Like a small but select trade fair

To mark the company’s 100th anniversary, Gallus invited partners, producers, suppliers, converters, printers and brand manufacturers to its “Gallus Experience Days”, also inaugurating the new Gallus Experience Center and showcasing solutions for the digital transformation. iL was represented at the event by the printing experts Holger Döringer and Benjamin Obermayer and by Dr. Karl-Philipp Strunk, Head of Project Management.

A 100-percent subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HEIDELBERG) since 2014, the Gallus Group has been a strategic partner of InnovationLab GmbH for a good many years now. Gallus is a leading company in the development, production, and sale of conventional and digital narrow-web and reel-fed presses, and has built up excellent reputation across the globe. The Swiss manufacturer of label printing and folding carton machines recently extended an invitation to its “Gallus Experience Days” in St. Gallen, and iL was delighted to participate.

A real eye-catcher: the Gallus Labelmaster featuring innovative advances.

Holding a doctorate in physics, Karl-Philipp Strunk was allotted two speaking slots in the stylish New Work Lounge. The title of his presentation was “How printed electronics are enabling innovative products and applications”. Speaking to an audience of almost 20 experts, he gave an overview of activities at the Heidelberg-based company and details of important technologies such as the innovative battery monitoring solution BaMoS, printed heaters, and printed copper circuit boards. “For some of the participants, this was the first time they had come into contact with us”, says Strunk, and “we were able to show them what we are capable of. The Gallus Experience Days are similar to a small but select trade fair, where an expert group of participants are able to get to know each other and exchange views and ideas.”

Karl-Philipp Strunk: “We were able to show them what we are capable of”

At the end of both presentations, a cluster of interested participants remained to ask additional technical questions: Is there a potential market for high-quality actuators for printing machines in the printed electronics segment? Do printed electronics require special adhesive tape? What is the difference between printing conventional labels and producing printed electronics? Karl-Philipp Strunk was able to give competent and precise answers to all the questions posed.

The additional benefit to such an “excellently organized event” (Strunk’s words) like the “Gallus Experience Days” are the personal contacts that can be established. And this rang particularly true in the case of the two printing experts Holger Döringer and Benjamin Obermayer. One particular encounter stood out from the rest. Among the hundreds of guests in attendance, they met up with Ferdinand Rüesch, not only the representative of Gallus’s founding family, but also a member of the Supervisory Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, as well as its largest single shareholder. “The meeting was pleasant and informal”, says Döringer, “and Ferdinand Rüesch had already visited us at iL.” The occasion was marked by a spontaneous photo of the 63-year-old entrepreneur and “host” taken in the attractively decorated reception area.

The ideal meeting place: Ferdinand Rüesch (center), the representative of Gallus’s founding family, was only too happy to have his photo taken with the two iL employees, Holger Döringer (left) and Benjamin Obermayer (right).

According to Döringer, he and his colleague Obermayer were “really there on a technology scouting mission, closely observing the possible modifications in the area of printed electronics, particularly with regard to the Gallus RCS 330, our clean room machine.”

Holger Döringer: “On a technology scouting mission”

The event’s pleasant and informal atmosphere was congenial to exchanging views and gathering ideas, especially in the new Gallus Experience Center, dedicated to the digital transformation and designed as a technology presentation hall similar to HEIDELBERG’s “Print Media Center” in Wiesloch-Walldorf. Benjamin Obermayer reports that they were “on the lookout for inspiration and new approaches – things that might be attractive to iL in terms of problem solving. Our clear aim is to move to the forefront in digital printing, and remain there.”

New approaches are currently of greatest interest in the areas of process stabilization and quality management. And printing expert Holger Döringer also provided an example: “We are returning to Heidelberg with new ideas for web guiding and integration of a digital printing unit.”

Benjamin Obermayer: “Totally convincing concept”

Gallus’s first trade fair since the coronavirus pandemic – and previously labeled “Innovation Days” – was viewed as a complete success by the innovative participants from across the globe. “A totally convincing concept”, says Obermayer, echoing the views of Strunk and Döringer. The large hall with generous indoor and outdoor spaces was the perfect setting for the event. Among the separate areas set up for the fair were a “Demo Hall”, presentation zones, library, museum, “New Work” elements, catering zone and “Celebration Area” with live music.

Entrance area: a warm greeting for new arrivals.

During the event, “DRÜ EGG”, a Swiss freelance illustrator, animator and artist, provided participants with insights into his creative work. Interested visitors could even book a sightseeing tour around St. Gallen, the economic and cultural hub of eastern Switzerland. Participants were therefore able to see both Gallus and St. Gallen – the gateway to the Appenzell region – from their very best sides. The event’s motto, “Gallus goes digital transformation”, suitably encapsulated the entire program.

Ferdinand Rüesch, HEIDELBERG CEO Dr. Ludwin Monz, and Dario Urbinati, CEO of the Gallus Group, joined forces for the official and symbolical inauguration of the “Gallus Experience Center”. The following three days in St. Gallen were dominated by interaction, innovation, collaboration, new technologies and innovative solutions – some 100 years after the original business “Ferdinand Rüesch, Gauger” (scales factory and machine workshop)” was founded and entered into the city’s commercial register.   


Joachim Klaehn

Head of Services Communications