Koenig
Koenig & Bauer’s Sascha Fischer at Print Summit 2019. Photo PSA

Despite multiple economic headwinds facing the global economy, German printing solutions provider Koenig & Bauer was able to strengthen its position globally in 2018, company’s head – product management, Sascha Fischer told Packaging South Asia on the sidelines of Print Summit 2019 that was held in Mumbai on 24 January. “Worldwide, the year 2018 faced many challenges such as US-China trade war, economic slowdown in China and depreciation of emerging market currencies. So, there were some issues, but we strengthened our position in the global market,” Fischer said. “Koenig & Bauer has always been known to be strong in the packaging printing segment but in commercial printing also we have gained ground,” he added.

Partnership with Indo-polygraph Machinery going strong

In India, Indo-polygraph Machinery has been representing Koenig & Bauer for many years now and, according to Fischer, the partnership has been going from strength to strength. Koenig & Bauer boasts of some of India’s top packaging printers in the folding carton segment, such as Parksons Packaging and TCPL, as its customers. In addition, the company has managed to sign many fast-growing mid-sized companies as well. “We have some outstanding customers in India like Parksons Packaging and TCPL but there are many smaller companies who are equally important to us. These firms are very innovative and demanding. They are also highly innovative and are increasingly going for special effects,” he said.

Talking about some of the important trends that he sees in the Indian market, Fischer said that top tier printers are now completely focusing on buying new presses instead of pre-owned ones as this gives them efficiency gains. “They are eager to adopt new technology such as double coating and cold foil,” he said.

Exciting times ahead

In recent months, Koenig & Bauer has been expanding its portfolio. In December 2018, it agreed with Duran Machinery to take over 80% of its folder-gluer business and integrate it into the Group under the name Koenig & Bauer Duran. In the same month, Koenig & Bauer and Durst Phototechnik agreed to a 50:50 joint venture in digital printing. According to Fischer, corrugation is another segment that holds a lot of promise for the company. As run lengths get shorter, more and more flexo printers are likely to opt for offset technology.

“In the near-term, we are all looking forward to drupa which is going to take place next year. People can hope to see some exciting innovations from Koenig & Bauer at the show,” he concludes.

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The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

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