30 July 2017 Analogue Printing Technologies

Manroland Web Systems shifts as publishing stagnates

Manroland Web Systems is adding packaging and parts supply for other manufacturers as market for new web presses slows down.

Manroland Web Systems is claiming to have a 43% of the web offset sector for 2016, putting it above KBA and Goss in what is a declining market where one or two significant orders can mean a big swing in market share.

Market conditions mean that sales for 2016 were steady at €242 million (€241 million). There was a fall in incoming orders to 214 million (€241 million) while pretax profits edged up to €6.5 million (€6.2 million).

The company, owned by Possehl, has been diversifying to counter the market conditions in its traditional web offset sector. It has already established a digital finishing division using its expertise in web handling to create FoldLine and FormerLine finishing units for newspaper and books, inline with inkjet web presses. These are able to adjust cut off length on the fly to meet changes in format for small batches on books without stopping the line.

It has this year announced development of the Varioman, a platform for packaging print that can include flexo, gravure and offset units (potentially digital also) in a single press. The first of these with combine gravure and offset for printing on foils and is being installed at a customer in central Europe. It is understood that a second Varioman has been ordered.

Contrary to the publishing market, flexible packaging is growing at 4.0% annually, 3.5% for all packaging. “With the Varioman, we want to provide a new production system to our customers – at the first configuration level for flexible packaging printing," says managing director Alexander Wassermann. "The market asks for press systems that meet the demands for brand differentiation, enhanced comfort and additional packaging sizes.”

Manroland Web Systems brings its expertise in web handling and press control system to deliver this sort of product without needing huge amounts of development on variable cut off cylinders while providing full systems support from its Augsburg head office.

Its ability to support the complex requirements of presses like this is being channelled towards retrofit services. The company has completed a retrofit of a Goss in the US and others are expected to follow. The company’s web store for spare parts has been relaunched as Market-X and carries spares for among other Goss. It will also handle supply of refurbished parts at lower prices than those supplied as new.

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Heatset to packaging

Heatset to packaging

Manroland Web Systems has taken 43% of the web offset market in 2016. It is the largest supplier of high pagination presses, but is moving into packaging, digital print and spares to find higher growth rates.

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