While Koenig & Bauer celebrated its 200th anniversary in September 2017, the Asia Pacific branch was congruently exhibiting at Pack Print International 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. We spoke with Andreas Friedrich, managing director for KBA Asia Pacific, to gather his thoughts and catch up on the company’s regional activities.
Print Innovation Asia: Congratulations on celebrating 200th anniversary!
Andreas Friedrich: I started to work at KBA in 2001, right at our headquarters in Wuerzburg where practically all began in 1817 - not far from the current location. The milestones of our history were for me pretty much evident on the way to the office and I always found it quite fascinating working for a company with such long tradition.
Being with Koenig & Bauer since almost 2 decades, yes, it was very exciting and partly emotional when our company turned 200. Two centuries filled with inventions and achievements, not only from the technical point of view. What a contribution it all had to the development of a society not only in Germany but worldwide is quite remarkable.
Happy Birthday, Koenig & Bauer!
A major announcement made was the unveiling of the company’s rebranding and new marketing appearance. KBA will now revert back to its original brand name: Koenig & Bauer. In line with the rebranding, what will we see come into effect immediately in the Asia Pacific region?
Well, the rebranding refers to our name and also to our ways of advertising, communication and of course, to our future product design. It will take a bit time to do all those changes, also for the agencies worldwide. KBA Asia Pacific will undergo those changes step by step and it will also have influence to our name eventually, but not for this year.
I especially love our new slogan “we’re on it”, which for me doesn’t only reflect on the printing products our machines are producing, but also stands for the passion which we are bringing forward with our team to serve our clients all over the world. I will use this slogan in my coming routines for upcoming company meetings.
What are some recent achievements in this region for Koenig & Bauer?
Related to our business with new machines, this year we had good success in some major markets in Southeast Asia which is keeping us very busy towards the end and beginning of next year. Among some mid-sized formats we had again success with our large format sheetfed offset presses. Furthermore, we increased our focus on service with an enhanced service work force.
One major topic for us was, and will be, the service together with right training for our customers. Installing a press with excellent technology is one side of the story, showing our customers how to use it on expert level is even more important. We want to show our clients that it is so much worth to invest in decent technology with a little higher price but at the end, the cost per sheet are going down with the higher performance if the technology is understood. We started with this approach already in the middle of this year and the feedback from the market is amazing.
What can customers look forward to from Koenig & Bauer?
Koenig & Bauer continues to bring new products to our customers, especially for the packaging market. Just to mentioned a view, there will be new developments for example in the area of folding carton digital printing with a new modern press concept in mid-sized format called the VariJET 106. With the VariJET 106 it will be very easy to configure a press according to our client’s needs for digital- but even conventional printing and finishing, all done in-line with its modular concept.
In the course of next year we will also see more and more new printing solutions for the corrugated market: the CorruCUT, the CorruFlex and the digital version the CorruJet which all were just introduced at latest FEFCO event. Koenig & Bauer further continues its ambitions in the field of flexible packaging by promoting high quality and environmental friendly technologies for flexographic printing and lamination, something we will put our heart on also for this region.
Besides of the hardware, we will further take one step more to introduce possibilities of network based production planning and control for printing enterprises on base of machine automation and MIS systems. This becomes very important if you want to stay ahead of your game in order to increase productivity of your entire factory.
Any last messages?
I would like to take the opportunity to thank our customers for their trust in our machines and services. We will constantly adapt to new market situations and are happy to serve our customers on a daily base.
I also would like to thank the team of KBA Asia Pacific and our partners in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines for their great support throughout the whole year. It is not only about the machines, it is also about our customers and our teams based in each country which make great things possible, thank you all for that!