Carstern Wendler has bought industry equipment supplier Ferrostaal ANZ and renamed it Print & Pack, the name of the company when he first joined 20 years ago.

Wendler bought it, with a sleeping partner, from MPC, a company owned by the Schroder family in Germany, who bought it from MAN. He says, “MPC was looking to divest some of its more remote operations, it is a great opportunity for myself and the team here to be able to provide an even better, more nimble service to the local market.”

The company is now known as Print & Pack, and will operate in both Australia and New Zealand, Wendler says, “I wanted a name that reflected our core activities, that paid homage to our long tradition, that people in the industry remember as a business with high standards, and because that is the company I started with.”

Wendler joined the company in 1996 and became managing director of what was then Ferrostaal Australia and New Zealand three years ago following the ill-fated reign of former Ferag MD Marcus Haefili, when the company struggled to remain profitable.

The company has been through half a dozen iterations since it was founded, it began as Craven Engineering in 1980, then Craven Print & Pack, then Print & Pack in 1992, in 2002 it was Intergraphica Print & Pack, four years later MAN Ferrostaal, then just Ferrostaal in 2009 when MAN sold it to the same Arab conglomerate that owns Manchester City FC. The Qataris then sold it back to MAN who sold it to MPC.

For printers in Australia Wendler says the move means, “On the one hand the same high levels of service will remain, but on the other it means that we have greater flexibility as we are not part of a bigger organisation. And as Print & Pack is not owned by a press manufacturer or any other manufacturer it means we are free to bring the best solutions to the market, we can pick and choose, and there are not many supply side companies in that position.”

The company now has 25 staff with service engineers in every capital city in Australia. Wendler says, “I believe in having our own engineers rather than contracting third parties, it means the engineers are specalists in our equipment, and they develop relationships with the printers, understanding them.”

Komori is Print & Pack’s flagship brand in the printing sector with Bobst in the packaging sector. However Print & Pack will not be limited to the commercial print and folding carton markets, Wendler says, “We are already strong in corrugated and flexibles and this will continue.” The company also supplies well known finishing solutions including Morgana, MBO and Kolbus. When Wendler became managing director of Ferrostaal he set about slimming down the somewhat unwieldy product portfolio to focus on solutions that fulfilled a clear need.

Recent sales of Komori in Australia have virtually all been with the H-UV version, the UV formatted presses. Wendler says, “H-UV means that the sheet is dry as soon as it comes off the press, which is a prime requirement in today’s world of instant printing and short runs, and the premium on UV inks has come right down.”

Komori is also making major strides into digital printing, with the Impremia IS29 and ant Impremia IS40. The former is the B2 sheetfed inkjet printer with Konica Minolta heads that is about to become available, the latter the B1 sheetfed nanographic press co-developed with Landa. Wendler says, “There is strong demand for both presses. Komori has the chassis, the feeder, the transport and the delivery, so commercial printers know they are getting a robust, accurate consistent press.”

There is no word on when the S40 nano press will be released, although Wendler did take a few orders – more leters of intent – from Australian print businesses at drupa. He says, “The head of research at Komori is absolutely convinced of the nano technology, and printers at drupa were given samples from the Komori version.” Wendler also hints at further as yet un-named inkjet developments with Komori soon to be released.

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