KBA North America

Seventh KBA Commander CL goes to Heilbronn in Germany

German media enterprise Heilbronner Stimme opted in favour of printing press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) and is upgrading production with a highly automated Commander CL newspaper web press.

By placing this order the prominent media enterprise has reaffirmed its longstanding association with KBA, which has existed since Heilbronner Stimme was founded in 1946. Even in the letterpress era, the company printed on a KBA Courier and since 1995 a Commander satellite web press has been in action in their pressroom. However, from the middle of 2014 on the new press will slowly take over the production of the innovative group’s raft of printed products. The compact four-high web press with H-type printing units will be engineered for a maximum web width of 1,400mm (55.1in) and a cylinder circumference of 1,020mm (41.2in). In the first year after its launch on the market, the Würzburg-based market leader for newspaper presses sold seven lines of the flexibly automatable Commander CL with a total of 25 printing towers going to Germany, China and the USA.

Flexible automation brings investment security

Managing director Bernd Herzberger views this replacement investment as a vital step in producing the media house’s raft of products efficiently and cost-effectively under changing market conditions and to meet the higher demands for quality. Herzberger says: “We have worked successfully with KBA for decades and are more than satisfied with the performance of the KBA Commander as well as with the customer service we have received. With the competent support Mr Martin Blume from mb³ management consultants, we opted for the Commander CL featuring intelligent modular design after an extensive selection process which focused on efficiency, economy and quality. The latest KBA development not just offers great value for money, but also practice-orientated automation, which can also be customised flexibly at a later date to suit changing demands. The Commander CL contains many features found in the internationally successful Commander CT, such as the same high-quality inking unit with three forme rollers. I believe that we have made a choice fit for the future by choosing this cutting-edge press.”

One of the world’s best newspaper printers

The Heilbronn-based newspaper printers are well known in the branch for their superb quality colour newspapers. They are a longstanding member of the exclusive International Newspaper Color Quality Club and are now a member of WAN-IFRA Star club, after successfully participating five times in the competition. With nine local titles and a daily circulation of around 90,000 copies and 266,000 readers, the Heilbronner Stimme together with the titles Hohenloher Zeitung and Kraichgau Stimme, are the leading daily newspapers for the economic region Heilbronn-Franken, Hohenlohe and Kraichgau. The echo, a boulevard weekly with editions on Wednesdays and Sundays, has a circulation of 240,000 copies. Along with newspaper supplements, such as WirtschaftsStimme or autostimme, further weekly or monthly published local titles, such as the Brettener Woche, extra, Neckarsulmer Stimme, Lokalanzeiger and Heilbronner Stadtanzeiger, also belong to the company’s range of published and printed products.

Apart from the core newspaper printing business, the media group with its 600 employees take advantage of the possibilities and opportunities of electronic media. Along with a share in Radio Ton a private local radio station, the group also owns the region’s leading online portal, stimme.de. Regional news, an advertising market, and videos draw over 315,000 visitors to the portal monthly. The business segment STIMME.NET responsible for mobile and internet activities offers services for all the group’s customers in the form of a Typo 3 web agency. The company also operates an addressed postal delivery service carried out by its subsidiary, RegioMail.

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