• Joint venture: (l-r) Christoph Gamper, CEO and co-owner, Durst; Christian Gatterer, CFO, Durst; Jochen Sproll, project manager, Koenig & Bauer; Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO, Koenig & Bauer; Harald Oberrauch, co-owner Durst.
    Joint venture: (l-r) Christoph Gamper, CEO and co-owner, Durst; Christian Gatterer, CFO, Durst; Jochen Sproll, project manager, Koenig & Bauer; Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO, Koenig & Bauer; Harald Oberrauch, co-owner Durst.
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Durst and Koenig & Bauer have signed their joint venture agreement, which paves the way for the joint development and marketing of single-pass digital printing systems for the folding carton and corrugated fibreboard industry.

Durst, manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, and Koenig & Bauer, the world’s second-largest printing press manufacturer, have named the new business Koenig & Bauer Durst. Business operations should commence by the end of May once anti-trust regulations are cleared, by which time a managing director will be appointed. It will be located in Germany.

First fruits of the new joint venture will be seen at drupa next year. Initially, the joint venture portfolio will comprise the Koenig & Bauer CorruJet 170 which has Fujifilm Samba printheads printing four colour 1200x1200dpi, and the Durst SPC 130, a six-colour 800dpi 1.3m wide 120 metres an hour system shown at the last drupa. Both are digital carton printing systems. There will also be continued development of the VariJet 106, which KBA was initially working on with Xerox.

Matt Ashman, the Australia and New Zealand Durst sales manager at PES said, “The coming together of the expertise and knowledge of the two businesses is great news for the carton packaging sector. Digital packaging printing is set to boom, and the unrivalled engineering expertise of the new venture will enable print packaging businesses to exploit the rapidly growing digital market to maximum intent.”

Claus Bolza-Schünemann, CEO of Koenig & Bauer, said, “The packaging industry is looking for new, more efficient production opportunities and Koenig & Bauer Durst will supply the necessary digital solution.”

Products from the new JV will be in competition with those from EFI, HP, Heidelberg, Screen, possibly Benny Landa, and others, with a slew of new digital carton printing systems certain to be one of the highlights of drupa next year.

Food & Drink Business

Two South Australian produce and packaging businesses have developed a 100 per cent biodegradable compostable cucumber wrap.

Managing director of Australian Wine Research Institute Dr Dan Johnson is leaving to take up a position as Pro Vice Chancellor Research Innovation at Macquarie University. Brian Walsh is stepping down as Wine Australia chair.

Keytone Dairy will acquire Australian health and wellness brand Super Cubes for $726,000 plus an earn-out subject to performance milestones. This follows Keytone’s acquisition of Omniblend in June for $22.6 million.