Baldwin is buying QuadTech, so continuing its acquisition strategy with possibly its largest deal to date.
The year started with the purchase of Air Motion Systems to create Spectral UV, what it terms a powerhouse in UV printing. It has continued with the acquisition of visual inspection specialist PC Industries and drying and corona treatment provider Albrandt.
Now the year ends with the purchase of QuadTech, the company started by QuadGraphics to create products needed for its gravure and web offset operations. Along the way it has made its own acquisitions, not least that of Crosfield’s press controls division in Hemel Hempstead. In recent years the technology has diversified into packaging applications with customers well beyond the focus of its own printing technology. This has included SpectralCam, for high speed colour measurement on flexible packaging presses.
It has recently signed deals for closed loop colour controls with Comexi and Uteco, suppliers of label and wide width packaging presses. Colour Track, announced at Drupa, will provide an audited, controlled colour workflow from specified to finished packaging.
This is part of the appeal for Baldwin. “QuadTech will serve as a catalyst for the formation of our new Baldwin Vision Systems segment, which will greatly enhance Baldwin’s ability to provide an even more comprehensive automation portfolio for our customers around the world,” says Brent Becker, president and CEO of Baldwin. “Together, we provide our customers an unmatched portfolio in commercial and newspaper automation, and I am very excited about the additional capabilities we will gain in the packaging markets.”
It is not alone in perceiving this opportunity. Danaher Group has put together a series of acquisitions in colour measurement and control from Esko Artwork, X-Rite, Pantone, and latterly AVT for the same purpose.
Becker continues: “The work QuadTech has done recently on colour within the packaging market clearly places us as the industry leader, and we have aggressive plans to build upon that position. I fully expect that our combined global presence, coupled with a new tiered product offering, will position the company to further satisfy our customers’ needs in an even larger geographical area.”
“This is definitely a situation where we can accomplish much more together than we could have as independent companies,” says Karl Fritchen, QuadTech president, who stays on to lead the newly created business.
QuadTech has developed away from the registration and colour control systems that were created to meet the needs of QuadGraphics. Now it has packaging solutions, quality assessment and closed loop control, why Baldwin has stepped in.