Koenig & Bauer’s strong show at Print China

K&B press sales to China, South and Southeast Asia at Print China

Print demonstration on the largest sheetfed offset press on the Koenig & Bauer stand, an eight-colour Rapida 106 with coater and extended delivery
Print demonstration on the largest sheetfed offset press on the Koenig & Bauer stand, an eight-colour Rapida 106 with coater and extended delivery

A large stand measuring more than 1,000 square meters enabled Koenig & Bauer to present future-oriented print technology in all its facets at the Print China trade fair held in Guangdong from 9 to 13 April. Live print demonstrations took place on an 8-colour Rapida 106 perfector with inline coating, as well as a Rapida 75 PRO 5-color. Comprehensive information on further innovative solutions from the fields of digital and flexo printing, metal decorating, postpress and other special applications were provided by the K&B fair team.

Visitors were impressed by the smart print technologies addressing current print trends. The digitization concept under the banner of Koenig & Bauer 4.0 captivated the gathered print professionals similar to the comprehensive portfolio of classic and new data-driven services.

Contracts worth several tens of millions of Euros

By the end of the fair, contracts worth several tens of millions of Euros were signed with printing companies throughout China and from several other countries in South and Southeast Asia. Rapida sheetfed presses in all classes, from half to large format, were in high demand especially from repeat customers.

That was the case with Fuzhou Xingkai Color Printing, which has owned a Rapida 105 in a 4-color configuration since 2011. At Print China 19, a follow-up order was placed for a 7-color Rapida 105 with coater and UV curing. Xiamen Lutengda Printing and Zhejiang Chuangsijie Printing each signed up for a new Rapida 164 (maximum sheet size 1,205 x 1,640 mm). Xiamen Lutengda, too, is a longstanding user of large-format presses from Koenig & Bauer that is planning to enhance efficiency and reduce energy with the new purchase. For Zhejiang Chuangsijie Printing, the new Rapida 164 is seen as the key to new ventures in packaging production.

Ningxia Jihong Environmental Packaging Technology positions itself as a smart, highly automated and especially ecological print factory. At Print China, the company ordered a 5-color Rapida 145 with coater, FAPC fully automatic plate changers and a whole raft of further automation features. This will be one of the most highly automated presses in China, and will enable Ningxia Jihong to continue implementation of its ambitious energy-saving and environmental strategies, while at the same time boosting efficiency and reducing labour costs.

Brisk post-fair business expected

In addition to the contracts already signed, Koenig & Bauer is looking at brisk post-fair business. Many print industry decision-makers expressed interest in both equipment and services and are planning to invest. Dietmar Heyduck, sales director for Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, says, “China is one of the most important world markets for Koenig & Bauer. The visitor numbers and contracts concluded at Print China exceeded our expectations.”
Walter Zehner, managing director of Koenig & Bauer Greater China, adds, “With digital products such as the CorruJET, we are in a good position on the international market. There was also enormous interest in the VariJET for digital folding carton production among our Chinese customers. We are delighted to be able to demonstrate the successful transformation of our company from a traditional press manufacturer into a leading supplier of digital solutions.”

The fair visitors were similarly keen to obtain information on further products and services from the extensive Koenig & Bauer portfolio, for example rotary and flatbed die-cutters, folder-gluers, the RotaJET, flexo solutions, coding technologies and especially the whole field of corrugated printing, which was showcased for the first time at a trade fair in China.

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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