By: Jim Rosenberg
Though the new Publisher’s Press “flexible printing system” that Goss International took to Germany in May for customer comment at the quadrennial drupa trade fair went back to the press maker’s research and development facility in Preston, England, it remained a principal promotional focus a month later at Nexpo.
The system was conceived, said Goss, to “anticipate and meet the changing requirements of newspaper publishing and printing.” Using “proven Goss technologies,” the developing concept “offers a solution to newspaper cut-off and format quandaries and future unknowns … with potential applications across the printing industry.”
Goss Worldwide Marketing Director David Stamp said that “as the boundaries between newspaper and commercial print become obscured,” his company “identified key future needs for publishers.”
To combine flexibility, productivity and quality, the Publisher’s Press features “optimized configuration” with slide-open units in low towers, 100% color availability, cut-off flexibility, automated plate changing and presetting technology.
The system derives from a research program it started from scratch 19 months ago with the idea of not merely designing a new press, but rather reflecting long-term thinking for long-term newspaper benefits. According to Goss’ Nexpo presentation, general system objectives were availability, flexibility and modularity, with “minimal restriction on product format,” in order to achieve business benefits of greater plant utilization and automation while maintaining color quality and print speed.
Though several characteristics of the new system have appeared or been offered on other presses, Publisher’s Press is probably the first to incorporate them all, by original design, into a new printing system. “We’ve taken some things that have been seen in the industry before” and further developed the capabilities to suit Goss’ objectives, said Stamp.
The Publisher’s Press is just slightly higher than the Goss Community four-high, according to Stamp, who added that the distance from the first to fourth printing nips is in fact less than than on the singlewide Community. Repackaging the four-high color tower in a more compact design “allows us to completely reconfigure the pressroom” and hold down operating costs, said a Goss spokesman. At the same time, the printing couples are closer together in the lower tower, creating a shorter web path that reduces fan-out and consequent color misregister.
As notable as the towers’ change in height is their change in orientation. Although the reelstands are perpendicular to the press line, each is inline with a towers’ cylinders and web path — that is, the towers are rotated 90 degrees from their conventional orientation. Each tower in a press line “faces” the reel-tension-paster standing next to it.
Each unit’s two inker assemblies can be slid apart in under a minute, affording easier access for maintenance, service and plate changing. The automatic plate changer option is designed to be driven by an imposition plan or job ticket. Plates will be conveyed cross the top of the press line, with plate changers lowering the plates on both sides of each unit. A press can be completely replated in 12 to 14 minutes because all units can be changed over simultaneously, according to Goss.
Stamp said Goss is working with computer-to-plate systems suppliers to ensure that plate and press systems are mechanically compatible. More information on automatic plate changing will be forthcoming later this year, he said.
Cut-off change is accomplished by using cylinders of different sizes. But to change cylinders, the entire central part of a unit is swapped out — a 90-minute job, according to Goss, which expects to be able to effect “full format-change automation” by employing rails to move cylinders to and from printing units. Owing to the orientation of the units relative to the press line, new cylinder assemblies will move along through the center of the press, between the inkers on both sides.
Stamp said that although Goss anticipates only a few newspapers immediately wanting to have multiple cut-offs, it expects most will want to have that capability available to them.
Other features include Goss controls, DigiRail inking and triple-drum inker, jaw folder and automatic webbing-up system. Goss calls the new system “ideal for the integration of direct-imaging technology” when that becomes feasible.
The press Goss showed in Dusseldorf was a two-around doublewide, but it also has a design for a triplewide and will create a singlewide version as well, given sufficient customer interest, according to Stamp.
Stamp said advantages of the new press include faster installation thanks to bed mounting and the units’ right-angle orientation to the press line, which facilitates alignment of the press and control of web tension.
For a Publisher’s Press going into a new pressroom, a newspaper can “get a lower-cost building, and you probably pick up a year” in planning through completion of the new plant, said Goss President Richard Sutis.