The BIRKAN saga.

Episode 5: Ludwig Marchner and the BIRKAN System

Maria Kandlbinder died in Hamburg in 1966 during a business trip. Her nephew Ludwig Marchner now took over the overall management of the company. He continued to expand the range of rubber printing blankets and established new contacts with manufacturers. The positive development in offset printing not only boosted domestic sales, but also increased export deliveries. The premises in Munich soon became too small.

In 1969, he therefore moved the company headquarters to the idyllic Ammersee village of Eching, around 40 kilometres west of the city. Initially, the company settled in a former farmhouse. Here, too, it soon became necessary to expand, so that a new building tailored to the needs of the company was erected on the edge of the village. The inauguration took place in 1978; even then, Ludwig Marchner foresaw further expansion and planned accordingly.

In the same year, the company changed its name from Birkner & Kandlbinder oHG to BIRKAN Drucktuchtechnik GmbH ("BIRKAN": an acronym from the names of the company founders). In the following years, Ludwig Marchner also invested in cutting machines and presses and built up a highly professional blanket converting operation. Even the blanket bars were manufactured in-house.

He also systematically dealt with the problem of cylinder packings, made calculations and finally summarised his results in a book: "Das System BIRKAN" was published in 1982 and became somewhat well-known in specialist circles. Ludwig Marchner was also a frequent guest speaker at offset printing symposia and conferences.

Ludwig Marchner

Ludwig Marchner
(1932 - 2005)

Book System BIRKAN

In depth blanket knowledge and cylinder packing calculations (First pages in German language)

Headquarters 1969 - 1979

The first company headquarters in the village of Eching was located in a former farmhouse.

Blanket cutting

In the pre-plotter era, each blanket was cut individually by two production employees.

Barring press

An electric barring press was part of the machinery early on

Company outing Berchtesgaden

Company outing to the salt mine: Over 20 employees already!

Newspaper report inauguration 1978

150 guests attended the inauguration ceremony of the new company building in 1978.

Headquarters since 1978

The new company building opened in 1978