Koenig & Bauer Radebeul gets global Customer Experience Centre

New hall at Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed demo center in Radebeul

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Inauguration of the new CEC in Radebeul (left to right): Dirk Winkler, head of print technology, product management and product marketing, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, president and CEO of Koenig & Bauer, Ralf Sammeck, Koenig & Bauer management board member and CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, and Thomas Göcke, head of digital business transformation, hand the new building over to its future users Photo K&B
Inauguration of the new CEC in Radebeul (left to right): Dirk Winkler, head of print technology, product management and product marketing, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, president and CEO of Koenig & Bauer, Ralf Sammeck, Koenig & Bauer management board member and CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, and Thomas Göcke, head of digital business transformation, hand the new building over to its future users Photo K&B

Koenig & Bauer recently opened its new hall and now offers more than 3,000 square meters of floor space for print demonstrations at its Radebeul location, near Dresden. The occasion marked the project’s culmination to upgrade the company’s existing demonstration facility into a global Customer Experience Centre (CEC).

For customers and other interested visitors, the CEC offers around one-third more space, packed with the latest equipment – for press and machine demonstrations, application testing, the development of new technologies, and training purposes. The individual sections focus on the specialized areas of packaging, commercial and label production

The new hall, the Packaging Competence Centre within the CEC, will house three packaging lines comprising three printing presses and four post-press machines once fully set up. Koenig & Bauer will then be able to showcase its one-stop-shop concept for packaging production – with flat-bed and rotary die-cutters, folder-gluers, and fully automated material flows. Meeting areas with direct views of the production lines, workstations to illustrate digital workflow integration and a full range of modern media equipment contribute to an atmosphere conducive to tests, production trials, demonstrations, discussions, and negotiations.

The machinery that is already installed and ready for demonstrations includes a latest-generation medium-format sheetfed offset press. This is a Rapida 106 X with seven printing units, double-coating facilities, an additional printing unit after the first coater and the coil foil system FoilTronic. An Omega Allpro 110 folder-gluer and a CutPRO X 106 rotary die-cutter for converting are also installed. The next step will see the addition of a Rapida 145 and a CutPRO M 144.

The first machinery – the brand new Rapida 106 is shown here – is ready for individual print tests Photo K&B
The first machinery – the brand new Rapida 106 is shown here – is ready for individual print tests Photo K&B

Koenig & Bauer started construction of the new building in the second half of 2018. Since the beginning of the year, the project has continued with the completion of the interior and installation of the machines, which were shown in action for the first time as part of the virtual event series “Koenig & Bauer Live” from 16 to 25 June.

The new building now makes one-third more space available to users and interested visitors for individual print tests and press demonstrations Photo K&B
The new building now makes one-third more space available to users and interested visitors for individual print tests and press demonstrations Photo K&B

In the meantime, 3,500 cubic meters of earth had been dug and 520 cubic meters of concrete poured. Other vital parameters of the building are its 38 pre-cast columns, a roof construction featuring glulam trusses and a span of 35 meters, and 1,300 square meters of cladding. Some 250 LED lights were fitted on mounting tracks with a length of almost 600 meters. Thirty thousand meters of cabling were routed through the facility, and a photovoltaic array was installed on the roof.

Koenig & Bauer is looking forward to the intensive use of the new CEC by customers and other visitors from all over the world over the coming weeks.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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