Koenig & Bauer News Feed https://www.koenig-bauer.com/ en Koenig & Bauer AG Wed, 28 Jul 2021 16:43:59 +0200 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 16:43:59 +0200 news-2049 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 13:38:03 +0200 Koenig & Bauer Expands Into Corrugated Board Packaging Market Space http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/koenig-bauer-expands-into-corrugated-board-packaging-market-space/
  • Popular new CorruCUT high board line rotary die-cutter designed for high-performance rotary production
  • The CorruFLEX provides high-performance post-printing on corrugated board in the highest possible flexo quality
  • The Omega Magnus specialty folder gluer models 210 and 230 are built of 3 cm solid steel frames that ensure high productivity and long-lasting life and quality output
  • To remain committed to its customers in North America, Koenig & Bauer (US/CA) is expanding its popular portfolio to include the corrugated printing and converting segment. Its three major products: the CorruCUT, CorruFLEX, and Omega Magnus, will be represented by the entire North American sales force. 

    “We are pleased to expand our dedication to the corrugated market,” says Kilian Renschler, president and CEO of Koenig & Bauer (US/CA). “All three of our new products, the CorruCUT, CorruFLEX, and Omega Magnus, are successfully being operated at a customer’s facility. Our North American sales team is the most experienced in all facets of packaging from folding carton to litho laminates to flexible substrates to the label markets. For them, it’s a natural bridge to support the corrugated market along with the expertise of Jurgen Gruber, corrugated product manager, and our extensive German factory team. They will be your trusted advisors as they introduce our portfolio of corrugated products and help to support our customers with their total packaging needs.”

    The Koenig & Bauer CorruCUT has been designed for the high-performance rotary production of die-cut corrugated products in ultimate flexo post-printing quality


    The CorruCUT has been designed for the high-performance rotary production of die-cut corrugated products in ultimate flexo post-printing quality. It can handle corrugated sheets with a width of up to 2,800 mm (110.24 in) and a thickness of 9 mm (0.354 in), running at speeds up to 12,000 sheets per hour. Operators are impressed that they can set up new jobs while production is running providing fast job change and low-maintenance. Press control can be handled via a flexible Profibus system and touchscreen.


    The CorruFLEX is a unique turnkey solution that produces high-performance post-printing on corrugated board in the highest possible flexo quality. It boasts a multitude of unique features, such as a vacuum-belt feeder that operates without feed rollers, and an innovative anilox roller changing system. It can be operated either as a stand-alone solution or be integrated into a production line together with conventional flatbed die-cutters.

    Current customers are reporting impressive positive results. At the end of 2020, the THIMM Group installed its first CorruFLEX press at its facility in Sibiu, Romania, from Koenig & Bauer. The new press is being primarily used for four-color production on coated board.

    Omega Magnus 

    Like all Omegas, the Magnus is a user-friendly machine which utilizes carrier motor control buttons on both sides, a color monitor on the feeder for surveying delivery, an additional control board at the end of delivery and remote control. It's 3 cm solid steel frames ensure high productivity and long-lasting life and quality output.

    “We have numerous Omega Magnus folder gluers running an array of corrugated products throughout the U.S.,” says Tom Fitzgerald, director of post-press at Koenig & Bauer. “Our folder gluers for the corrugated market are extremely versatile and fully customizable to meet a customer’s individual needs.”

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    news-2047 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 10:34:13 +0200 Successful market launch – Koenig & Bauer continues its CorruCUT sales campaign http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/successful-market-launch-koenig-bauer-continues-its-corrucut-sales-campaign/
  • High degree of automation
  • More new features for the machines
  • Koenig & Bauer has successfully marketed five machines of the CorruCUT series to high-profile users in the corrugated board sector. Following the successful completion of acceptance tests on the beta machines already installed in the market, several more companies are opting to invest in the high-performance CorruCUT.

    Successful market launch – Koenig & Bauer continues its CorruCUT sales campaign

    Stefan Segger, sales director at Koenig & Bauer Digital & Webfed: “We are confident that we are on the right path – and the lifting of the travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic means that we can resume live presentations of the machines to our customers. The future investments by our customers are the reward for the very good work done over the past years.” The focus on growth markets such as conventional and digital packaging printing is inherent to Koenig & Bauer’s successful strategy. The new machines are scheduled to commence production next year.

