Digital Printing


Durst grows and expands

The Rho 2500 series © 2022 Durst
Durst, the industrial printer manufacturer based in Brixen, is again growing strongly and expanding its production.

The South Tyrolean headquarters is currently being expanded by 5000 square meters of production space. At the site in Lienz, the second production plant of the Durst Group, the number of employees in development and production is to be increased by around ten percent. The East Tyrolean plant has recently seen intensive investment in the software sector. And in Kufstein, the competence center for textile printing based there will be strengthened. This was announced by Durst CEO Christoph Gamper in an interview with TT.

Durst employs a total of around 880 people worldwide, 248 of them in Lienz and Kufstein and 341 in Brixen. The company produces printers for industrial companies, which use them to print large-format advertising media, textiles, tiles or packaging, among other things. The portfolio includes printer systems, inks, software and services. A growing area of business is 3D printing for the aviation and automotive industries, among others.

In the previous year, Durst grew strongly after the pandemic put a damper on the company in 2020. At that time, consolidated sales shrank to 204 million euros (in 2019, they were still 240 million euros). In 2021, group sales rose to around 260 million euros, according to preliminary figures.

This was achieved by adjusting the strategy and investments as well as further product developments, Gamper explained. However, supply chain problems, travel restrictions and quarantines also caused difficulties at Durst. Gamper's plans for the next few years are ambitious: "We've got our sights set on 2022 - we want to grow by over 20 percent once again on a consolidated basis." After that, things are to continue at a similar pace. In 2025, more than 400 million euros in sales are targeted.

Last year, Durst expanded in its key U.S. market, acquiring a majority stake in Vanguard Digital Printing Systems. The company builds printers for companies that use them to print signs and interior decorations, among other things. Vanguard will also launch in Europe in the spring. Manufacturing, marketing and distribution will be based at the company's expanded headquarters in Bressanone, Italy. Two other new Durst companies and the in-house 3D printing service provider will also move there.

The pandemic has also reorganized things in the printing world. Textiles are once again increasingly being printed in those markets where they are also sold. As a result, there is increasing demand not only for giant printers for Pakistan or India, but also for smaller and environmentally friendly devices, Gamper said. Such new ink systems for the textile sector are being developed in the Lienz and Brixen laboratories, with the machines and process development coming from Kufstein. Production will begin in Bressanone in the middle of the year, with supplier parts from Lienz. Sales are planned worldwide and will be handled to a large extent by the company's own subsidiaries.

Durst has 24 subsidiaries in Europe, Australia, America and Asia. For digital packaging systems, the company operates a joint venture with the German printing press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer. The latter has a Customer Excellence Center in Lienz and will also set up its own GmbH there.

Durst also conducts a great deal of research into sustainability. It has already succeeded in developing inks that no longer contain any harmful substances. Sustainable growth is the group's declared goal. However, Gamper admits, "We also have a lot of room for improvement here." The over-packaging of goods remains an important issue.

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