Kongsberg transforming into a standalone business

Kongsberg’s transformation to innovate and expand the business

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Kongsberg
Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems

Kongsberg, one of the most trusted and established names in the digital finishing industry, entered into a new era on 6 April, transforming into a standalone company, Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems (‘Kongsberg PCS’). The transformation follows the acquisition of the business by OpenGate Capital.

The transformation of this Precision Cutting System brings the opportunity to innovate and expand the business into new markets. It marks a new chapter for Kongsberg PCS, a brand with a rich heritage spanning more than half a century.

“This is truly an exciting day for everyone at the company,” said Stuart Fox, President of Kongsberg PCS. “Since 1965, the company name has been synonymous with innovation. Our systems have led the industry in delivering precision, reliability, and quality through seven decades. Following the acquisition by OpenGate Capital, we will now focus on our future and the next generation innovation and growth.”

Founded in Norway in 1965, Kongsberg was purchased by Esko (then Barco) in 1998. In December 2020, Esko agreed with the sale of Kongsberg to private equity firm OpenGate Capital. The acquisition includes the original research and development facility in Kongsberg, Norway, and the production facility in Brno, Czech Republic.

Fox speaks about Kongsberg’s growth

“This is an opportunity for our team to realize its ambitions and to explore new markets,” added Fox. “We will be developing strategic initiatives to further innovate our digital finishing hardware and software solutions, as well as growing the brand beyond the packaging industry.

“Whilst we are excited about the future, we are also committed to ensuring we honor our heritage. We have an incredible team of 400 people, many of whom have been a part of the company family for more than 30 years,” said Fox. “The company values that are important to our customers –  the strength, the performance, the longevity of the machine – will endure. Sales, service, consumables, and spare parts will all continue as usual,” added Fox. 

“Customers will receive the same level of service during the transition, and they can look forward to business as usual throughout 2021. “We will continue investing in our table technology, and in the coming months, we will be showcasing the latest developments with our automation solutions,” said Fox.

 

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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