Driven by printers demanding a major leap forward in press technology to improve their competitive positions and the value of their printed products, Goss International was the first to respond with the gapless Sunday press concept for high-speed, wide-web production. The Goss Sunday 5000 – the world’s first 96-page web press – is the latest milestone in this visionary effort to maximize productivity, reduce waste and transform web printing into an automated, high-tech industrial manufacturing process.
Sunday 5000 presses, in production since 2009 with a web width of 2,860 mm (112 inches), incorporate more than two decades of Goss wide-web innovation and accumulated process knowledge. Multiple systems in operation and the first repeat order for a second press prove the economic and competitive advantages of the 96-page format, the Goss innovations that enable it, and the ability of Goss International to support successful installations.
High-pagination makes sense
Goss International began discussing the concept of a 96-page press with forward-looking web printers in 2005 and then surprised the industry at large when it was the first supplier to announce plans to develop such a press in 2007. Some doubted the technical feasibility of such a wide offset press. Many questioned the business sense, given the impact of economic recession and the expansion of alternative media in the ensuing years. “Overcapacity” was a label commonly attached to the commercial web offset industry, and a higher-pagination format seemed counterintuitive.
Proactive printing companies recognize that the opposite is true: that offense, rather than defense, is necessary to confront economic and media challenges. They continue to focus on optimized capacity rather than overcapacity, and an increasing number realize that the 96-page platform represents a much needed path to more cost-effective and competitive print production.
Overall demand for traditional commercial web products may not return to pre-2007 levels, but the stabilization of volumes, the rebound in some sectors and an expanded application range reflect the ongoing viability and strength of web offset printing. This volume will be concentrated among printers that invest in technology that allows them to take significant cost and waste out of the process, produce a wider variety of products, manage shorter run lengths, and take volume away from other processes such as sheetfed or gravure. The 96-page web press format addresses all of these opportunities.
2,860 mm is an optimal width
The 2,860-mm (112-inch) web width of the Goss Sunday 5000 press allows up to 12 full-size magazine pages across the cylinder and four pages around the cylinder in long-grain orientation (for A4 products, this width allows as many as 13 pages across). Goss International research compiled by studying the job records of web printers worldwide from 2000 to 2010 indicates that this is an optimal format for double-circumference production.
This research data has confirmed that press systems producing an even number of sections in 16-page increments (32- and 64-page presses, or duplexed 48-page presses) are the most compatible with page breaks required by publishers, advertisers and print buyers. Companies operating press systems in these formats maximize productivity by utilizing the full web width for more than 80 percent of their jobs.