MBO Portugal Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Paper Folding Themes
19 December 2022
MBO Portugal celebrates its 50th anniversary this year in the Perafita-Matosinhos municipality of Porto, Portugal's second-largest metropolitan area.
In 1972, Heinz Binder chose this area precisely because of its privileged location: the Port of Leixões with an airport, truck terminal, customs house, and extensive road network.
Construction of the first production unit in Portugal began in 1973, but the project was interrupted in 1974 due to the April Revolution. Years later, construction resumed and in 1982 the administrative building and infrastructure of MBO were built. Finally in 1983, MBO Portugal started with the assembly of paper folding machines, mainly for the American market, and in 1984 with the production of parts for paper folding machines.
The T49 was the first machine produced in Portugal. One of these units is on display in the main hall.
With a total area of 95,000 square meters, the manufacturing and assembly units covered 20,000 square meters, and in 1999 the sheet metal working area was enlarged by 2,500 square meters.
MBO Portugal celebrated its 50th anniversary in two very remarkable moments. In September, a special outdoor lunch was provided, followed by an afternoon full of traditional games that involved all the employees, from the youngest to the oldest. Most of the games were created by our staff using MBO materials.
In October, the company celebrated its 50th anniversary with customers and representatives from a total of 19 countries in Europe and Asia, including members of the Komori and MBO groups.
Guests visited the facilities and got to know the company -- from the beginning of the manufacturing process to the final product through a demonstration of some of our machines, including the K8RS B1 Combi Folder with the A80 Automatic Signature Stacking Delivery, the T960 Buckle Folder, and the CoBo-Stack Automatic Palletizer that can stack products at random heights, making it extremely flexible and also relevant beyond the postpress world.
To mark this date, the main hall of MBO was decorated with a panel representing the 50 years of MBO Portugal and the most important moments in its history.
A painting was also presented that revealed a common point between the cultures of Japan, Germany, and Portugal that is identified with our industry, paper folding.
By researching MBO industrial processes and the culture of these three countries, MBO Portugal seized on the idea of using an analogy between paper folding machines and popular traditions of creating three-dimensional forms by hand folding paper. This technique, represented on the painting by the two hands folding paper, is known to have its origins in Japan but was soon adopted in different ways around the globe.
Origami, the traditional, centuries-old Japanese art of folding paper, creates representations of certain things with geometric folds of a piece of paper, without cutting or gluing.
Another paper folding tradition, Froebel Stars originated with German folklore and have a regular presence in the German Christmas tradition. They are made from a long strip of paper folded 40 times until reaching a final shape.
Finally, the paper flowers made by the people of Campo Maior to decorate their streets during the Festas do Povo are recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This Portuguese tradition can also be seen in other parts of the country.
MBO Portugal is very happy with the success of this special event and the many expressions of appreciation. The company is also very grateful for the presence of all the guests and the way they made the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of MBO Portugal unforgettable for everyone.