Manroland Web: ‘You cannot run old presses and make money’

Eckhard Hörner-Marass made his first trip to Australia since the German manufacturing giant’s web division was acquired by Possehl Group following its insolvency crisis.

Hörner-Marass met with five key clients during the whirlwind visit, and told ProPrint that the greatest demands were for new innovations in automation and waste reduction.

His message for local printers was: “We are back on track and we are focusing on our customers’ expectations and requirements much more than we did before.”

Hörner-Marass said Manroland Web wanted to speed up R&D and get products to market faster. “We want to shorten that timeframe significantly.”

[Related: Manroland Australasia focus more on web than sheetfed]

Manroland has secured a number of major customer wins in the past 18 months, including new heatset webs going into Franklin Web and Hannanprint’s new Warwick Farm site.

Manroland Australasia managing director Steve Dunwell said the two installations represented $40 million in sales, helping the local division contribute 10-15% of Manroland Web’s revenue.

While the blitz of big sales is likely to slow down, Dunwell said there was at least one unannounced press sale in the works.

He expected that over the next few years, major web printers would continue to face a need to retire old presses and upgrade to new, more efficient technology.

Dunwell said: “You cannot run old presses and make money nowadays because the margins are tight for everybody. You have to be a low-cost producer.”

Hörner-Marass was appointed managing director in August, bringing a strong background in manufacturing and having spent more than a decade on the management boards of various large German companies.

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