On 29 September, Koenig & Bauer celebrated the 125th anniversary of its sheetfed offset location in Radebeul near Dresden.
With its 1,800 employees, the factory is today considered the largest engineering company in Saxony. It is the modern-day successor to Dresdner Schnellpressenfabrik, the company founded on Blasewitzer Straße in Dresden in 1898 by Joseph Hauss and Alfred Sparbert. It relocated to Brockwitz just two years later before moving premises again in 1911, namely to Radebeul-Naundorf, where the company still has its offices today.
Innovative solutions for the print industry
The company caught the attention of the world market from the very beginning, for example with the unit-based sheetfed offset press unveiled in 1965. This design principle has since become the accepted norm and has remained the industry standard to this day. Rapida sheetfed offset presses today deliver an unrivalled performance in many format classes and are also makeready world champions.
There were, unavoidably, also a few lows and dark periods to be endured over the course of 125 years of manufacturing at the location: two world wars, hyperinflation and currency reforms, the planned economy of the GDR years and the catastrophic Elbe floods of 2002.
Complete solutions for packaging and folding carton production
Today, the Koenig & Bauer factory in Radebeul represents much more than just the group’s value centre for classic sheetfed offset. It also bundles all group activities relating to an integrated packaging production workflow. The current product portfolio in Radebeul includes rotary die-cutters based on the offset press platform. Flat-bed die-cutters are supplied by subsidiary Koenig & Bauer Iberica in Barcelona. Added to this are the folder-gluers contributed by Koenig & Bauer Duran in Istanbul. In this way, products from Koenig & Bauer cover the entire process chain of folding carton production.
Alongside sheetfed offset presses, Radebeul design engineers working within the framework of a joint venture with the company Durst have developed the VariJET 106, a digital printing press that combines the strengths of inkjet with the benefits of an offset process The first presses in this series were put into operation by users over the past few months.
The Radebeul factory is today the largest Koenig & Bauer location and home to three business units: Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, responsible for the market segments sheetfed offset and post-press equipment (including development, production, sales and service), Koenig & Bauer Industrial as an internal and external production services provider, and Koenig & Bauer Deutschland as the sales and service company for the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. With an export ratio of almost 90 per cent, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed can also point to an international trade performance well ahead of the Saxon and German national averages (36 and 40.7 per cent respectively).
Employee festivities and other jubilee highlights
The Radebeul location is celebrating its 125th anniversary in numerous ways. On 29 September, a day of special festivities was organised for the employees. Further events with customers, shareholders, business partners and employees from other group locations are planned for October. Mention must also be made of a richly illustrated commemorative book that offers unusual insights into what goes on behind the scenes in printing press manufacturing and introduces some of the 1,800 employees through a series of gripping stories.