    New features generate positive feedback

    Koenig & Bauer has continued further development of both the high board line rotary die-cutter CorruCUT and the flexo post-printing press CorruFLEX, incorporating a broad spectrum of new technical features. The new highlights added to the die-cutter, for example, have generated a great deal of positive feedback from the corrugated board industry. “Our philosophy is, firstly, to understand the precise needs of our customers, and then to scrutinise every action we take in order to determine what we can do even better,” says Christoph Müller, member of the management board of Koenig & Bauer. The combination of high print quality, absolute precision and high production outputs represents a real leap forward in printing technologies for the packaging sector. Other unique features of the CorruCUT include a vacuum-belt feeder without feed rollers, a novel anilox roller changing system and the top vacuum stacker. 

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    news-2044 Tue, 20 Jul 2021 14:26:17 +0200 Koenig & Bauer Leads Label Market With Technology-Laden Solutions http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/koenig-bauer-leads-label-market-with-technology-laden-solutions/
  • Newest Rapida 106 X press offers fastest 20,000 sph, exceptional productivity, and excellent print quality for label production
  • Outstanding 50% productivity gains are derived from the complete label workflow production--from printing and die-cutting—paired with the exceptional new Koenig & Bauer CutPRO X 106 rotary die cutter 
  • In-mold label printers rely on Koenig & Bauer presses as demand increases
  • As brand manufacturers increasingly demand all types of highly-creative and informative offset printed labels, label printers are turning to Koenig & Bauer for the fastest press speeds, excellent print quality, and proven substrate packages to deliver eye-catching, brand consistent labels for their customers. 

    “With the growing demand for labels, we’re accelerating our leading role in this very important market,” says Chris Travis, Koenig & Bauer director of technology. “This market is one of our main pillars along with commercial and packaging and we’re deeply committed to developing the latest innovations specifically for each market segment.”

    While the U.S. demand for labels is forecast to rise 3.3% per year to $20.6 billion in 2025, Koenig & Bauer is seeing “significant growth”, especially here in North America as well as worldwide. What is drawing leading label printers to invest in Koenig & Bauer? Travis says that overwhelmingly it has been due to the firm’s superior technology that has convinced label printers to transition to Koenig & Bauer. “Our presses are producing labels at 20,000 sph unlike any other press on the market,” he says. “We have label customers breaking production records all of the time on our presses.”

    The newest Rapida 106 X press offers the fastest 20,000 sph, exceptional productivity, and excellent print quality for label production

    What sets Koenig & Bauer apart is its unique complete process from substrate-in to label-out. This starts with the launch of the newly designed Rapida 106 X, a high speed 20,000 sph. The press, which bears an eye-catching black and grey body with illuminated glass side panels, offers the highest productivity and optimized production and efficiency for label producers. Its popular Koenig & Bauer innovations, such as DriveTronic SIS, a unique side lay free system that allows for accurate registration of the thinnest substrates at max speed which is part of the important label sheet travel package, QualiTronic PDFCheck, an inline image inspection system that compares every printed sheet with the PDF data from prepress, and QualiTronic ColorControl, an inline color control system measuring every sheet, are extremely important for label production, in which each label must be consistent and include specific pertinent information.

    “All of our label printers have their Rapida presses equipped with our superior quality and color control systems,” says Travis. “Brands are very aware that their labels must look the same on the store shelf. Consistency is key and our Rapida presses deliver.”

    Travis says that Koenig & Bauer equipment is significantly more productive due to the label’s path through the press and delivered to the rotary die cutter. Its engineers have developed a more productive system to produce more labels due to this swift system. Unlike commercial or packaging printers, label manufacturers require specific substrates and Koenig & Bauer has developed an array of substrate packages developed for sophisticated label production. These include lightweight, plastic, and paper, depending on the type of label to be produced.

    The dynamic growth of in-mold labels is another important segment for Koenig & Bauer. “In-mold label printing is produced on thin plastic, down to 50 microns, and presents its own set of challenges. Due to our unique concept of sheet travel, from roll to sheet to delivery, which is unique to Koenig & Bauer, we’re able to efficiently and successfully print in-mold labels at the highest production speeds,” says Travis. “We’re also a leader in the LED-UV drying market, which significantly impacts the IML label market, if the label allows for energy curing. Since this type of label is printed on such thin substrates, it can be prone to distortion when subjected to the drying process. LED-UV emits no heat so it provides better control over the production process, allows improved registration, and provides higher quality while addressing the need for faster drying times and the ability to run a full pile in the delivery.”

