At the end of last year Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) expanded its network of sales and service outlets in the Far East with a new subsidiary in Korea, a major industrialised growth market.
The intensive market development and customer focus pursued since mid-April under the guidance of managing director Kenneth Hansen is now bearing fruit: a succession of longstanding and new users have signed up for KBA’s high-powered Rapida sheetfed offset presses. Here, too, KBA is reaping the rewards of its strong position in the packaging sector.
In 2010 Gomundang Printing in Daegu-Si was the first Korean print enterprise to fire up a medium-format Rapida 105 with DriveTronic SIS no-sidelay infeed and DriveTronic SPC simultaneous plate changing. The family-run commercial and packaging operation already had six Rapida 104 and 105 presses, among them long perfectors for 4 backing 4. At present the company is enjoying brisk, sustained growth driven by the current boom in the Korean electronics industry, with packaging for mobile phones and other consumer electronics in particular demand. Specifications for the new Rapida 105 therefore included a 450mm (17.72in) plinth, six inking units, a coating capability, a CX board-handling package, automatic plate changers, dual-purpose CleanTronic Impact washing units, nonstop facilities and DensiTronic quality control. It is Gomundang Printing’s eighth medium-format Rapida.
Kuk Je Printing in Pusan, and its subsidiary Duksu Printing, are two more loyal KBA users in Korea, having installed a total of seven medium-format KBA presses since 1987. In October 2012 Kuk Je Printing took delivery of the eighth KBA litho press, a plinth-mounted five-colour Rapida 105 with a coater and board-handling capability, automatic plate changing, CleanTronic washing units, a nonstop roller and other automation modules. The company also produces large volumes of packaging for the high-growth consumer electronics sector.
Dream AD in the Korean capital, Seoul, is a relatively new enterprise that has already established a reputation for outstanding design and value-added commercial products. At the end of the year the company is expanding capacity still further with the addition of a fourth press, a five-colour Rapida 105 with coater and double extended delivery.
Recently Wonchang Corrugated became the first printer in the south of the Korean peninsular to place an order for a KBA press, opting for a large-format 1,200 x 1,620mm (44 x 63.77in) Rapida 162a for direct printing on corrugated board. Following shipment in November it will be installed at corporate headquarters in Kimhae. Along with board- and corrugated-handling capabilities the six-colour coater press with extended delivery will have automatic plate changers, be mounted on a 420mm (17.72in) plinth and embedded in a pallet-free pile logistics system.
Given the high level of interest among productivity-focused Korean printers in innovative Rapida sheetfed offset technology, KBA Korea anticipates further sales. Customs exemption for German products, Korean printers’ enhanced competitiveness compared to Japanese vendors and KBA’s outstanding image, particularly in the packaging sector, have resulted in a brisk revival in demand.