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Edelmann Printing Machines: Celebrating 60 years

GERMANY. The company stands for reliability, speed of service and original spare parts – and has done this for the past 60 years.

»We have had good times and bad, but the machines have been with us every day«, says Managing Director Norbert Wilhelm, who has been with the company since 1968. He went on to explain that the company’s development has also largely reflected that of the sector, which is why Edelmann is now trying to position itself in other markets.

The company’s journey has also had its share of good times and bad: Founded in 1953, the company did not originally produce printing machines. Under the management of founder Ernst-Ludwig Edelmann , five employees repaired broken sewing machines and produced component parts for them. Just one year later, the company moved into what is now its main line of business: Producing components for printing machines, as a supplier to Roland. This was followed by the production of assembly units for knitting machines for the company Mayer-Cie in Tailfingen/D, which continued up to 1970.

Following the death of the founder, the company was taken over by his son-in-law, Dr Walter Wasserbäch, in 1966. Under his management, the company experienced its boom years. Dr Wasserbäch succeeded in considerably increasing staff levels.

By 1991, the company employed 300 people. The annual turnover rose to DM 100 million. In 1967 the owner concluded a deal for the production under licence of gathering machines for US companies and in 1975, created Form All GmbH for forms printing and processing machines. In 1979, the production under licence of Practica-type sheet-fed offset machines for Roland began, with more than 10,000 printing units sold worldwide.

In the absence of a successor, Edelmann was sold to the US company Didde in 1991. After five years with Didde, the first insolvency hit; between 1996 and 2003, the company was run by liquidator Dirk Pfeil, who built an internal company management board during that time. In 2003, the management and the staff founded Edelmann Graphics, which took the form of a holding company, with just 100 employees at this time. This company went into insolvency for the second time eight years later.

With just 17 staff members, Edelmann Printing Machines was set-up in 2011 by its current owner, Umur. This Group with headquarters in Istanbul is one of the 500 largest companies in Turkey with around 1000 staff. Its main area of activity is the production of printed matter and the sales of school and office equipment. With more than 25 years’ experience in the printing industry, the takeover of Edelmann has allowed the Umur Group to increase its foothold in the sector still further.

It was also very important to the Group for Edelmann to continue under the structures which have grown up organically, which is why it has made almost no changes in the supplier industry sector. Any restructuring took place at management level: Local Managing Director is Norbert Wilhelm; representative of the Turkish owner is Alp Evrenosogˇ lu, Frank Seibert is responsible for Sales and Construction. Finally, Edelmann Printing Machines has been able to recruit Dr Stefan Wilhelm to its marketing team.

Between 1976 and 2011, the company has developed around 14 machines. As well as the production of narrow-web offset printing machines and offline machines, the company is also concentrating on the acquisition, repairs and sales of second-hand machines and the spare parts business.

Andreas Keller

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