    Koenig & Bauer has placed so much emphasis on the label market that it has dedicated an individual area known as the Label Center in addition to its new Customer Experience Center in Germany. Visitors can witness the entire label production process on the new Rapida 106 X seven color with coater through to the new CutPRO X rotary die cutter. This new machine is equipped with the DriveTronic feeder, SIS (Sensoric Infeed System), label sheet guiding system, and AirTronic delivery and provides fast automation for job changeovers and an intuitive operating concept.

    “Our North American Koenig & Bauer in-mold label customers are reaping the rewards and enjoying the huge benefits of their complete label workflow being carried out on the Rapida 106 X and CutPRO X 106 with up to a 50% improvement in production from roll to sheet, to print, to cut, to stripe, and blanking,” says Travis

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    news-2040 Tue, 20 Jul 2021 11:26:44 +0200 Koenig & Bauer is the first press manufacturer to join the Healthy Printing Initiative http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/koenig-bauer-is-the-first-press-manufacturer-to-join-the-healthy-printing-initiative/ Koenig & Bauer has underlined its commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly print products and packaging by joining the Healthy Printing Initiative. This decision also helps to strengthen the network with its own ‘preferred suppliers’, a number of whom are already active members. The target of the Healthy Printing Initiative is to promote the use of eco-friendly substrates, inks, coatings and other consumables for the printing of paper, carton, corrugated board, plastics and other products, and finally to enable efficient recycling systems. High levels of contaminants and foreign residues can render the recycled materials unsuitable for use in new products such as food packaging. Accordingly, holistic and environmentally compatible print processes are seen as a means of raising resource productivity by improving recoverability and maximising the (re-)use of recycled raw materials.

    CEO Dr Andreas Pleßke: “We are the first press manufacturer to actively participate in this network of paper, packaging material, ink and print chemistry manufacturers, printing companies, recyclers, designers, end customers and other industry stakeholders. Substrates, additives, inks and print processes must be combined in a way that promotes sustainable, future-oriented print production. More effective climate and environment protection measures in print production depend on intact recycling chains and a functioning circular economy, which in turn demands the close cooperation of everyone concerned. Involving the end customers is especially relevant, as they do, of course, have a particular interest in the sustainability of print production and material sources, and therefore the ecological quality of their products.”

    Koenig & Bauer is the first press manufacturer to join the Healthy Printing Initiative, reaffirming its commitment to sustainable and environmentally friendly printed matter and packaging

    About the Healthy Printing Initiative

    The Healthy Printing Initiative was set up by the international environmental research and consultancy institute EPEA (Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency) with the support of the DOEN Foundation. The pivotal idea of the initiative is to advance implementation of the cradle-to-cradle design concept (C2C) in the print industry. Preference is given to those substrates, inks, coatings and other consumables that are manufactured in a zero-waste process. Following use, the print products must then be collected and be consistently recycled. At the end of the recycling process, any residual material should ultimately be reabsorbed into the natural ecosystem as biological nutrients, without placing a burden on the environment. Further information on the Healthy Printing Initiative can be found at https://www.healthyprinting.eu.

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    news-2038 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 09:53:00 +0200 Permanent product marking with iCON 3 http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/permanent-product-marking-with-icon-3/
  • Economic product coding with laser
  • Comfortable and simple operation
  • Eco-friendly marking and saving money
  • Koenig & Bauer Coding launches the iCON 3 marking laser in the entry-level class.

    The iCON 3 is the latest product in the iCON range, specifically designed for permanent marking and coding in the consumer goods and industrial product sectors. It offers users an economical alternative to inkjet printing, but has the advantages of laser technology: laser marking works cleanly and there are no solvent emissions. By eliminating consumables, the iCON also greatly reduces operating costs.

    iCON 3: Ecologically and economically friendly

    Thanks to a new touch-screen controller with updated software, the iCON 3 is easy to install, operate and maintain. easy installation, operation and maintenance. An integrated wizard assists with simple configurations and provides templates for reporting.  On-site technicians receive instant support through the on-demand online video tutorials.

    In addition, the operation of the iCON 3 takes into account the increasing importance of climate impact. With very low power consumption and the absence of volatile solvents, the laser contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions. High-tech optics are used in the iCON 3. The powerful hardware and innovative, cost-effective software mean that the iCON 3 laser can reach the high line speeds of most production lines.

    Benedikt Berberich, product manager for lasers at Koenig & Bauer Coding, confirms: "The market launch of the first iCON series set the standard for the entry class of laser coding years ago. With subsequent product launches, we have raised the bar ever higher. The iCON 3 is the first choice in its class in terms of economy, user-friendliness and environmental compatibility.

