News archive 2014

Stefanie Klein

Stefanie Klein

18 December 2014

Stefanie Klein is new Co-Managing Director

Following the death of Susanne Klein in November 2014, her daughter Stefanie Klein is becoming a member of the management.

Stefanie Klein, daughter of Mathias und Susanne Klein, has been working for the company since 2008. She is currently responsible for human resources and sales of the new flexographic business, and was already assisting her father and Managing Director Mathias Klein during the last years of her mother's illness. Now, she has been officially named Co-Managing Director.

1 December 2014

New Corporate Design, new company name

BIRKAN is adapting the Corporate Design. In the last few years, the company has taken a giant leap forward. In particular, BIRKAN has successfully repositioned itself for the future through the introduction of direct laser engraving technology, the entry into the flexographic printing business, and the acquisition of HANS KAPPL, a provider of repro services based in Nuremberg.

This realignment in terms of content is now also manifested in a new look and a rejuvenated corporate identity. The new claim "Intelligent offset & flexographic materials" takes the place of the former denomination "Fabrication and Wholesale of Printing Blankets and Printing Accessories".

The wording of the legal form has been changed at the same time. "BIRKAN Drucktuchtechnik GmbH" has been renamed


and entered as such in the commercial register. (All other such details as our VAT registration number, commercial register number, postal address and contact information have remained unchanged.). BIRKAN GmbH and HANS KAPPL GmbH & Co. KG will continue to operate as separate legal entities under the umbrella of the BIRKAN Group.

The new logo (by moving the mouse over the image, you will se the former version):


6 November 2014

BIRKAN is mourning the loss of Managing Director Susanne Klein

Susanne Klein, 1959 - 2014

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Mathias Klein, his daughter Stefanie and all the employees of BIRKAN GmbH are mourning the loss of Managing Director Susanne Klein, who passed away on 6th November 2014 at the age of only 54 after a long period of illness.

Susanne Klein was the daughter of Ludwig Marchner who had taken over from his aunt Maria Kandlbinder in the 1960ies a business of printing blanket conversion. Like her parents, Susanne Klein was closely connected to Birkner & Kandlbinder oHG, now renamed to BIRKAN GmbH. She received her vocational training in a big Munich editor house, Bruckmann Verlag, where she met her future husband Mathis Klein. In 1984, they joined BIRKAN together. Since 1998, they had been leading the company jointly, Susanne Klein's focus being the financial and human resources department.

Susanne Klein was blessed with joy of life, warmheartedness and humour. She will be missed deeply by all those who knew her.

7 April 2014

BIRKAN invests in a bigger, faster Hell laser

A new fibre laser built by Hell Gravure Systems was installed at the BIRKAN facility in Eching (Bavaria) at the beginning of April: this PremiumSetter S1700 replaced the original PremiumSetter S1300 laser purchased in 2012. The new laser not only has a wider cylinder; it also integrates Hell's brand new dual beam technology. Elastomer plates for flexible packaging, labels or coating applications can now be engraved twice as fast as in the past.

In view of the excellent business development in what is still a fledgling segment, the decision to invest in a more powerful machine came relatively easily. In future, customers looking for laser engraved plates can be served even more promptly and flexibly. The new 1 700 mm cylinder width moreover allows BIRKAN to make any plates up to size 6 – the format of choice for many users in the packaging industry. The feedback from packagers regarding laser engraved plates for partial coat transfer is especially positive because the unusually good image resolution, made possible amongst other things by a laser beam just 10 µm in diameter, paves the way for unprecedented finishing quality.

Direct laser engraving is currently considered to be the most accurate platemaking process of all as well as one of the greenest, because it completely dispenses with solvents. In addition to providing users with completely new shaping options, the innovative elastomer material creates significant potential for reducing the consumption of ink, compressible adhesive tape and – last but not least – plates.

Since early this year laser engraved flexo plates have also been distributed by Hans Kappl GmbH & Co. KG, a service provider for prepress and printing plates which was recently acquired by BIRKAN.

Mathias Klein (Managing Director) presents the new PremiumSetter S1700

Download press photo (jpg, rgb, 2.4 mb)

New Hell laser with dual beam technology for double speed direct laser engraving

Download press photo (jpg, rgb, 1.6 mb)

January 2014

BIRKAN takes over HANS KAPPL, a German service provider for prepress and printing plates

On 1 January 2014, HANS KAPPL KG of Nuremberg (Germany) was taken over by BIRKAN Drucktuchtechnik GmbH. Founded in 1933, HANS KAPPL is well established as a service provider for prepress and printing plates. Like BIRKAN, it has so far been run as a family owned firm – most recently by Johannes Singer, who decided on this step as part of a succession plan.

BIRKAN has been preparing to expand its prepress services for some time now, and the complete acquisition of HANS KAPPL will pave the way for the continuation of this strategic development. Although this milestone move coincides with an important anniversary – Birkner & Kandlbinder OHG, the predecessor company, was founded exactly ninety years ago in 1924 – it has actually been on the cards for quite a while. The South Bavarian manufacturer, which specialises in the conversion and sale of offset printing blankets, branched out into laser engraved flexo plates in 2012.

The promising potential of this new segment will soon be unlocked by BIRKAN to a new level following the integration of HANS KAPPL. “From now on, we will be in a position to offer our customers the entire spectrum of plates and prepress services. The two companies will complement each other perfectly”, observes BIRKAN General Manager Mathias Klein. “We will be optimally placed to cover the whole of the platemaking segment from polymer to elastomer” – while simultaneously securing the future of HANS KAPPL.

Nothing will change as far as HANS KAPPL’s customers are concerned – all contacts and the corporate building will remain in Nuremberg. The only difference will be the new legal form: GmbH & Co. KG.

Mathias Klein, BIRKAN (left) and Johannes Singer, HANS KAPPL (right)

Press photo for download (jpg, rgb, 1,1 MB)

Logo Hans Kappl