& then

there was …

Welcome to 200 years of inventions, creations and success. Take an exciting trip through the past and explore the highlights of 200 years of Koenig & Bauer.

We wish you a pleasant journey.


For our 200-year success story to be able to begin, Friedrich Koenig, the inventor of the cylinder printing press, was born in the Thuringian town of Eisleben on 17 April 1774.


With the precision engineer Andreas Bauer, born in Stuttgart on 18 August 1783, the future founder duo of Schnellpressenfabrik Koenig & Bauer is complete.


In 1806 Friedrich Koenig moves to England, where industrial development is much further advanced. Together with Andreas Bauer, he presents the first cylinder printing press made of iron to the printing world in London in 1812.


When a double cylinder press by the two pioneers prints "The Times" in London in November 1814 using a steam-driven machine, the foundation for the industrialisation of the printing sector and the dissemination of information in wider sections of the population has been laid.


Pioneering spirit right from the beginning! The establishment of Schnellpressenfabrik Koenig & Bauer in the monastery Oberzell near Würzburg means the beginning of industrial production 25 years before the start of the machine age in Germany.


The establishment of the first paper mill in Bavaria, in Münster­schwarzach cloister mill helps the young company to overcome the market crash after the outbreak of the July Revolution in Paris in 1830.


Andreas Bauer and Koenig's widow Fanny Koenig, one of the first female managers in Germany, establish the factory sickness benefit fund as a predecessor of today's company health insurance fund - company welfare policy long before Bismarck.


When Andreas Bauer dies, Wilhelm and Friedrich Koenig Junior take over the management of the company. They drive forward the technical and social innovations of the company.


Two years later, the two sons of the founder inaugurate a company training school. It still exists today as one of the few company vocational schools in Germany, and produces excellently trained technical specialists every year.


The 2,000th machine leaves the factory of Koenig & Bauer! And because the staff has always been especially important for the company, it sets up an invalids', widows' and orphans' fund for them in the same year.


Printing performance requirements increase. Besides sheetfed presses, Koenig & Bauer develops the first webfed press and ships it to Magdeburgische Zeitung. This step is of enormous importance for the further development of the company.


Koenig & Bauer continues to expand. Albrecht Bolza, the grandson of the inventor, joins the company, and Edgar Koenig, a nephew of Friedrich Koenig's, develops the first web press with integrated former.


Shortly before the turn of the century, the 5000th automatic cylinder press leaves the factory in Oberzell.


More space for innovations! After years of success and inventions, the monastery can no longer meet the requirements. The company builds a new plant on the other side of the River Main. This is still the company headquarters of Koenig & Bauer.


One innovation after the other! With its high print quality, the new four-colour sheetfed press Iris impresses not only the inventors but also more and more new customers of Koenig & Bauer.


In the industry, word gets round about the high quality of the printing presses from Würzburg. And so it does not take long before the first rotogravure press is delivered to Berlin.


In the banknote printing sector, the first collect press for coloured banknotes underlines the leading role which Koenig & Bauer has played for many decades. It stabilises business in the hyperinflation period of the 1920s.


In the fourth generation, Dr. Hans Bolza becomes Chairman of the Board. He is head of Koenig & Bauer for 40 years, through the turmoil of the 2nd World War, destruction and the reconstruction period, up until 1971.


Dr. Hans-Bernhard Schünemann joins Koenig & Bauer. After pioneering designs, Dr. Bolza adopts the highly talented designer in 1959. As CEO from 1971 to 1995, Dr. Hans B. Bolza-Schünemann pushes forwards the development of new printing presses and growth into a printing press group.


A stroke of luck is the beginning of cooperation with the Swiss "Organisation Giori" in the security printing sector. This ensures a leading position in the banknote market. A little later the first Koebau-Giori-Intagliocolor and Koebau-Giori-Simultan presses are shipped.


The fast two-revolution Condor press is very successful at home and abroad. Almost 2,000 presses are shipped. Würzburg companies such as Vogel Verlag also used this press, which processed 4,600 sheets per hour.


The first letterpress newspaper press, the Koebau Courier, for the Würzburg "Main Post", is followed later by many offset rotary presses. Even today, business relations between the two companies are very good.


The Rotafolio sheetfed letterpress newspaper press is put into serial production in the new branch factory in Trennfeld. Numerous rotary presses are later assembled there.


Koenig & Bauer delivers the first web offset press in the continuously developed Commander series to Belgium. Even today, this model is in use in numerous newspaper companies.


