Koenig & Bauer joins forces with Durst for VariJET technology

Koenig & Bauer and Durst have come together in a joint venture to launch their new VariJET technology.

The B1 6,000sph VariJET 106 is a solution that integrates inkjet technology into the platform of the Rapida 106 offset sheetfed press.

In its digital presentation, Koenig & Bauer LIVE, Robert Stabler, managing director of the joint venture between Koenig & Bauer and Durst, said the aim of the partnership is to bring together the corrugated packaging industry and the folding carton industry.

“We’re trying to leverage the capabilities that both companies have – Koenig & Bauer with its domain expertise in offset printing, paper transport and electronics as well as a service infrastructure for the folding carton industry, and Durst with its inkjet printing heritage,” he said.

“We want to bring the best of both core competencies together.

“Trends are shaping the packaging industry and these are changing the way that brands are thinking about packaging and packaging requirements. Trends like food provenance and security have called for more colour and complexity in packaging. We see this trend only accelerating.”

Durst Oceania managing director Matt Ashman told Sprinter that the partnership, and the launch of the new VariJET 106, signifies a joint venture that takes on a competitive world.

“It goes to show Durst’s technology extended across many platforms. The partnership with Koenig & Bauer is something very new to Durst but it also one that is important in a highly competitive world,” he said.

“Both Koenig & Bauer and Durst have got amazing expertise in their individual fields and for them to join together in this venture doesn’t take away from what Durst and Koenig & Bauer are doing individually in the corrugated packaging space – at Durst, we will still be offering our Delta series, which is for corrugated packaging and display.

“But together, with the sheetfed machine announced, we will be able to reach more customers for both of our businesses.”

According to Stabler, the VariJET 106 has a highly automated productive platform consistent with design values. The seven colour press provides an exceptional colour gamut and quality.

“We’re excited about the opportunities for the VariJET 106. Our customers are telling us that the compelling trends that they’re seeing elsewhere in the packaging industry related to shorter run lengths need to be more agile. This is also happening in the folding carton segment,” Stabler said.

“So, the VariJET 106 is aimed at moving folding carton jobs of an offset press onto a press that is more optimised for shorter runs.”

The solution will be in its beta phase by then end of this year, shown at drupa in 2021 and launched around mid-2021.

“We’re already looking forward to drupa next year. As any tradeshow, there will be a few surprises that we’re unable to disclose now. Our thinking for the tradeshow is to position how market changes are creating opportunities for brand owners,” he said.

“We’ll be looking at a whole end-to-end solution that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to create solutions for packaging and non-packaging businesses.

“We’re going through unprecedented change in these uncertain times and our challenge as an industry at the show is to show how we can embrace this change and come up with solutions that will enable brand owners to maximise their profitability.”

At Koenig & Bauer LIVE, the company’s CEO Klaus Bolza-Schünemann recently mentioned that digitisation will be at the core of the business’ offerings.

The Koenig & Bauer LIVE event will run weekdays from June 16 to 25 and will include daily 20-minute information sessions with updates from senior company executives. To register for the event, please visit koenig-bauer.com/en/live.

The sessions are scheduled for 6pm and midnight (AEST).

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