyth Partners, the investment arm of multi-billion dollar global manufacturing and engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller, and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA with 18 locations in 9 countries. In the past year, Baldwin has acquired Air Motion Systems, Web Printing Controls and PC Industries. QuadTech is Baldwin’s fifth acquisition since joining the BW Forsyth Partners family of companies in 2012, and the fourth completed in 2017.

With the acquisition of QuadTech, Baldwin will strategically put it together with two of its existing divisions—Web Printing Controls and PC Industries—to create Baldwin Vision Systems. The resulting combination of businesses and technology will represent a comprehensive portfolio for print process automation, inspection and related services. Karl Fritchen, current QuadTech president, will lead the new Baldwin segment. Product technologies will span closed-loop automation for registration, inking, color management, web handling and 100% inspection for the commercial, newspaper, labels, packaging, converting and publication gravure industries.

“The combination of products and expertise held within both companies will enable us to reach areas of the market we were unable to reach individually,” commented Fritchen. “From an international operations and market perspective, each party’s strengths are highly complementary. This is definitely a situation where we can accomplish much more together than we could have as independent companies.”

“QuadTech will serve as a catalyst for the formation of our new Baldwin Vision Systems segment, which will greatly enhance Baldwin’s ability to provide an even more comprehensive automation portfolio for our customers around the world,” said Brent Becker, president and chief executive officer of Baldwin. “Together, we provide our customers an unmatched portfolio in commercial and newspaper automation, and I am very excited about the additional capabilities we will gain in the packaging markets.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the QuadTech team, as this investment underscores our continued commitment to a strategy that blends organic and acquisition growth to enhance our global footprint, advance the technology and service we can deliver to our customers, and cultivate our unique culture of care and collaboration,” said Kyle Chapman, founder and managing director of BW Forsyth Partners. “We will continue to support Baldwin’s strategy execution, as the team seeks opportunities to expand the company’s reach into new industries and new geographic markets, increasing solutions for customers.”

Press release edited by Naresh Khanna

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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