Koenig & Bauer’s 175th anniversary celebrations in Austria

125 years in Radebeul, 175 in Mödling

More than 1,200 visitors took the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes at the plant during the open day © Koenig & Bauer, Christian Husar

2023 will be a year of anniversaries for the press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer Group, as the 125th anniversary of the Radebeul plant in Germany will be joined by 175 years in Austria. Much has changed since 1848, when the company was founded as Maschinenfabrik Heinrich Löser.

175 years of Mödling 

At the opening of the celebrations on 14 September, 100 national and international guests were welcomed to Maria Enzersdorf in Austria for the official ceremony. In addition to speeches by Maria Enzersdorf’s mayor DI Johann Zeiner, Koenig & Bauer CEO Andreas Plesske and the two managing directors of Koenig & Bauer (AT), Rudolf Vogl and Robert Galik, in which the economic importance of the company for the Mödling district as well as for Koenig & Bauer – in past centuries as well as in the future – was highlighted, the guests were given an insight into press production at the site.

“Koenig & Bauer is an important part of the Austrian economy and a role model for sustainability,” explained Mayor DI Johann Zeiner. “The company makes an important contribution to strengthening the business location and creating jobs.”

In his speech Andreas Plesske praised in particular the innovative strength that has always emanated from the Austrian site: “Successful cooperation with our international companies and sites is an important pillar of the Koenig & Bauer Group. In Mödling, the specialization in security presses has been excellently adopted and continuously optimized in recent years.”

On 15 September, an employees’ party was held to look back on the joint successes of the past years and decades.

The grand finale was the Open Day on 16 September. More than 1,200 visitors were welcomed. A mixed audience of business partners, people from the surrounding area and printing enthusiasts were given an insight into the assembly of a security printing press and the associated processes at various stations. A varied program of entertainment was also part of the event.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

As part of the long-established Koenig & Bauer Group, the Austrian site in Maria Enzersdorf, district of Mödling, specializes in the assembly of security presses and the associated customer support, and is also responsible for the sales and service of sheetfed offset presses in the agency’s area.

Rudolf Vogl, managing director of Koenig & Bauer (AT), explains: “In our 175 years of company history there have naturally been numerous changes and developments – thanks to our adaptability we have always managed to break new ground. In recent years special attention has been paid to cycle assembly, building on a new logistics and supply concept to make production processes as effective and efficient as possible. In this way, among other things, we want to achieve the sustainability goals we have set ourselves.” CO2 neutrality at the site is the target by 2028.

In addition to sustainable production and continuous process optimization, the training of new skilled workers is a key issue at the Mödling site. Robert Galik says: “It’s always a great feeling when yesterday’s apprentices are finally standing in the factory hall as highly trained specialists. Here you can see very well that the joint work pays off and that we work together as a team. About 50% of the technicians in Maria Enzersdorf are former apprentices from our own training. This shows that almost all of them stay with the company after graduation.

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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