Another successful model! The Koebau Compacta commercial web offset press impresses the experts at drupa with its excellent print quality and flexibility.


Time for records! The Jumbo Courier, the world's widest newspaper web press so far, with a web width of 2.52 m, is shipped to Gazet van Antwerpen. With an output of 15,000 sph, the Rapida SR III becomes the fastest medium-format press in the world for many years.


The Rapida SR III is succeeded by the Rapida 104 with a unit-type design and an output of 15,000 sph. It is the early predecessor of today's Rapidas.


Koenig & Bauer ships the world's largest flexo newspaper press to the Daily Mail in London. The "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher is also present at the official presentation of the eight Flexo-Courier presses.


On the way to becoming a Group: in 1990, Koenig & Bauer and Albert-Frankenthal exhibit jointly for the first time as the Koenig & Bauer-Albert group (KBA) at drupa in Düsseldorf.


Koenig & Bauer takes over the majority in Planeta Druckmaschinenwerke in Radebeul near Dresden. The new subsidiary operates as KBA-Planeta AG. For the first time, group turnover (excluding KBA-Planeta) tops one billion marks.


Koenig & Bauer merges with Albert-Frankenthal to create Koenig & Bauer-Albert AG (KBA). At Drupa, the new Rapida large-format series causes a sensation. With its superior performance, it accelerates the rise of KBA Radebeul to market leader in large formats.


At the PRINT trade fair in Chicago, KBA presents the 74 Karat computer-to-press system, developed together with Israeli Scitex Corp - the first step in the direction of digital printing.


Koenig & Bauer-Albert AG merges with KBA-Planeta AG to create the significantly larger parent company Koenig & Bauer AG (for short: KBA).


At drupa 2000, KBA presents the KBA Cortina, a revolutionary concept for newspaper printing in the 21st century, and causes a sensation with numerous new developments in sheetfed and web offset printing, as well as eco-printing.


By acquiring De La Rue Giori SA, Koenig & Bauer finally secures the pole position in the market for banknote printing systems. The new subsidiary is renamed KBA-Giori S.A. and later KBA-NotaSys S.A.


Koenig & Bauer is also the first in the newly fashionable triple width satellite newspaper presses, with the KBA Commander 6/2 for Tamedia AG (Tages-Anzeiger) in Zurich. In the same year, the Radebeul plant underlines its class in large formats with the new generation of super-large sheetfed presses, the Rapida 205 and Rapida 185.


By taking over Metronic GmbH in Veitshöchheim, KBA enters the growing market for industrial marking technology. The inkjet, laser, thermal transfer and hot stamping systems are used in many production and packaging installations.


Through the purchase of the Czech press manufacturer Grafitec, a location with attractive labor costs joins the group. Today, KBA-Grafitec produces the Rapida 75 PRO and Rapida 76 presses.


Thanks to the acquisition of LTG Print Systems Holding GmbH and its merger with Bauer + Kunzi to form KBA-MetalPrint GmbH in Stuttgart, KBA also becomes the global leader in the metal-decorating press sector. The wide range of products for the growing market of packaging printing continues to grow.


The new KBA Rapida 106 positions itself as the world champion in set-up times, and since 2012 has also been speed world champion in the medium format with 20,000 sph.


Breaking into high-volume digital printing: with the RotaJET 76, KBA presents the first inkjet web press for digital colour printing at the Drupa. In large-format sheetfed offset, the new Rapida 145 redefines performance parameters with speeds of 17,000 sph.


With the acquisition of Kammann Maschinenbau GmbH and the Italian company Flexotecnica S.p.A., KBA expands its portfolio with presses for the decoration of hollow containers made of glass and plastic, as well as equipment for printing on flexible packaging.


The largest inkjet web press so far, the RotaJET VL, with a web width of 1.68m (66.1in) for the German decor printer Interprint is presented.


In cooperation with major US group HP Inc., KBA-Digital & Web unveils the world's largest inkjet web press, the HP T1100S PageWide Web Press for corrugated packaging, manufactured at the Würzburg works.

A new group structure is approved, with the holding Koenig & Bauer AG and the operating subsidiaries KBA-Sheetfed Solutions, KBA-Digital & Web Solutions, KBA-NotaSys and KBA-Industrial Solutions.


At drupa, the KBA Group presents the latest technology for offset, flexo and digital printing. Postpress solutions are also presented for the first time, as well as new services under the label KBA 4.0.


In September 2017, Koenig & Bauer celebrates its 200th anniversary with guests from all over the world.