Things have gone quiet for the KBA Journal.
Until just four weeks ago, the web offset printing machine from Koenig & Bauer had printed news articles, photographs and small advertisements for the readers in a small town on the edge of Germany’s Ruhr region – and always at crisp, high resolution. Yet since the machine was built in the year 1996, the digital revolution has turned the world of print upside down, and not only that: new machines can do the job even more efficiently. The “new one” is already hard at work at the newly opened Media House. The good news is that even after innumerable kilometres of paper and countless hours of service, the KBA Journal is still a very long way from printing its last edition. Today the professionals from a company specializing in the dismantling and reassembly of large used machinery are moving in. Why? Because while these machines do not offer the very latest technical advances, they represent the ideal means of production especially for companies in emerging market countries, thanks to their high precision, the low cost of acquisition, and their long life expectancy.
Whereas the journey by sea from Hamburg to Mumbai would have taken more than 30 days, the Lufthansa Cargo plane can fly to Delhi directly. Which means the first issue printed by the KBA Journal will be published four weeks sooner. In addition, this mode of transport is gentler on the cargo: the roads on the more than 1,400-kilometer route overland from Mumbai to Delhi are not always perfect and could damage the components. “With used machinery in particular, it is important that everything arrives intact. Replacement parts often have to be manufactured as one-offs, which is expensive and takes time,” says Staschik.
And additional costs are something the people at the print shop in Delhi can ill afford: they need to focus on other things. The print shop is part of an Indian media company that is trying to establish a place for confident journalism in India’s booming yet not always innocuous media landscape. It is an endeavor that calls for intelligent and courageous minds and a great deal of enthusiasm – and a tried and tested KBA Journal, ready to start a new and exciting chapter in its life.