1828 Foundation of Kolbe's bookbindery by Friedrich Wilhelm Kolbe. Bibles are bound here for delivery to the entire region.
1879 Friedrich August Kolbe, the son of the founder, buys a piece of land in Berliner Straße 10, the site of the print shop until 1982. He extends its workshop and markets school books.
1911 The print shop is passed on to August Kolbe, who buys the first foot-operated printing press in 1911. The house and the company are extended again.
1930 A large office building is added on. Werner Kolbe starts his apprenticeship as a book printer and starts to work in his father's company. Orders arrive from Münster, Osnabrück and Bielefeld.
1949 After the war Werner Kolbe takes over the print shop, and with courage, hard work and vision, its importance continues to grow.
1960 The step from printing books to offset printing is completed.
1968 Son-in-law Günter Deutschmann joins the company. Together with Claus-Peter Bohlmann, the offset-printing capacity and the customer base are significantly expanded. The company employs 70 staff and earns about DM 1.4 million.
1972 The first 4-colour offset press is installed.
1975 UV technology is introduced into offset printing, making Kolbe-Druck a worldwide pioneer.
1982 The number of staff and the turnover increase rapidly and a move becomes necessary. Move to a new 5,000 sqm building. The production of vehicle inspection stickers and the development of embossed holograms start.
1985 Ute Kolbe takes over management of the company together with Claus-Peter Bohlmann and Wolfgang Wulfmeyer.
1987 Kolbe-Druck is granted a patent on the use of screen printing to produce haptic symbols which can be felt with your fingers.
1988 Introduction of Kolbe staff having a share in the company profits.
1990 Two rotary presses are bought to print books and for flexographic printing. The company employs 140 staff and has a turnover of DM 12.3 million.
1991 A modern high-bay warehouse is added on. Electronic image processing is used in the prepress stage for the first time.
1996 Development of lenticular screen technology, which shows flip images, motion sequences and 3D images. Certified to DIN ISO 9001 and one of the first print shops in Germany to be validated according to the EC ecological audit ordinance.
1998 Introduction of an integrated workflow system with networked EDP. The KOLBE-CENTER is set up on an additional 150 sqm with new meeting rooms in a friendly atmosphere. Kolbe Druck has 175 staff and generates a turnover of EUR 18.4 million.
2000 Procurement of a 400 mm wide 7-colour rotary book printing press.
2001 Investment in a new 5-colour sheet-fed offset press with coating unit and UV drying. 180 staff generate a turnover of EUR 21.9 million.
2002 A new image and text processing system, a new final film exposure unit and a new digital printing system are installed.
Procurement of a 9-colour rotary offset press with cold film embossing for label rolls.
A share in profits plus additional pension rights are introduced as an instrument of the company pension plan.
2003 Celebration of the company's 175th birthday.
2004 Sale of the company to Invest Equity, Austria.
Investment in two screen-printing presses.
2006 Introduction of the digital exposure of printing plates.
2007 Procurement of an 8-colour rotary offset press with cold film embossing for label rolls.
2008 Sale of the company to Equita Management GmbH. With its network of investors, which is unique in Germany, Equita Holding is a strong and entrepreneurial investment company which takes the long view.
Investment in a new 6-colour sheet-fed offset press with coating unit and UV drying.
2010 Introduction of a digital document workflow and installation of a document management system.
Investment in a new 9-colour web-fed offset press for labels.
2011 Investment in a new 5-colour sheet-fed offset press with coating unit and UV drying.
2012 Introduction of digital label roll printing with special finish options.
Procurement of a 12-colour web-fed offset press with cold film embossing for labels.
Procurement of another screen printing press with UV drying.
Investment in a second printing plate exposure unit.
Extension for LM colours and inertisation.
Procurement of a BOBST flatbed die cutter.
2013 185 staff generate a turnover of EUR 26.6 million.
2014 SP Data and Diamant added to the administration software.
2015 Kolbe is FSC-certified.
New cooling system in production.
A guillotine for labels is procured.
2016 Installing a new offset-printing machine.
Installing a new digital web printing machine.
2017 Installing a new roll-offset-printing machine for labels.
2018 Installing a new offset-printing machine.
2019 Installing a new Flexo-printing machine.
2020 Installing a new digital printing machine for Sheedfed printing