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    news-2036 Thu, 15 Jul 2021 13:08:53 +0200 Koenig & Bauer joins the VDMA’s Blue Competence Sustainability Initiative http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/koenig-bauer-wird-partner-der-nachhaltigkeitsinitiative-blue-competence-des-vdma/ With its decision to join the VDMA’s Blue Competence initiative, Koenig & Bauer has reaffirmed its commitments to sustainability and social responsibility which are anchored in its corporate philosophy and have characterised the company ever since it was founded more than 200 years ago. At the trade fair Drupa 2000 the Rapida 105 was the first sheetfed offset press worldwide to be awarded an “Emission tested” environmental certificate by the Professional Association for Printing and Paper Processing (Berufsgenossenschaft Druck und Papierverarbeitung). As the voice of the mechanical and plant engineering industry, the VDMA has here formulated common standards for ecological product and production design, as well as responsible corporate management.

    “It is a declared target of the Koenig & Bauer Group to offer solutions which combine climate and environment protection with strong practical and economic benefits for our customers,” says CEO Dr Andreas Pleßke. “By becoming a partner in the Blue Competence initiative, we would now like to underline this intention by contributing to the advancement of sustainable technologies and services. Alongside resource-efficient and low-emission products and manufacturing processes, a focus is placed on the development of energy-saving technologies to reduce CO2 emissions in print production. And as one of the pioneers in corporate social policy, we have always been committed to our responsibility for employees and society.”

    VDMA Blue Competence Sustainability Initiative

    Blue Competence is an initiative by the VDMA aimed at promoting sustainability in the mechanical and plant engineering sector, while at the same time informing the sector about relevant sustainable solutions. Each of the partner companies undertakes to comply with twelve sustainability guidelines defined for the mechanical and plant engineering industry: see www.vdma.org/viewer/-/v2article/render/439338

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    news-2034 Wed, 14 Jul 2021 14:37:25 +0200 Record sales for Koenig & Bauer at China Print in Beijing http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/auftragsrekord-fuer-koenig-bauer-auf-der-china-print-in-beijing/
  • Successful world première of the new Rapida 105 generation
  • Numerous orders received for the Rapida 105
  • One of the best trade show results ever in China
  • More than 150 print professionals were present on the trade show stand to witness the official unveiling of the new Rapida 105 series. Another 2,000 followed the event via a live online stream (1)

    From 23 to 27 June, Koenig & Bauer showcased its comprehensive product and service portfolio on a stand measuring more than 1,000 m2 at the China Print exhibition in Beijing. The spotlight was directed at the world première of the new Rapida 105 generation, which took centre stage. Its unveiling was one of the absolute highlights of the technology exhibition, and also caused a stir among the wider trade public. Most of the printing industry professionals who visited the Koenig & Bauer stand were visibly impressed by the print demonstrations performed on the new medium-format press (max. sheet format 720/740 × 1,050 mm), with its high production output and fast job changeovers.

    The première of the new Rapida 105 delighted the Chinese print professionals (2)

    Crowd favourite Rapida 105

    The dynamic design of the new Rapida 105 and the long list of features adopted from other medium-format series, such as the feed table with a single suction belt, extensive preset capabilities and comprehensive measuring and control systems, helped to make the Rapida 105 the undisputed crowd favourite. The fact that the press has been developed and manufactured entirely in Germany is another major plus point. Walter Zehner, CEO of Koenig & Bauer Greater China, explains: “The Rapida 105 has been very popular with our Chinese customers for several decades. The new generation was developed in accordance with their particular needs, and is geared specifically to the challenges that arise in everyday print production operations.”

    Print samples from the Koenig & Bauer stand were in great demand among trade show visitors (3)

    Thanks to extensive configuration options and its exceptional substrate flexibility, the new Rapida 105 is an ideal choice for packaging, commercial and even label printing. It thereby allows users to expand their product range and help exploit new potential for commercial success. The first two days of the exhibition already saw several companies sign purchase contracts for the new Rapida 105.

    Following the live demonstrations, the trade show visitors were able to take a closer look at the press (4)

    Contracts with print companies from all over China

    By the end of China Print, more orders had been received from print companies all over China. Along with the medium-format models, considerable interest was shown in large-format sheetfed offset presses from the Rapida 145 and Rapida 164 series. This can be attributed to a particular demand for high-quality packaging, especially for mobile telephones and other electronic products.

