PERSONALITY – Karel Matějček (Svět tisku 03/2010)

PERSONALITY – Karel Matějček (Svět tisku 03/2010)

An interview with Managing Director of Komfi, Karel Matějček, in a regular section of Svět tisku called "The Personality",  which introduces to the general public interesting and significant personalities from this branch of industry that have achieved much in their professional lives.
Besides meeting the Managing Director in person, you will also find out how we got from the production of single-purpose machines to the printing industry,  how we built our current position in the world markets, which direction in this branch we are following, or why we established a daughter company in the Netherlands.

Selected parts of the article:

"There are not many purely domestic companies dealing with the production of printing machines and equipment that have built their global reputation from literally nothing and that belong to the leading players in their market segment nowadays. Komfi from Lanškroun, which has been operating in the market since 1992, is one of them. And Karel Matějček is the only person who has been leading the company - from its beginnings."

"How did you get to Komfi and actually to the world of the printing industry?
My professional career began with the position of a design engineer in the then Tesla Lanškroun, which belonged to significant companies producing condensers and passive electrotechnical components at that time. However, due to complicated relations to the then countries of Western Europe we had to arrange for the development and production of the whole range of components, which gave me a lot of experience for my future professional life. I went through the development department, as well as through the construction of tools and machines in Tesla. After the revolution I decided to throw myself into business although at first, I did not dream of a company of the size of today´s Komfi..."

"Why did you start producing your own printing machines in addition to these machines?
At that time, it was not so difficult to start producing printing machines. During the production of single-purpose machines we came across top-class technology and electronic equipment, which helped us much later during the production of print finishing machines.."

“Was it a long way to go from the first machine to a significant position in the world of laminating machines?
It certainly was. Although we had the first machine, we could not compare to other important players in the market...

While discussing competition and our position in the global markets, it is necessary to distinguish the segment of laminating machines, where we have to make difference between a group of producers who offer rather entry-level equipment and a group of producers who focus on industrial equipment. While at present the first group includes a lot of miner players who often come from China and therefore have a lot of competitors (especially in terms of price), competition in the latter segment is not so big, even though there are certainly not few competitors, either. That is why we increasingly more focus on comfortable operation of our machines and on other elements that make work with our laminators easier or that facilitate service intervention.”

"However, your interest in the printing industry does not only focus on laminating, you have also started to offer solutions for UV varnishing. What led you to this step?
Again, it was the development in the current market. We are trying to address not only big companies specializing in laminating, but also smaller companies to whom we want to offer products that would correspond with their needs more. That is the case of both smaller automated laminators, which even a less experienced person may operate, and machines for spot and full-area varnishing. You can see in many markets that in connection with the crisis, which is discussed so much, people have started to save even in the area of surface finish, and the UV varnish is often a suitable alternative to lamination film."

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