Kurz acquires Steinemann to expand digital enhancement

Digital decoration and enhancement key to growth of digital print

Kurz has acquired the print finishing division of Switzerland-based Steinemann Technology
Kurz has acquired the print finishing division of Switzerland-based Steinemann Technology

Kurz has acquired the digital print enhancement and finishing division of Switzerland-based Steinemann Technology. Steinemann based in St Gallen, is a manufacturer and distributor of wide-belt sanding machines for the panel industry and UV varnishing and lamination machines for the print and packaging industry. At LabelExpo Brussels in 2017, the Steinemann digital enhancement module was launched as a part of the Heidelberg Gallus Labelfire digital press. Digital enhancement or postpress decoration is the fast rising ancillary segment in the label, commercial digital printing, carton and even the flexible packaging industry.

Kurz which is well known as the leader in metallic inks and foil decoration intends to run the division as an independent subsidiary. It plans to use the Steinemann brand alongside its own digital metal products family. The company will support the full range of Steinemann print finishing machines, supplementing them with its own complementary services.

Kurz broadly sees the Steinemann acquisition as the next step to its own pioneering work in digital foiling. The Steinemann digital foil enhancement device renders high product quality with flat or raised foil and embossing effects at speeds up to 40 meters a minute.

In India, Steinemann has sold a number of laminators that are mainly used by carton printers for laminating metallized polyester on paperboard before printing. Kurz is present in India as a major supplier of metallic inks and foils for decoration of print.

Digital enhancement and decoration technologies include the market leader Scodix and MGI as well as Landa’s Metallography that was shown at drupa 2016 and subsequently acquired by Altana’s Actega coatings division. Short run digital printing is amenable to great value addition as it is often used for novelty and luxury print. Products such as wedding photobooks can easily absorb the cost of high quality decoration and enhancement using metallic and embossed effects. Product premiumization using labels with decorative effects are also in high demand.

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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