Baldwin Technology – Interview with Karl Fritchen on the acquisition of PC Industries and QuadTech
In late 2017, QuadTech and PC Industries were acquired by Baldwin Technology Company Inc., a manufacturer and supplier of process-automation equipment and related consumables for the printing, packaging and other industrial segments. Karl Fritchen, president of Baldwin Vision Systems, comments in this interview topics around the acquisition, explains the impact this agreement will have on the industry and existing customers, and shares his ideas for Baldwin Vision Systems moving forward.
There have been rumors in the market that QuadTech is being dissolved or reduced now that it has been acquired. Is there any truth in that?
Karl Fritchen: Definitely not. In fact, QuadTech’s press controls business is actually expanding, under a different corporate parent and name. Baldwin Technology Company is uniting QuadTech’s press controls business with two of its existing entities – Web Printing Controls and PC Industries – creating a global platform that will operate as the new Baldwin Vision Systems business segment.
We recognised the potential of adding QuadTech to our portfolio of print technology solutions, combining talents and capabilities with PC Industries and WPC. Baldwin’s overall strategy required a component with colour management, register control, and inspection solutions. For QuadTech, being part of a larger organization means more diverse technical capabilities under one company umbrella. Our product offerings are now stronger and more complete, and we have already won new business with our new combined offering.
So, there are no plans to divide and sell QuadTech’s assets?
Karl Fritchen: QuadTech is the 4th acquisition for Baldwin in 2017 and the 100th acquisition for the Barry-Wehmiller Group. In its history, Barry-Wehmiller has never closed or sold one of its acquisitions so we’re confident that these companies are invested in our future and continued success. In addition, the synergies between QuadTech’s product portfolio and expertise and Baldwin make the two companies an ideal match.
What will happen to current QuadTech, PCI, and WPC product lines? Will products be continued/discontinued?
Karl Fritchen: There is minimal overlap between the current product lines. For example, in packaging applications, our combined product portfolio includes options for flexo, gravure, offset, and the unique requirements of digital print. We offer pre-press proofing solutions, as well as on-press and post-press solutions across narrow-, mid-, and wide-web applications. Furthermore, we offer connected tools across pre-press, production and post-press workflows that help customers monitor and manage much more than just the print process – but also their inks, job data, production quality and reports.
However, where we ourselves face obsolescence issues from within our supply chain, we do plan to discontinue select products and replace them with suitable alternatives that offer a longer horizon for parts and support. We are therefore planning to replace:
- The PCI GV-Spectro inline colour measuring system with the QuadTech DeltaCam suitable for packaging and label applications
- The QuadTech PDF offline proofing system supplied with the PCI Guardian OLP detect printing defects such as missing or extra prints, pre-press errors, plate defects and colour variations.
Customers who bought any of our products recently can rest assured that parts or suitable alternatives for any products will be made available for at least seven to ten years after the announcement of any product discontinuation. In addition, all our solutions will keep their current product names and will therefore be identifiable moving forward.