Durst and KBA appoint Stabler to lead new joint-venture company for digital packaging printing systems

Robert Stabler.

Durst (Brixen, Italy), manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, and Koenig & Bauer (KBA – Würzburg, Germany), the oldest printing press manufacturer in the world, have appointed Robert Stabler as Managing Director of their new joint venture effective August 1, 2019. The new company, Koenig & Bauer Durst GmbH, was officially established in early May of this year following the clearance of antitrust regulations from the relevant authorities. Stabler, who grew up in the UK, has global experience in technology companies servicing the graphic arts and document management industries. Before joining Koenig & Bauer Durst, he was Senior Vice-President with Xerox’s Continuous Feed Business based in Rochester, New York. Previous executive roles also included responsibilities at OEM’s HP and Agfa.

“I’m really excited to take on this new challenge in the folding carton and corrugated packaging markets,” Stabler added. “Both are ripe for digital transformation with run lengths declining in both segments, and brands crying out for very good, cost-effective, short-run and versioning solutions. We’ll add all the competencies of Durst and Koenig & Bauer to leverage the best solutions. Durst, with its expertise in digital imaging, production systems, inks and software integration, and Koenig & Bauer, with all its mechanical knowledge, high duty cycle process, engineering, paper transport capabilities plus, of course, the great go-to-market expertise of both teams.”

Durst Delta SPC 130.
KBA CorruJET 170.

Business operations are now underway for joint development and marketing of single-pass digital printing systems for the folding carton and corrugated fibreboard industry, said the company. Koenig & Bauer Durst will have its registered office in Würzburg, Germany, and cooperate closely with both parent companies’ global networks. Initially, the joint venture portfolio will comprise the Koenig & Bauer CorruJET 170 and the Durst Delta SPC 130 – including all associated services and the ink business, as well as the development of the KBA VariJET 106.

Christoph Gamper.
Claus Bolza-Schünemann.

Christoph Gamper, CEO of the Durst Group, added: “We welcome Robert Stabler who has an impressive track record, is an inspirational leader and is accomplished in proactively managing change management, as well as substantial experience in developing new markets. The team we’ll create for the joint venture will supply the necessary solutions in markets where digital production lines offer huge opportunities for the folding carton and corrugated fibreboard industries.”

“This is the start of something very special in the printing and packaging industry,” said Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO of Koenig & Bauer AG. “We’re incredibly excited by the opportunities ahead of us, and we’re confident being able to form a superb team led by Robert Stabler. Our distinct technologies and market expertise will be combined to offer state-of-the-art products, and optimized solutions for our customers – including flawless service and support.”

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.