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Having been decommissioned at their original companies, many of Germany’s industrial machines are now headed for a new life in another country. With td.Pro entire printing presses can sometimes take flight.
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.
The print shop had placed an advertisement for the KBA Journal on the Internet. Before long a buyer was found in India: a print shop located in Delhi. The buyer commissioned a specialist company in Germany with the task of relocating the printing press. Working closely with the seller and with the experts from Lufthansa Cargo, these high-tech removal experts dismantle the KBA Journal in just a few days, and they will then reassemble and commission it again in Delhi. The removal company will also provide the staff at the print shop in India with the initial training. As for the mode of transport, Lufthansa Cargo’s td.Pro service was the clear choice for the principal in India – as a faster alternative to transport by sea.
The modules of the printing press make their way from the Ruhr region to India mounted on stable wooden frames that were specially designed and built for this airfreight consignment by the removal firm, working in consultation with Lufthansa Cargo. “The wooden frames can be moved directly from the truck into the aircraft that will be flying to Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), all we need to do is lash them down,” says Arturo Staschik from Lufthansa Cargo in Frankfurt (FRA), the man in charge of organizing the flight and shipment. “Had it gone by sea inside a container, a large number of expensive, specially designed crates would have had to be built. For airfreight, all that is needed is a transport frame that can be lashed down in the cargo hold. The killer argument in this case, however, is the short transit time.
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.