Heidelberg made radical changes to its product portfolio a year ago, including ending the production of VLF presses. A number of senior figures subsequently departed from the group as a result.
Bernhard Schaaf, who had worked at the manufacturer for more than 14 years, was vice-president for the Speedmaster XL145 and XL162 VLF press ranges at the time. Prior to that he had held senior project and market development roles for VLF presses and the Primefire 106 B1 inkjet press, which was also canned as part of the shakeup.
Before joining Heidelberg, he worked at German consultancy Eurografica Systemplanungs for nearly 11 years, specialising in strategic investment planning for sheetfed offset presses.
Schaaf left Heidelberg at the end of last year. He took up his new role this month.
Manroland Sheetfed announced its Roland 900 Evolution model last summer, and said that it could not have timed the launch better following Heidelberg’s move.
“The company’s reputation in large format is well known to aficionados of the brand and HD [Heidelberg] exiting the sector has left a gaping hole in a growing market segment,” the firm stated.
Rafael Peñuela, CEO, Manroland Sheetfed, said he was delighted to welcome Bernhard Schaaf to the firm’s leadership team. “With the launch of the Roland 900 Evolution last summer coinciding with an increase in global demand for large format machines in packaging applications and Schaaf’s intimate knowledge of the sector, the timing is perfect to strengthen our team and build upon the latest incarnation of Manroland’s iconic large format presses,” he said.
Schaaf hailed Manroland’s “financial stability” under the ownership of Langley Holdings, and said the launch of the 900 Evolution “demonstrates the company’s ambition and gives me the chance to explore further development opportunities in this highly important sector”.