Koenig & Bauer stands firm on Drupa


Koenig & Bauer has publicly backed Drupa 2021, stating that its participation in the expo “is not in question”.

Koenig & Bauer: raft of new products along with new-look press styling
Koenig & Bauer: raft of new products along with new-look press styling

The Germany-headquartered press manufacturer issued a statement asserting its position the day after arch-rival Heidelberg announced it was pulling out of the 2021 show, citing the Covid-19 pandemic, and leading to speculation that more exhibitors could follow suit.  

Xerox and Bobst had already pulled out. 

The vote of confidence is significant because K&B's CEO Claus Bolza-Schünemann is also the president of Drupa.

He stated: “We continue to see Drupa, the world's leading trade fair, as an important building block in the graphic arts industry and we see it as our responsibility to support this industry.

“We want to do our part to continue to provide important impulses locally in personal discussions.”

Bolza-Schünemann said the firm had confidence in the Messe Düsseldorf's new hygiene concept, “and in the sense of responsibility of all visitors”.

K&B has a substantial presence in Hall 16, and is planning to show a raft of new products along with new-look press styling. The group has a diverse range of products spanning web and sheetfed printing, packaging printing, speciality printing, digital printing, flexo printing, and post-press.

It announced some new products at it recent Koenig & Bauer Live virtual event, which took place over what would have been the Drupa timeframe last month.

This included the new Rapida 106 X.

Drupa 2021 will also be the first public outing for the revamped VariJet 106 B1 inkjet press with joint venture partner Durst.

K&B board member Ralf Sammeck acknowledged that trade fairs would not be the same as they were pre-Covid-19, but said that virtual event formats could only convey the performance capabilities of its broad product portfolio “to a limited extent”.

“Nothing beats experiencing the latest technologies up close in action with the public and the trade fair feeling,” he said.

During the K&B Live virtual event Bolza-Schünemann said he was “fairly convinced” that the same number of visitors that attended Drupa 2016 - more than 260,000 - would come to next year’s event.

By contrast, Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said its customers had told the company "they will most likely not come".

 

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