On 25 September, three days after his 65th birthday and just a few weeks after celebrating 50 years of service at KBA's Radebeul plant (formerly Planeta), executive vice-president for production Dr Frank Junker was given a ceremonious send-off to mark his retirement. At an official reception at Moritzburg Palace a succession of political, business, scientific and cultural luminaries praised his lifetime achievements, which extend well beyond press production.
KBA's president and CEO Helge Hansen welcomed around one hundred guests to the official farewell ceremony, among them longstanding customers, suppliers, colleagues and staff. In his laudatory speech KBA deputy chairman Reinhart Siewert underscored the major contribution Dr Junker made towards reorganising press production in Radebeul following German reunification and the company's acquisition by Koenig & Bauer, and its subsequent promotion to the premier league of international sheetfed press manufacturers. Siewert also paid tribute to Radebeul-borne Junker's success as executive vice-president of production for all KBA's German plants from 2004 to 2008 and his intensive honorary commitments promoting research, art and culture. For example, since 2002 Dr Junker has been chairman of the society promoting the annual Moritzburg chamber music festival. He has also organised over 50 exhibitions of local artists' work in the company showroom, which is visited by customers from all over the world. In his address, Lord Mayor Bert Wendsche noted that in 2005 the town of Radebeul acknowledged Dr Junker's commitment to art by presenting him with the Grand Art Award.
Another interest keenly pursued by this dedicated Saxon is the transfer of knowledge between science and business. From 1994 to 2002 he was an active member of the Saxon board of trustees for the Association Promoting German Science, and subsequently until 2006 a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities. Dr Junker is also trustee of the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems and of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology in Dresden, which was represented at the ceremony by its head, Professor Ralf-Eckhard Beyer, who in 2005 was presented with the Steinbeis Foundations's Löhn Award for his achievements in this field.
Frank Junker started an apprenticeship at the Radebeul press factory in 1959, later becoming a lathe operator. When the company was merged into what was then known as Druckmaschinenwerk Planeta he switched to production scheduling. From 1964 to 1967 he studied at the engineering college in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) and followed this up with a distance learning course in printing presses and factory planning at what is today Chemnitz Technical University, from which he graduated in 1972. In 1974 Dr Junker became head of technology and factory planning at Planeta, an nine years later director for technology. From 1975 to 1979 he took a doctorate in engineering.
Following reunification in 1990 Dr Junker was appointed executive vice-president for production technology at the newly formed Planeta. In 1991 he was made a member of the Koenig & Bauer board responsible for sheetfed production at the Radebeul operation. From 2004 to 2008 he was also head of production and materials management at KBA's web press factories in Würzburg, Trennfeld and Frankenthal. In addition to this he represented the interests of the parent company for many years on the supervisory boards and committees of diverse subsidiaries such as KBA-Mödling near Vienna, Bauer + Kunzi in Stuttgart and HGO in the Netherlands. His unmistakable penchant for neatness, efficiency and visual appeal are also evident in the realignment of production processes in Radebeul in the 1990s, the renovation of offices, showrooms and assembly halls – which won the town of Radebeul's Developers' Award in 2008 – and in countless new and restored buildings in Radebeul, Würzburg and Frankenthal. Dr Junker has also published numerous articles in national and international trade magazines, and collaborated extensively on trade publications. He has a large number of patents to his name.