Erstwhile CEO of Kolbus joins Impel to boost book bandwidth

Kai Buentemeyer, the erstwhile CEO and managing partner of Kolbus GmbH & Co. KG as well as chairman of the Board of the Printing and Paper Technology Association within VDMA is set to join as (non) executive director of the board of Impel Services, the holding company of the Impel-Bindwel-Stelda group.

04 Oct 2022 | By Charmiane Alexander

Kai Buentemeyer joins Impel Group which stands to benefit from his mentorship

An official statement from Impel Services said, "Kai Buentemeyer will bring in his vast experience in the evolution of bookbinding and packaging technologies across the globe, where he played an active part during the last few decades." The statement added, "The Impel Group which has investments in both book-binding and end-of-line packaging, stands to benefit from his mentorship."

Kai Buentemeyer said, "Modern book manufacturing technology will have to be one of many building blocks  in the creation of societies with high levels of both living standards and sustainability. An engineering company embedded in the vibrant economy and culture of India, soon to be the most populous nation on earth, is a unique launching pad for future-proof solutions with world-wide applications." Buentemeyer added, "It is a most exciting opportunity to share my experience and observations and hopefully support this development."

Kai Buentemeyer joined the Rahden based engineering major Kolbus, which has its roots to 1775, as a young engineer and had worked his way up to be the sole managing director by 2003. He is credited with leading the revival of this group by introducing newer book binding equipment for the larger book printers and trade binders which have been the two core customer segments for the group.  When market consolidation squeezed the opportunity for two suppliers of binding systems, Büntemeyer led the merger of the Kolbus bookbinding equipment with Muller Martini.

The visionary in him had led the Kolbus group to move towards the fast growing niche’ industry of luxury packaging even before this merger of the bookbinding business with Muller Martini. The pivot into packaging technology had been broadened and accelerated with the acquisitions of HyCorr Inc in Michigan, USA and Autobox Ltd of UK.

During his role as the chairman of the board of the Printing and Paper Technology Association within the body of German Engineering Association VDMA, he helped set up Global Print which is an International Federation of print and paper technology associations created to further the common interests and mutual understanding of manufacturers of printing, paper-making and converting machinery, equipment and consumables. Büntemeyer served as the president of Global Print from 2012 to 2014. He is known for his passionate advocacy about the benefits of paper, print and packaging.

After leaving Kolbus in 2019, he worked as an interim CEO of EOL packaging experts GmbH who manufacture high performance end of line packaging machines. He has served on the board of flexible packaging technology giant Windmoeller & Hoelscher and is an angel investor in ETIQ AI, a UK artificial intelligence start-up.

The statement from Impel Services said, "The Impel-Bindwel group has been built on the foundation of service and quality products. Its collaborative spirit has been demonstrated in their long standing partnerships with Henkel, Nordson, GUK (G&K VIJUK), SIPM and other domain experts. Over the last two decades, the group has stayed energised by co-creating a strong industry of perfect binding, and has found the confidence to venture into end of line packaging shipper carton sealing with its Stelda brand."

Now, the group’s leadership team believes that its time for their teams to catapult the organisation to newer international markets as well in adjacent businesses, and they would need the active partnering of many more domain experts and visionaries. The joining of Kai Buentemeyer is a move in the right direction, the statement concluded.