A timeline of over 65 years´ innovation at Stork Prints

4 August, 1947 – Gaitjan Bilderbeek and Henk Edens establish a 400m² factory, in Boxmeer, in the East of the country, with 48 workers. Supplying equipment for the dairy industry, the plant alleviated the production shortfall problems of its parent company, the Amsterdam-based Gebr. Stork & Co’s Apparatenfabriek. Milk churn washing machines and pasteurising systems were core production areas in the early days.

1952 – The company diversifies its machinery portfolio into markets such as tobacco, paper, brewing and transport.

1953 – Stork enters the textile market with a flat-bed textile printing machine. Produced uniquely at the Boxmeer site, the press is launched to great acclaim at the ITMA show in the following year.

1963 – Stork launches many groundbreaking textile printing solutions at ITMA in Hannover. Of great significance were the new rotary screen printing machine RD 1, together with the world’s first seamless screen. For the first time, high-speed printing of popular textile designs was made possible. These innovations would greatly influence the development of both the company and printing as a whole.

1963 – The new Wiericke factory in Boxmeer provides the first dedicated base for large-scale screen production operations. Soon after, all group textile sales operations are transferred to Boxmeer.

1966 – Stork VAM (general machinery sales) is founded, in order to develop new markets for the screen cylinder business. As a result the rotary screen printing programme broadens, to include systems for carpet coating, cloth, PVC flooring and wallcovering with three dimensional effects.

1971 – RD III-HD textile rotary screen printing system launched at ITMA, Paris.
1972 – State-of-the-art new premises open at Raamstraat, Boxmeer, including management and sales headquarters, a new production hall, warehouse and demo-centre are opened, to meet the fast growth in demand in textile printing and food processing markets.

1975 - Veco becomes part of the Stork Group. The company, which specialises in electro-forming, and laser cutting for the electronics, semi-conductor and sugar industries, is now known as Stork Veco B.V.

1975 – opening of Stork Screens’ Service Centre. Annual sales of screen cylinders reach 400,000.
Success of the single-head coating and lining machine leads to establishment of CPE (coating, printing, engineering) division.

1975 - launch the RD IV textile printing line at ITMA Milano.

1978 – The new acclaimed PentaScreen® brings fine line and halftone print quality to the textile applications for the first time.

1979 - Together with Bedford, USA-based Coulter Systems Corporation, Stork develops a revolutionary colour-proofing system for the graphics industry.

1981 – Thanks to the wealth of knowledge accumulated in rotary screen printing technology, Stork enters the graphics markets.

1986 – Stork Screens collaborates with Austrian company STK (Schablonen Technik Kufstein) to develop the STK 2000 laser engraving system – the first fully digital, film-free screen imaging system. Unprecedented levels of speed, flexibility and quality are achieved in plate and sleeve production as a result.

1988 – Stork Screens launches the RSI® (Rotary Screen Integration) module for the roll-to-roll graphics printing markets. This enables converters to add the many high-value printing features to their in-line capabilities with relatively lower financial outlay. Applications are diverse, and include not only decorative uses in packaging and labelling, but security and banknote printing, and laydown of conductive inks. The innovation heralds the emergence of ‘combination process’ printing. The company launches a proprietary pure nickel electroformed screen for narrow-web applications, RotaMesh®.

1991 – the first digital printer for printing sample patterns directly onto textiles is introduced.

1991 – The new CAD system, a major software development becomes immediate success after its launch at ITMA, Hanover.

1992 – 1993 - Restructuring of the Stork group. Textile and paper printing-related companies placed into one strategic business unit, each with its core activity. Stork Colorproofing becomes Stork Digital Imaging.

1993 – New partnership with US Chemicals concern DuPont results in the launch of the first Digital Chromalin Series colour proofing system.

1995 – A working prototype of the first ever continuous digital printing system, Stork U See, is demonstrated.

2002 – Stork Screens and Stork Brabant reorganise to become Stork Prints, whose core markets are graphics, textiles and coating.

2003 – launch of the SpecialScreen®, enabling wallcover printers to combine fine printed quality and 3D effects.

2003 – The RSI Compact and EasyFit® modules are launched, to help label and packaging printers add rotary screen printing to their capabilities for a faster return on investment.

2004 – Stork’s revolutionary direct laser engraving systems, for graphics applications, are launched at DRUPA print and paper fair in Düsseldorf. The process offers a fully digital means of imaging relief printing formes, nickel rotary screen cylinders, as well as embossing plates. At the same time, Stork Prints another production landmark - the 25 millionth screen.

2005 – Stork Prints installs the first of its rotary screen printing lines dedicated to producing RFID (radio frequency identification) labels and tags.

2005 –RotaPlate®, a non-proprietary pure nickel screen, is launched.

2006 – Stork Prints acquires German flexo sleeve systems supplier, AKL Flexo Technik GmbH.

2007 – Stork rotary screen printing technology enters solar panel printing market, thanks to a collaboration with Swiss company FlexCell.

2009 – Stork Prints acquires Tecan, the UK-based leading manufacturer of customised precision metal parts.

2011 - Stork Prints launches the latest generation DSI® UV inkjet printer for graphics labels & packaging.

2011 - Stork Prints introduces the new inkjet printer for digital textiles called Sphene® along with a new series of digital textile inks.

2011 - Due to the success of digital inks, Stork Prints opens a brand new ink factory.

2012 - Stork Prints introduces the RandomScreen® concept, a screen which substantially decreases the chance of Moiré effects.

2012 - Stork Prints and Shangdong Tongda Nickel Screen form joint venture for the Chinese textile printing industry.

2012 - Stork Prints wins the Award for Continuous Innovation at the Label Industry Global Awards in Rosemont, IL, USA.

2013 - The new name for Stork Prints is SPGPrints.