    The Koenig & Bauer trade show stand, once again, provided the backdrop for film and photo shoots during China Print (5)

    Walter Zehner was very pleased with the results of the trade show: “The success far exceeded our expectations. In terms of the number of orders received, we were able to post a new record for China Print.” Zehner thanked his team in China for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and was more than happy with the outcome their efforts brought: “Despite the serious situation, our trade show presentation was an unqualified success and attracted attention from far beyond China itself.” And he is confident that Chinese printers' demand for new press technologies will continue to grow in future. Dietmar Heyduck, senior vice-president for sales at Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, is equally delighted: “My sincere thanks go to our customers for continuing to place their trust in our products, and to the Koenig & Bauer teams in both China and Germany for a fantastic trade show. We are now looking forward to brisk post-exhibition business.”

    The Koenig & Bauer trade show team was more than satisfied with its success at China Print 2021 (6)

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    news-2032 Tue, 13 Jul 2021 14:57:25 +0200 No need for compulsory redundancies at Koenig & Bauer in Stuttgart http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/no-need-for-compulsory-redundancies-at-koenig-bauer-in-stuttgart/
  • Pragmatic and constructive agreement
  • Socially cushioned personnel adjustments without compulsory redundancies
  • Improved order situation in the second half of the year
  • Through constructive cooperation with employee representatives, Koenig & Bauer has been able to implement economically unavoidable cost optimisation measures at Stuttgart-based subsidiary Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint without resorting to compulsory redundancies. Global economic changes and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic had led to a slump in turnover for the particularly export-oriented company in 2020.  

    Job reductions were kept to a minimum through a series of measures designed to enable a socially cushioned transition. Most importantly, the introduction of a flexible system to reduce working hours (employment based on collective agreements with appropriate individual adjustments) avoided a situation in which key employees with priceless know-how would have left the company. The agreement gives the company the reassuring certainty that it can react flexibly to short-term turnover fluctuations, while at the same time safeguarding the customary high quality of customer support.

    The fully automatic high-performance metal decorating press MetalStar 3 is in use all over the world. Metal packaging is considered to be especially sustainable.

    This arrangement was the outcome of countless constructive discussions between management representatives, the trade union IG Metall and the works council. Everyone involved contributed to this result on the basis of respectful, appreciative and open-minded negotiation. Managing director Ralf Hipp says: “By working together and not against each other, we have laid the foundations for a successful and promising future.” Board management spokesman Dr. Andreas Pleßke adds: “COVID-19 is a purely external factor, and so flexibility, common sense and a readiness to compromise were important guidelines for us going into the talks.”

    A further indicator for the maximum commitment to jobs is the announcement that all trainees who complete their training this year will receive regular employment contracts.  In this way, Koenig & Bauer continues to offer young people interesting career prospects even in economically turbulent times.

    “After a difficult first half of the year, we are seeing improvement in the order situation and the global economy is coming back to life. In June, we recorded one of the best figures for incoming orders in the company’s history. This enables us to approach the future with confidence and optimism,” says managing director Pekka Hobbeling.

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    news-2029 Mon, 12 Jul 2021 14:20:27 +0200 Conimar Group Invests in New Koenig & Bauer Ipress 106 K PRO Die Cutter with Blanker http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/conimar-group-invests-in-new-koenig-bauer-ipress-106-k-pro-die-cutter-with-blanker/
  • Newest generation of high-tech die cutter will spur productivity and efficiency by 25%
  • The Ipress 106 K PRO is part of Conimar’s two-million-dollar investment of new equipment
  • Ocala, FL headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing facility will take delivery of the new die cutter in early fall
  • When the Conimar Group LLC, was formed in 1976, its forward-thinking owner and CEO, Terry Crawford, could see the need for a U.S.-based manufacturer and marketer of quality tabletop, gift and housewares products. Today, the family-owned business is the leader in its field with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities located in Ocala, Florida--its corporate headquarters--and Springfield, Tennessee. To maintain its fast growth and production, the firm chose to update its operation with a new Koenig & Bauer Ipress 106 K PRO die cutter with blanker arriving in early fall.

    “We were seeking a machine that could keep up with our high levels of production,” says Crawford. “The Ipress 106 K PRO die cutter has high speed production perfectly combined with exceptional registration, high quality standards, and easy handling and fast preparation—everything that we required. Its blanker is one of the few that we found to seamlessly and efficiently remove scrap from the cutter. As we retire older equipment, we’ll be gaining extremely high speeds of 8,500 sph production output on our new Ipress 106 K PRO.”

