Koenig & Bauer strengthens position in the global market

Sascha Fischer interview

Sascha Fischer of Koenig & Bauer. Photo IPP
Sascha Fischer of Koenig & Bauer. Photo IPP

Despite multiple economic headwinds facing the global economy, German printing solutions provider Koenig & Bauer was able to strengthen its position globally in 2018, company’s head – product management, Sascha Fischer told Packaging South Asia in Mumbai.

“Worldwide, the year 2018 faced many challenges such as US-China trade war, economic slowdown in China and depreciation of emerging market currencies. So, there were some issues, but we strengthened our position in the global market,” Fischer said.
“Koenig & Bauer has always been known to be strong in the packaging printing segment but in commercial printing also we have gained ground,” he added.

Partnership with Indo-polygraph Machinery going strong

In India, Indo-polygraph Machinery has been representing Koenig & Bauer for many years now and, according to Fischer, the partnership has been going from strength to strength. Koenig & Bauer boasts of some of India’s top packaging printers in the folding carton segment, such as Parksons Packaging and TCPL, as its customers. In addition, the company has managed to sign many fast-growing mid-sized companies as well.
“We have some outstanding customers in India like Parksons Packaging and TCPL but there are many smaller companies who are equally important to us. These firms are very innovative and demanding. They are also highly innovative and are increasingly going for special effects,” he said.

Talking about some of the important trends that he sees in the Indian market, Fischer said that top tier printers are now completely focusing on buying new presses instead of pre-owned ones as this gives them efficiency gains. “They are eager to adopt new technology such as double coating and cold foil,” he said.

Exciting times ahead

In recent months, Koenig & Bauer has been expanding its portfolio. In December 2018, it agreed with Duran Machinery to take over 80% of its folder-gluer business and integrate it into the Group under the name Koenig & Bauer Duran. In the same month, Koenig & Bauer and Durst Phototechnik agreed to a 50:50 joint venture in digital printing.
According to Fischer, corrugation is another segment that holds a lot of promise for the company. As run lengths get shorter, more and more flexo printers are likely to opt for offset technology.

“In the near-term, we are all looking forward to drupa which is going to take place next year. People can hope to see some exciting innovations from Koenig & Bauer at the show,” he concludes.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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