Koenig & Bauer launches solution for holistic energy management

Energy efficiency in print & packaging production

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Koenig & Bauer
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Global climate change, resource scarcity and high energy prices are sending a clear message – sustainable action is not only a question of social responsibility, but also a highly relevant economic factor. Accordingly, Koenig & Bauer is placing a scalable digital tool in the hands of its worldwide customers to help them save energy and thereby reduce costs in future – an optimized energy management system developed specifically for the print and packaging industry.

Sustainability as a social challenge

Together with the active print industry, Koenig & Bauer has significant leverage when it comes to shaping sustainable print production. “Sustainability is the greatest challenge of our time,” says Koenig & Bauer CEO Dr Andreas Pleßke. “And as a company whose history extends back more than 200 years, we do, of course, also bear responsibility for future generations.” Alongside the development of energy-efficient machines, Koenig & Bauer has been championing the use of ecological process consumables and biodegradable print substrates for many years. When seeking to reduce carbon footprints, however, it is expedient to view the energy requirements of the entire production facility – from the shop-floor equipment to the building services and installations.

Energy savings using digital solutions

Today’s digital technologies facilitate the recording and visualization of energy consumption data, and subsequently the realization of savings potential. Koenig & Bauer’s new energy management solution optimizes these functions to address the specific requirements of the print and packaging industry, but is equally suitable for use in many other fields. The core element is the energy management system VisuEnergy X, which automatically processes incoming meter data for presentation in clearly structured and individually customizable dashboards. VisuEnergy X records the consumption of all equipment connected to the machine, analyzes this consumption in relation to the production output, and can then calculate job-specific parameters such as the energy consumption per 1,000 sheets. It is possible to upgrade the system beyond energy data to include production-relevant parameters such as temperature and humidity.

The three elements of the Koenig & Bauer energy management solution – the automated recording of meter data, visualization of the analysis results and the derivation of appropriate measures in response, accompanied by professional energy consulting – enable production to be made more efficient. “VisuEnergy X allows our customers to achieve sustainable energy savings of 7 to 10 per cent on average – and that usually from the very first year,” says Michael Billa, product owner for digitalization at Koenig & Bauer.

Product launch with immediate effect

Koenig & Bauer offers the energy management system on a subscription basis as an SaaS solution (software as a service). It is available with immediate effect, initially for customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The global roll-out is to follow at the beginning of 2023. The system is certified in accordance with DIN ISO 50001 and is eligible for energy efficiency grants from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) in Germany.

The energy management system is the first product to be developed and brought to the market by a new digital unit at Koenig & Bauer. This underlines the press manufacturer’s commitment to providing digital solutions that support customers on the road to more sustainability and efficiency. Everything follows a clear plan: sustainability and digitalization are two of the three key goals that Koenig & Bauer has placed at the focus of corporate activities under the group-wide ‘Exceeding Print’ strategy – thereby bringing together the greatest challenge and the prime mover of our times.

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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