Ralf Sammeck, CEO Segment Sheetfed (left), in conversation with Dagmar Ringel, Director Corporate Communications & Marketing (right)

A Sneak Peek Ahead of drupa: Packaging Workflow

Interview with Ralf Sammeck, CEO Segment Sheetfed at Koenig & Bauer on the increasing importance of packaging printing. Dagmar Ringel, Director Corporate Communications, asks: How can printers meet the ever-growing demands of their customers? What solutions allow high-quality and efficient production?

Read time: approx. 3 minutes

Mr Sammeck, Koenig & Bauer has increased its focus on the market for packaging printing in recent years. What is the strategy behind this?

Ralf Sammeck: We see packaging printing as a growth market with great potential – all over the world. Although there was a slight downturn after the coronavirus pandemic, we expect realistic growth of around 4 per cent per year. While this allows room for investment, companies may be well advised to make production more efficient and to reduce costs in the long term by switching or upgrading to new technologies and software solutions. The feedback from our customers has been quite positive and we have the necessary expertise in-house. It’s only logical then that we’ve firmly embedded the entire packaging production process chain in our corporate strategy – because after all, our portfolio also includes the post-press area.

How can printers meet the ever-growing demands of their customers?

Ralf Sammeck: Every printing company should keep asking itself whether its established processes will still be suitable for efficient production at minimum cost in future. Specifically, this means a new generation of machines or new software, workflow and digitalisation solutions may offer potential for optimisation. In the simplest case, these can reduce costs for a printing company, but they might also facilitate entirely new business models in future. Our customers are increasingly taking this approach because they have recognised the great opportunities that it offers. Automation is progressing in leaps and bounds, and Koenig & Bauer has many smart solutions and tools to make production more efficient and productive, especially in relation to extending the workflow and developing digitalisation even further.

What makes Koenig & Bauer different to other companies?

Ralf Sammeck: One thing that makes Koenig & Bauer unique is our broad portfolio. No matter what you want to print, in what quantity and on what substrate – we have the right solution for practically everything. For our customers, this means that we don’t have to offer them anything that isn’t optimally adapted to their job structure. Instead, we can fully objectively offer both digital and analogue solutions, because we have both technologies available. It means we can be absolutely neutral in evaluating and assessing the best technology for each case – an advantage that other companies don’t have to the same extent.

What can visitors to drupa look forward to in terms of the packaging workflow?

Ralf Sammeck: At drupa, we will be showcasing many exciting and, above all, fully developed innovations that include both analogue and digital technology. We’ll also make a point of demonstrating complete production lines to visitors. At Koenig & Bauer, the process chain begins with the pre-press stage, continues through printing – whether analogue, digital or flexo – and ultimately leads to the respective finishing that was ordered using die cutters and gluers. Aside from printing and finishing machines, in recent years we’ve also put a huge amount of work into software and have implemented many exciting opportunities that involve digitalisation, and of course we’ll be showing all of these at drupa.

We look forward to seeing you at our stand A31 in Hall 16. You can find other interesting information and insights at drupa at the touchpoint for packaging. For example, on 28 May 2024, Koenig & Bauer will be represented by Sandra Wagner, Vice President for Digitalisation at the “Connected Packaging” table talk. Other interesting events can be found here.