UV Specialist Hönle Repositions Itself

Press release submitted on behalf of Hönle group. 

For nearly 50 years, Dr. Hönle AG has stood for high-end UV technology, developed, and produced in Germany, primarily at the group’s headquarters in Gilching near Munich. The Hönle Group comprises 16 subsidiaries. Their products are used worldwide in various markets and diverse manufacturing processes. At drupa 2024, Hönle presented itself with a new structure, new direction, and a new leadership team.

In 2024, Hönle is getting off to a fresh start. This is driven by a new company structure: the group’s individual companies have been consolidated into an organization with three business units. This structure aligns with the three main business areas and their markets: the BU Adhesive Systems, the BU Disinfection, and the BU Curing.

“Our main motivation for the formation of business units is to enhance customer focus. The combined decades of experience and expertise of the individual companies and their employees create the basis for offering our customers not only first-class products but also individual solutions for their application processes,” explains Dr. Markus Arendt, the new CEO of Dr. Hönle AG since May 1st, 2024. The company will rely on their own extensive knowledge as well as, whenever necessary, develop solutions in cooperation with long-term technological partners.

What Are the Advantages of the Restructuring for the Printing Industry?

The Hönle Business Unit Curing consists of four entities, three of which have been reliable partners of the Printing and Coating Industry for decades: Hönle, Eltosch Grafix, and PrintConcept have been developing, manufacturing, and selling drying and curing systems for various applications in these fields. Relatively new to the team is GEPA, a company that develops coating solutions for the Graphic arts Industry.

“Being internally connected to a business unit provides clear advantages for our customers,” explains Dr. Tim Rüttermann, a physicist with a Ph.D. and Vice President of Hönle BU Curing since February this year. “Not only do we bring together the know-how, but we also integrate the development better and more closely.” This results in an even more attractive portfolio from which the customer can choose. This includes IR and IR/hot air dryers as well as LED-UV and UV curing systems for every printing application: from narrow web to XXL, in digital printing, from web to sheetfed printing, from flexo to gravure to offset printing processes – whether web-shaped or 3D. Additionally, BU Curing also offers powder sprayers and powder extraction systems for sheetfed printing and coating systems for the Graphic arts Industry.

“Our goal is to ensure an efficient and reliable printing process for our customers at all times,” emphasizes Tim Rüttermann. “We can only achieve this if we are there for the customer throughout the entire life cycle of a machine. From the initial consultation, through development and installation, to maintenance.” The service will be significantly improved through the restructuring in the future. The group already offers a global 24-hour service today. Service technicians stationed worldwide and decentralized spare parts warehouses ensure quick assistance, supported by immediate help via AR-based remote service. Equally important are fair repair and maintenance packages.

New, Exciting Developments Around Printing Applications

Another advantage of consolidating the individual companies into business units is the strengthening of innovation capabilities. Dr. Hönle AG has always prioritized research, in collaboration with customers and industry partners, such as ink and varnish manufacturers. This joint research and development work will be further intensified. “The future has already begun when it comes to joint innovations,” says Tim Rüttermann enthusiastically. “We are currently working, for example, with a start-up company on a new type of dose measurement for printing and coating applications. It is very easy to use and provides precise results with high repeatability.”

Another very successful cooperation with great results was the implementation of an LED installation in the web-offset sector. This allowed the customer to achieve a significant reduction in energy costs, to eliminate dependence on gas for operating thermal drying, and to reduce the space required for the drying unit in the machine. “On top of the technical advantages, the quality of the print products has improved enormously because there is practically no thermal stress to the paper due to LED-UV curing,” reports Volker Selg, who has also strengthened the leadership team of Hönle BU Curing as Director of Global Sales Coordination & New Business since early May. With more than 35 years of experience in UV curing in printing processes, Selg is no stranger to this field. “I am looking forward to interesting new tasks,” emphasizes the UV expert. Unlike often predicted, he does not see the printing industry as being on its last legs. Sure, some areas, especially commercial printing, are under strong economic pressure due to the shift from printed advertising to digital media, but even here, LED-UV technology offers interesting options. “But especially package printing, in all its diversity, continues to offer plenty of space for new, exciting applications,” Volker Selg is certain. “Especially under the premise of sustainability and energy efficiency.” Here, he sees great opportunities for Dr. Hönle AG: “The BU Curing owns immense know-how, unique manufacturing depth, including our own lamp production and LED assembly, and very good contacts with customers and development partners. This is how innovations can be brought to market.”

Under the motto “The Entire Spectrum for Curing” the curing and drying experts showcased their comprehensive product range around the printing process at drupa 2024.

For more information, visit www.hoenle.de.