The latest-generation M-600 web press, which Goss International will feature at drupa 2012, introduces new improvements to the impeccable legacy of this 16-page model. Advances in automation, operability and integration are delivering industry leading short-run efficiencies that are in step with modern market requirements.
“With close to 2,500 printing units sold since 1992, it may be easy to mistake the M-600 for older technology, but that would be a major oversight,” according to Goss International product manager Jean-Pierre Moioli. “We have chosen to display a new unit at drupa to showcase the extremely progressive automation, integration and ease-of-use features we have added to this press platform and the reasons web printers continue to turn to the M-600 model for the most advanced print quality, flexibility and makeready features available from a 16-page press.”
The market needs 16-page presses
Wider formats – starting with the first Goss 24-page Sunday press, all the way up to the latest 96-page model – have shifted market demand dramatically in the web offset sector. When the first M-600 system was shipped from the Montataire, France facility that produces the current Goss model, 16-page presses accounted for 60 percent of the commercial web market. Over the past three years, 16-page presses claimed only a 35-percent share of that market.
Still, the once-standard four-pages-across by two-pages-around format remains the best choice for many applications, markets and operations, according to Moioli. “There is no doubt that wider, faster presses have radically improved the value proposition of web offset, even in short-run applications, but these presses are for a dedicated medium- to high-volume segment,” he contends. “The market requires a wide range of products, starting with multiple fold possibilities, high-quality printed pieces in five to eight colors, varnish and inline perforations, plow-fold. Product possibilities as well as compatibility with existing presses and infrastructures are factors that continue to steer printers to the 16-page format. Operator experience, capital investment capabilities and the competitive landscape in some regions are also important considerations.”
These market demands have driven Goss International towards continuous investment in the M-600 platform, alongside its development of gapless Sunday presses and enabling technologies like Autoplate, DigiRail, Automatic Transfer and high-speed folders.
Agility is everything
The world’s first Autoplate fully automatic plate changing system was introduced on an M-600 press in 1996. That visionary feature remains a core Goss advantage, as the ability to change jobs quickly and with absolute minimal waste becomes an increasingly critical priority for printers evaluating 16-page presses.
Moioli says cumulative experience in automatic plate changing gained through that head start over competitors is incorporated in the latest version. “We still call it Autoplate, but we have continuously enhanced the technology based on real-world feedback to achieve the highest reliability and repeatability levels across a wider range of operating requirements and operator skill levels,” he explains.
Goss DigiRail digital inking is a new option for M-600 presses, and advanced workflow, presetting and “smart” inker technology have been enhanced in the latest model. These features complement Autoplate technology and give the press additional advantages in the race towards faster makereadies and lower waste.
The Omni Makeready software available on all commercial presses including the M-600 “smart” inker uses presets and software algorithms to get from one job to the next faster, with minimal waste copies and minimal operator effort. As a new job is about to begin, software evaluates the presets and temporarily boosts the amount of ink delivered to the ink train, reducing the time and copies needed to reach good color quality. Likewise, adjustments to prepare the inker in advance for the next form are made automatically, just prior to the completion of the current job.
The M-600 also offers an automated job change sequence option that allows job or edition changes to be completed without stopping the press. Using this facility, some M-600 press users are printing several jobs per day with an average of 35 - 45 full-color forms – an output comparable to that achievable on Sunday 4000 and Sunday 5000 presses.
“A lot of variables unrelated to the press itself can impact the waste copies between jobs, but customer expectation is to routinely get to good copy in less than 1000 impressions,” according to Moioli. “This type of low waste level, along with the possibility of continuous operation through the makeready process, can really change the entire approach to how an M-600 press is used for short-run applications.”
New advantages beyond the printing units
Goss M-600 printing efficiency is a key factor, but automation and easy settings are also crucial. The Goss M-600 folder provides full presetting, up to 18 product formats and automatic folder change. High output is achieved with the double-chopper JF-70 or with the JF-65 high-speed single chopper design. Both folders feature automatic fold change, automatic nip roller and chopper adjustments that combine high output, simpler use and less operator intervention to achieve fast and efficient job changes. In combination with these folders, the Goss PFF module produces four- and eight-page sections with up to 150 gsm paper.
Sheeters, such as the Vits Rotocut model, are also common additions that increase versatility, and Goss International’s acquisition of Vits Print in late 2011 provides further integration advantages for M-600 press users. Integration at this level means that, from any console around the press system, any main component can be selected and adjusted ensuring maximum operability for achieving print quality and efficiency.
The latest Goss Contiweb splicers and dryers complete the M-600 press system. Seamless integration of these auxiliary components optimizes web dynamics throughout the production process. The Goss Ecocool, Ecotherm or Ecoweb dryers also minimize gas consumption and emissions. The latest dryer generation, Goss Ecoset has reduced the average gas consumption to an extremely low level.
High efficiency servo drives on all M-600 components further help to minimize the environmental impact of the press.
“It is essential for printers to be able to have full confidence in an efficient press system that will remain stable and reliable for many years to come,” concludes Moioli. “The M-600 has been proven worldwide, in every different operating environment imaginable. The new generation of M-600 on display at drupa shows our continued commitment to the legacy of an unbeatable press and to the 16-page web press market, which continues to evolve through investment in cutting-edge technology.”