Durst and Koenig and Bauer have signed a letter of intent to set up a 50/50 joint venture to develop and market single-pass digital printing systems for folding carton and corrugated cartonboard using a water-based ink.
Christoph Gamper, CEO of Durst Group, explained: “Both companies are similar in their culture and strategic direction, and both are technology leaders in their fields. With the partnership, we are even more strongly positioning ourselves as a high-end systems supplier to the industry.” He added: “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 are 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.”
The plan is to develop fully automated production lines with integrated inkjet printing, and then to distribute these worldwide. Both companies already have considerable expertise in this area. Koenig and Bauer has already worked with HP to build the T1190 series of inkjet presses and with Xerox to create the VariJet folding carton printer, as well as having developed its own RotaJet series. Moreover, Koenig and Bauer has also developed the CorruCut, a fully integrated flexo press line for corrugated production. Durst has also developed several corrugated printers including the Delta 130 single pass printer.
To start with, the two companies are planning to manufacture the VariJET press for digital folding carton printing in time for Drupa 2020. The presses themselves will be sold through the global networks of the two parent companies. However, the new partner company, which will be based in Germany, will handle the servicing and ink business. It’s still subject to merger control approval
Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO of Koenig & Bauer, commented: “We are 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. 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.”