KBA has begun construction of a new digital and flexographic press demo centre at its Würzburg parent plant. The centre is due to be ready for occupancy ahead of the official ceremony to mark the company’s 200th anniversary in September 2017.
On March 10 the laying of the foundation stone was witnessed by Würzburg’s mayor, members of the group board, the architect, contractors and other guests. In his welcoming speech, KBA chairman Claus Bolza-Schünemann drew attention to the contraction of media-focused print markets and the successful realignment of KBA Group concentrating on growth sectors like packaging, digital and industrial functional printing.
Currently 70% of the group’s new press revenue is generated in the booming packaging sector. The group headquarters in Würzburg was chosen as the site for the new demo centre to provide suitable, conveniently situated presentation facilities with easy access to Frankfurt International Airport for customers from expanding markets.
With a usable area of around 2.100m², modernised premises of 21,164m³ and investment totalling a formidable €6 million (including technical infrastructure, without demo presses) the building project is one of ambitious scale. It is the latest in a series of new buildings at the Würzburg site, following a new logistics centre and design building in 2001, two new production halls in 2003 and 2008 and a new foundry in 2012.
As counterpart to the demo centre for sheet offset presses and processing systems at Radebeul, the new demo centre will feature a RotaJET digital printing press for commercial, publication and decor printing, a flexo rotary press from KBA-Digital & Web Würzburg’s Italian subsidiary KBA-Flexotecnica cooperating on flexible packaging, and a newly developed sheetfed flexo press from KBA-Digital & Web for direct printing on corrugated cardboard. Aside from customer demos, testing new developments is also planned.
Bolza-Schünemann commented: “KBA-Digital & Web builds the world’s largest inkjet roll-fed rotary presses and in future also high performance sheetfed presses to meet the growing demand for corrugated cardboard packaging. Our Italian subsidiary KBA-Flexotecnica offers technically outstanding flexo rotary presses for film, paper and lightweight cardboard packaging. With the widest portfolio of all manufacturers, KBA Group offers print solutions for virtually all markets.
“We want to present our systems for the above growth sectors live in action at the new demo centre. Many of our national and international customers want to see the presses being operated in action before they decide to invest. And of course, we hope that this substantial investment will have a positive impact on our business in these new markets for KBA.”