    (Left to right) Conimar Group LLC, founder and CEO Terry Crawford; Conimar president Eric Robinson; and Conimar vice president of manufacturing Jim Mager; are surrounded by the firm’s high quality placemats at the Ocala, FL facility where the new Koenig & Bauer Ipress 106 K PRO die cutter with blanker will arrive in early fall

    Koenig & Bauer designed the new Ipress 106 K PRO with a combination between the high production quality of its die-cutters and the robust and innovative design of its award-winning Rapida sheetfed press technology. Conimar’s Ipress 106 K PRO offers two types of sheet monitoring: either conventional or with the optional OPMR system (Optical Printed Mark Register), which uses sensors and cameras to detect a printed mark. Conimar’s operators can easily switch between the two systems using an intuitive touch screen monitor. If Conimar’s team needs to reach Koenig & Bauer’s service department, the new Ipress 106 K PRO is equipped with an IP remote connection system to allow remote maintenance with its Florida-based crew and the installation of updates and upgrades at any time.

    One of its most dynamic features is its fully automatic, shaftless DriveTronic feeder, which ensures optimum sheet travel and short makeready times. Four servo motors control all movement functions. The machine’s other key features include a continuous, infinitely-adjustable pile lift; automatic skew sheet correction at the feeder head during production; automatic pile-edge control for exact alignment at the feeder; and ability to produce repeat jobs at the touch of a button.

    At its facility north of Orlando, the manufacturing floor buzzes with activity as popular tabletop and houseware products are being printed on two Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 presses--five- and six-color models--and ultimately shipped to leading retailers around the country.

    Crawford foresees the new Ipress 106 K PRO making a substantial impact on Conimar’s production floor. He estimates a 25% increase in production due to the installation. As the most technologically advanced die cutter on the market, it offers enough versatility to die-cut several types of substrates from 64-lbs to 0.11-inches thick corrugated board and solid board up to 0.59-inches thick.

    “We’re always investing in new equipment to make our facility more efficient to benefit our customers,” says Crawford. “The new Ipress 106 K PRO is part of a two-million-dollar purchase of new leading-edge technology to better position the company to meet future needs.”

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    news-2025 Wed, 30 Jun 2021 13:09:23 +0200 Initiative for a sustainable future http://iberica.koenig-bauer.com/en/news/detail/article/initiative-for-a-sustainable-future/
  • Focus on sustainable development of packaging
  • Digital technology for efficient and high-quality recycling management
  • Trial run successfully completed
  • For Koenig & Bauer, sustainable corporate development is a key issue for the future. As a further piece in the puzzle, the company was confirmed as a member of the Holy Grail 2.0 project in June 2021. The aim is to speed up the development of an efficient circular management system.

    Logo Holy Grail (2)

    Under the auspices of the European brand association AIM (Association des Industries de Marque), more than 120 companies and organisations from across the packaging value chain are pooling their expertise to achieve an ambitious goal: to see if digital technology can contribute to better sorting and higher quality recycling for packaging in the EU to develop a truly efficient recycling economy.

    Packaging materials are recyclable materials that should be kept in the loop. The aim of this pioneering project is to mark packaging using digital watermarks, thus simplifying machine sorting of waste for recycling and recovering high-quality recyclate. For plastics, this is even a must, because the European Union has stipulated that by 2030 only plastic packaging that can be reused or recycled may be brought onto the market.

    Digital watermarks in stamp size on the packaging (1)

    Digital watermarks in the EU

    From the previous research, digital watermarks have emerged as the most promising technology and received majority support from stakeholders. Digital watermarks are unobtrusive, stamp-sized codes printed on the surface of packaging. They can contain a wide range of identifiers, such as information on manufacturers, stock keeping units (SKUs), processed plastics and the composition of multi-layer items, food and non-food products.

    The new technology passed the trial run on a test sortation line flawlessly. Now the branded goods industry is committed to implementing the next phase as a value chain initiative called "Holy Grail 2.0". This includes the commissioning of an industrial trial facility to test the viability of the watermarking technology for the purpose of accurate sorting of packaging waste and higher quality recycling, as well as conducting a large-scale business assessment scenario.

    Apart from their function as a "digital recycling passport", digital watermarks are also applicable in other areas, such as customer loyalty, supply chain visibility and retail.

    With its subsidiary Coding, Koenig & Bauer has many years of expertise in the field of coding solutions in its own portfolio. As an official member of the sustainable initiative, the group is now working together to find a joint solution for smart packaging recycling.

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