We are ready to meet the challenge
An exclusive interview with Dr. Peter Conrady, the new President of Manroland Greater China and Head of Sales at Manroland Sheetfed GmbH.
Article by Ms. Wang Tingting from Chinese Print Magazine ‘Printing Technology’.
The new president of Manroland Greater China is a veteran of the industry who has immersed himself in the business. Dr. Peter Conrady, who joined Manroland in 1995, was formerly Managing Director of Manroland Germany and Austria for many years. Since 2012, he has been Head of Sales of Manroland Sheetfed GmbH and has deep knowledge of the global printing industry and the Chinese printing market.
Any change of management sparks curiosity on what policy changes are afoot. During the Manroland Innovative Added Value Printing of Alcohol Packaging Seminar and the Press Conference, it was a privilege to meet Dr. Peter Conrady face to face and find out the reason for this management change and the latest developments at Manroland.
Strong commitment to the Chinese printing industry
Manroland Greater China achieved great business success in 2018. The new-generation flagship model ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION enjoyed success in the high-end customized packaging printing field; the preventive maintenance concept of ProServ 360 ° was embraced by the customers; and the Printing Supplies division helped more customers to establish sustainable green printing production that meets regulatory requirements. “In 2018, Manroland successfully positioned itself at the high-end packaging printing market and its sales performance hit the target,” Dr. Conrady said.
At the same time, Manroland's single largest market, China, was facing changes in the economic environment, with new competition emerging along with unprecedented opportunities for development. Only by evolving and adapting to the times could Manroland achieve further growth in the Chinese market. In early 2019, Manroland's headquarters in Germany restructured their China operation by appointing Dr. Conrady president.
Dr. Conrady believes that his appointment can directly bring resources and support from the headquarters to further boost the business development of manroland Greater China. This is undoubtedly great news to the Chinese market. It manifests Manroland's strong commitment to the Chinese printing industry helping Chinese printers to transform and upgrade themselves.
Best packaging printing solution
As a world-famous sheetfed offset press builder, backed by a long history and track record of success, Manroland Sheetfed has a legendary status in the design and manufacturing of top-of-the-line printing equipment. In order to meet the market demands for higher automation and higher productivity, Manroland in November 2014 launched a new generation “Dream Model” the ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION. This model continues Manroland's proud tradition of solid press manufacturing while adopting the most innovative technology. With its new design concept and futuristic look, ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION won the 2015 Red Dot Design Award, considered as the “Oscars” in the design industry. Its broad range of options – such as SPL (simultaneous plate loading), AUPASYS (Automatic pallet transport system), and InlineInspector + InlineSorter which aims at the “zero defect sheet pile” – has won plenty of recognition. That’s because they can help printers to continuously improve productivity, service capabilities and customer satisfaction. According to Dr. Conrady, the ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION has performed very well since its launch. By now, it has seen its 1,000th printing unit come off the production line – proof that this model is an ideal value-added printing tool. This, of course, is an important milestone in Manroland's development history.
Moreover, in response to the ever-changing printing market, Manroland launched a tailor-made model the ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION ULTIMA. “We hope to develop different applications through an advanced platform to meet the various needs of our customers,” explained Dr. Conrady. “Compared with the standard models, Ultima can be flexibly configured for printing, coating and drying, according to the product characteristics and production needs of the printers. What’s more, the coating unit can sit anywhere on the press. Through a combination of different options, a wide variety of print effects could be done through one-pass production. With Ultima, the printers could easily handle various challenges, such as higher quality requirements, increased complexity, shorter runs or reduced lead time. Therefore, it brings to the printers unlimited possibilities for profitability,” Dr. Conrady stressed.
At present, in China, prestigious printers, such as ZRP Printing & Packaging, Kunshan Kava, and YUTO, have acquired Ultima presses. Furthermore, according to sales statistics from Manroland Greater China in 2018, for every five presses sold, one was Ultima – proof that this model is a favorite among the printers.
As for the changes in the printing equipment market in recent years, Dr. Conrady observed that the most obvious change is that printers are paying more attention to the machine’s stability and productivity, cost, print quality and environmental protection. The demand for the seven-color units or higher, automation, color management systems and special processes, such as InlineFoiler, double coating and LED UV, is rising.
“The ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION and the Ultima model were developed based on these needs,” Dr. Conrady said. “The feedback from our customers confirms that this model is very successful. It also strengthens our decision to develop in this direction.”
Full range of services makes Manroland a bigger success
"Manroland not only sells machines, but also pays attention to services, helping customers to not only afford the equipment, but also use it well." As a total solution provider, Dr. Conrady said, Manroland has not only been developing innovative technologies and value-added printing processes, but also offering customers a full range of services, including printservices and printcom.
ProServ 360° PERFORMANCE was developed in accordance with this philosophy. According to Dr. Conrady, in addition to traditional installation, repair, training and spare parts, the biggest innovation of this solution is to provide the customers with preventive maintenance and performance improvement programs. The aim is to continuously improve the effective utilization rate of equipment and increase its stability. Thus, the printers are able to provide their customers with high-quality packaging print products and services. Currently, the ProServ360° PERFORMANCE is integrated with the new ROLAND 700 EVOLUTION and is free of charge for the first two years. Also worthy of mention is the TOP Performance, which translates into: Performance (P) = Technology (T) x Organization (O) x People (P). According to the different working conditions and usage status of the printing machine, the production data report of each printing machine – including information on equipment, job, personnel and efficiency – can be regularly generated. The printers can carefully analyze productivity and identify plans to increase production efficiency according to the specified key performance indicators. “The ultimate goal of these services is to ensure the maximum production performance of the press,” Dr. Conrady said.
Manroland has been in China for nearly 100 years, from the time it started business in 1921 to now. It has fulfilled its strong commitment to the Chinese printing industry. In the future, the burden on Dr. Conrady’s shoulders will be even heavier. He said that he was very much looking forward to his new role. “Manroland has enough good products and services to cope with the ever-changing challenges of the Chinese market and industry,” he said. “I, together with my colleagues from Manroland Greater China, will serve our Chinese customers well, get more resources from the headquarters to the Chinese market, and at the same time update our headquarters in Germany of the changes in the Chinese market."
Not all presses are made equal, not all presses are Manroland! A new challenge has begun. Let’s look forward to the outstanding performance of Dr. Conrady and Manroland Greater China!
Dr. Peter Conrady, President of Manroland Greater China & Head of Sales at Manroland Sheetfed GmbH
About Manroland Sheetfed
Manroland Sheetfed GmbH is a leading German producer of sheetfed offset litho printing presses. Founded in 1871, the company is one of the oldest producers of printing presses in the world. Today the company has its own subsidiaries in over 40 countries and is a global watchword for supreme quality and reliability. Manroland Sheetfed GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the privately owned UK engineering group, Langley Holdings plc