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manroland Sheetfed Division Being Acquired

Andy Tribute takes a look at Langley Holdings which recently acquired the manroland sheetfed division.

By Andrew Tribute
Published: February 3, 2012


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By Terry Tevis on Feb 03, 2012

While this makes sense for the remaining employees, does the industry really need a manroland sheet-fed press in a shrinking market when KBA and Heidelberg continues to struggle? It still seems prudent to roll-up offset manufacturers similar to what we have seen with printers and paper companies here in the US. Reducing redundant SGA and R&D by combining these three companies into one makes far greater sense that spinning off a “right-sized” operation to even someone with great track record Langley seems to report. I have struggled to find the correlation between yacht racing and strategic thinking as the world continues to move from analog offset to digital presses while simultaneously moving content from ink on paper to eContent channels for the iPad!


By Rossitza Sardjeva on Feb 03, 2012

Almost is the same situation with manroland web offset business - Possehl is not known as a company of Graphic Arts Industry.....


By Fred Goldwyn on Feb 03, 2012

KBA might take issue with Mr. Tevis' comment regarding their struggles. To the best of my knowledge KBA is actually doing very well and showing good profitability, especially here in the USA.


By Erik Nikkanen on Feb 03, 2012

What is and what was needed in the press manufacturing industry was the kind of innovation that made one or a very few manufacturers winners at the expense of others that could not innovate.

What we have seen are survivors succeeding by attrition and not innovation. Also if the survivors still do not innovate enough, they too will be displaced by digital printing processes.

The press manufacturing industry has great engineering but poor science and this has held innovation back. The new owners might have also great engineering resources but they might also not be aware of the fundamental weakness in knowledge that exists in these press manufacturing cultures.

Expecting greatness in R&D from groups that have had problems understanding their own process and not knowing what is required to make more innovative technology, is going to be a surprise to the new owners.

Press manufacturers have developed the existing press technology but that development should not be viewed as innovation. Innovation will be a surprise. It will cost less and perform better and most will not think it was even possible.

To innovate you need better science and that is the weakness in this industry. It is also the opportunity.


By Rafael Drozt on Feb 08, 2012

Thank you Fred. You would be correct. KBA has been the only manufacturer that posted profits throughout the downturn.


By Erik Nikkanen on Feb 08, 2012

Rafael, one poster on Printplanet reported that KBA had lost something like 45% of it Market Capital during this time.

It is great that KBA could maintain a profit but if the number above is true, they were also hurt badly. Maybe they were just the best press manufacturer to manage their business in a shrinking market.

I don't know that details but it would be interesting to know how they managed it.


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