Topic: Print has a structural problem - Messe Düsseldorf

Topic: Print has a structural problem - Messe Düsseldorf

Topic: Print has a structural problem - Messe Düsseldorf


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<strong>Topic</strong>: <strong>Print</strong> <strong>has</strong> a <strong>structural</strong> <strong>problem</strong><br />

Systems supplier Technotrans is looking for alternative customer industries<br />

Interview with Henry Brickenkamp<br />

Mr Brickenkamp is the Speaker of the Board<br />

of Directors of Technotrans AG. The<br />

company with headquarters in Sassenberg<br />

in Westphalia is a systems supplier for liquid<br />

technology as, for instance, dampening<br />

solution circulation and filtration systems.<br />

Mr Brickenkamp talks about trends in the<br />

printing industry and business potentials<br />

outside the print segment.<br />

Mr Brickenkamp, the printing industry <strong>has</strong><br />

been in crisis for several years now. Other<br />

industries of the engineering sector have<br />

managed to achieve an upswing. What is<br />

the <strong>problem</strong> in the printing industry?<br />

-1-<br />

Datum: 05.04.2012<br />

Brickenkamp: The printing industry <strong>has</strong><br />

two <strong>problem</strong>s. Besides the economic one,<br />

this is above all a <strong>structural</strong> one. The new,<br />

electronic media have changed the behavior<br />

of consumers. At the receiving end of this<br />

development are above all the newspaper<br />

printers. The customers of the printing<br />

Henry Brickenkamp<br />

industry feel consistent pressure on<br />

margins. Many are running out of steam. The result is a concentration process. As a<br />

consequence, the market for printing machine manufacturers is shrinking. Furthermore,<br />

the smaller printing houses have more and more difficulties in financing larger<br />

investments. The reluctance of banks to grant credits is not least the result of the euro<br />

crisis. As far as the printing companies are concerned, this means: They simply use their<br />

printing machines for a longer period of time – and do not buy new ones.<br />

Which development do you see for the medium term?<br />

Brickenkamp: Sooner or later, the investment backlog will subside. In the US market,<br />

which was economically depressed for a long time, replacement investments will<br />

inevitably have to be made. Otherwise you can just stop doing business. We see that<br />

something is happening there. On the whole, however, we only expect moderate growth<br />

of the print market. In future, we will see two trends: On the one hand, full automation,<br />

and, on the other hand, low-cost machines.<br />

Which expectations do you have about the drupa?<br />

Brickenkamp: The drupa is carried out at a time when the euro crisis seems to be<br />

easing. This is a good sign. It raises hope that the banks will again be more willing to<br />

finance investments. And this will stimulate the propensity to buy. We expect the drupa<br />

not only to give buy signals, but also to bring concrete sales contracts.

<strong>Topic</strong>: <strong>Print</strong> <strong>has</strong> a <strong>structural</strong> <strong>problem</strong><br />

Can packaging printing compensate for what is lost in publication printing?<br />

-2-<br />

Datum: 05.04.2012<br />

Brickenkamp: Packaging printing is a growth segment; and, in fact, specifically due to<br />

the new media. If more and more goods are ordered and bought via the Internet, more<br />

and more goods must be packed, printed and dispatched. In addition, the package is<br />

gaining in importance as a distinguishing characteristic of products. It is difficult to say to<br />

which extent this growth segment can make good for declines in other areas.<br />

Are you also doing business with digital printing?<br />

Brickenkamp: We are on the road with many manufacturers. Not at the lower end of<br />

our product range. For Technotrans, it is getting interesting as soon as digital printing<br />

machines are capable of moving into the performance range of offset printing. This is the<br />

segment where we see positive growth tendencies.<br />

In 2011,Technotrans had to cope with high value adjustments due to bad debt losses<br />

caused by the insolvency of Manroland. Now, Manroland is back in the market with two<br />

separate companies. Will Technotrans do business with them again?<br />

Brickenkamp: We have held preliminary talks with both companies which emerged from<br />

the insolvency. These talks were quite promising. I expect the webfed and the sheetfed<br />

company to remain an important customer of Technotrans.<br />

Technotrans wishes to decrease its dependence on the printing industry and increase the<br />

portion of sales made outside this industry to 30 per cent in the course of the next three<br />

years. How will you do that?<br />

Brickenkamp: With the acquisition of Termotek AG last year, we entered the laser<br />

cooling segment and thus opened the door to an interesting growth market. Most<br />

recently we made a cooperation agreement with KLH-Kältetechnik. As a result, we are<br />

now also present in industrial cooling and plant engineering. Furthermore, we have our<br />

eye on other industries as well, for example, machine tool building. Technotrans<br />

manufactures temperature control systems, with temperature being controlled above all<br />

by means of fluids. There are a lot of industrial sections where they can be used. In the<br />

medium term, we wish to make about 50 per cent of our sales with new customers in<br />

new industrial sectors.<br />

Other suppliers of the printing industry are looking for new industrial sectors as well in<br />

order to reduce their dependence on this weakened industry. Do you run across your<br />

existing competitors in the new business areas, too?<br />

Brickenkamp: No. We have an outstanding market position in specific areas and with<br />

specific products. This is where we are global market leaders, for instance, in<br />

temperature control systems for dampening solutions. Other companies focus on other<br />

processes. We don`t get in each other`s way, and this won`t be the case in other<br />

industries and markets either.

<strong>Topic</strong>: <strong>Print</strong> <strong>has</strong> a <strong>structural</strong> <strong>problem</strong><br />

Key questions<br />

Why is there a future for printing?<br />

-3-<br />

Datum: 05.04.2012<br />

Brickenkamp: For three reasons. In spite of the electronic media, paper will continue to<br />

be the major carrier for media because of its higher qualitative value. Secondly, the new<br />

media also generate classic print business. I just mention the catchword “cross media”.<br />

And thirdly, packaging printing will continue to rise and push the printing industry.<br />

The drupa turned 60 last year. Will there still be a drupa in 60 years from now on?<br />

Brickenkamp: I don’t think so, at least not in its present form. The large trade shows<br />

will get smaller and, above all, shorter. This also applies to the so-called flagship fairs. In<br />

addition, I see a tendency towards, for instance, in-house exhibitions in order to care<br />

about customers very individually. On the other hand, flagship fairs are always important<br />

market places where people meet and communicate. Business is always generated by<br />

people; there is nothing that’s more efficient. Nevertheless you`ve got to ask yourself<br />

whether 14 days is not too long for a drupa already now, above all since the original<br />

main reason for these two weeks, i.e., the installation of very large webfed printing<br />

machines which simply wouldn`t be worth the trouble for just a few days, is to a large<br />

extent no longer valid now.<br />

Which further development was the most important one since the invention of letterpress<br />

printing?<br />

Brickenkamp: I wouldn`t say that there is just one special further development which<br />

stands out in particular. On the contrary: From my point of view, it`s a continuing<br />

process that pushes printing technology. The catchwords in this respect are automation<br />

and print finishing. They have always been drivers of innovation.<br />

The drupa trade fair takes place in <strong>Düsseldorf</strong> from 3 to 16 May 2012. A trade show<br />

organized every four years, it is by far the largest event of the printing industry worldwide.<br />

This is where trends are set for the years to come.<br />

The German printing machinery industry is the global market leader and will continue to<br />

maintain this status in future as well. Every month in the run-up to the drupa, the VDMA<br />

will offer an interview with one exhibitor of the industry in the form of a press release.

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