KBA and Durst to partner in digital printing solutions for folding carton and corrugated sectors

To further advance the development of future-oriented digital printing solutions with added value for customers in the folding carton and corrugated printing markets, Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA, Würzburg, Germany) and Durst Phototechnik AG (Durst, Brixen, Italy) have agreed to pool their expertise and strengths in a 50/50 joint venture by signing a corresponding letter of intent. The planned joint venture will be based in Germany and, subject to merger control approval, will assume responsibility for the development, integration, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of water-based, single-pass digital printing presses for the folding carton and corrugated board markets. The ink and service business relating to the presses sold jointly through the global networks of the two parent companies will also to be handled by the joint venture. Durst, a family-owned OEM with an 80-year history, is a world-leading manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies. The Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) is a global market and technology leader in security printing and packaging print with a 200-year history in printing, finishing and post-press equipment and technology. As the first milestone for the joint venture, manufacturing of the VariJET press for digital folding carton printing is to be commenced in time for the drupa 2020 tradeshow.

Claus Bolza-Schünemann.

“We’re looking forward to joint innovations and further developments in future-oriented digital printing technology for folding carton and corrugated board – and not least to the added value this will offer to our customers,” said Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG. “With its wealth of existing know-how, extensive inkjet experience and high-quality solutions, Durst Phototechnik AG is the ideal partner with whom to pursue the defined objectives. As digital printing pioneers, the company has been developing inkjet applications for 25 years and is very successful in digital printing on ceramics, textiles and corrugated board.”

Christoph Gamper.

Christoph Gamper, CEO of Durst Phototechnik AG, added: “Durst is a technology leader in the field of inkjet printing and has already contributed to the digital transformation of production processes in various branches. In the printing industry and in surface decoration, in particular, Durst printing systems are deemed to set the standards with regard to print quality and productivity. The partnership with Koenig & Bauer now opens up new prospects, as Koenig & Bauer commands not only engineering expertise, but also very good access to the market. By combining our know-how, we’re in an ideal position to develop and offer fully automatic production lines, and will thus also be able to contribute to digital transformation in the folding carton and corrugated industry.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.