Goss International has taken an order from one of Germany's largest sheetfed printers for a Goss M-600 Folia press. The first installation of the groundbreaking web-to-sheet technology is currently underway at W. Kohlhammer Druckerei GmbH + Co. KG in Stuttgart, with completion scheduled for the end of April.
W. Kohlhammer Druckerei GmbH + Co. KG [Kohlhammer] has chosen a four-unit Goss M-600 Folia press with a 965 mm web width and 625 mm cut-off. The system also includes Goss DigiRail digital inking, Autoplate automatic plate-changing, a Contiweb SH40 splicer with integrated infeed and Goss Web Center controls featuring prepress interface and Omni Reporting for up-to-the-minute operational data. Provision has also been made for the possible addition of a varnish coater. Capable of producing up to 30,000 full-color perfected sheets per hour, the new press will be used principally for magazine work and other commercial jobs.
According to Ralph Gumbel, general manager of Kohlhammer, the company remains committed to the sheetfed business but could not deny the logic of the Goss Folia technology: "Our key reason for the investment was to optimize our productivity for the A4 magazine and commercial market. The capacity of the Goss Folia press, in comparison to a regular sheetfed press, is massive, but this wasn't our main incentive. Primarily, we are pursuing a better cost benefit ratio for our A4 products, combined with a consistently high-quality output. What is more, this press has a unique ecological appeal – it's green like sheetfed but cost-effective like web."
The many characteristics that the Goss M-600 Folia press shares with standard sheetfed production were important to Kohlhammer for a smooth start-up and quick technology transition. Using standard sheetfed inks and consumables, as well as the ability to handle substrates from 90 g/m² (61 lbs) to 250 g/m² (168 lbs), means that the company will have the production flexibility and speed of the Goss M-600 Folia press in the shortest timescale.
"Of course, this decision could only be made if we were confident of maintaining the high print quality standards our customers require. The tests we have performed with Goss International have convinced us that there will be no compromise – in fact the results are likely to be even better," comments Gumbel. "The whole experience to date has been very positive and very encouraging for the future – much more of a true partnership than a supplier/customer relationship. Both sides have joined together, pooling technical and practical know-how with the common goal of bringing the press into production as swiftly as possible. And we've even had a lot of fun along the way."
Part of a larger print and publishing group founded in 1866, W. Kohlhammer Druckerei GmbH + Co. KG currently employs approximately 200 people. Along with a smaller sister printing company, it operates more than 83 sheetfed print units, making it currently one of the biggest pure sheetfed printers in central Europe. Printing everything from long-run, high-quality automotive catalogs, fashion publications and annual reports to small and medium-sized magazines and books, Kohlhammer has no 'typical' customer. Its clients include small agencies, large manufacturers, national and international organizations and institutions.
"The Goss M-600 Folia press was designed specifically with companies like Kohlhammer in mind," states Jean Claude Pautrat, director of product development at Goss International. "From dialog with printers, it was clear that there was a requirement for a new technology that would enable them to reduce their costs while increasing their productivity. The combined speed, productivity and quality of the M-600 Folia technology offer an ideal proposition for repeat format work, enabling printers to satisfy the increasingly constrained budgets of their customers while also differentiating their own businesses. Kohlhammer is a progressive and forward-focused business that was quick to recognize this potential – we're very much enjoying working with them in helping them develop it to the full potential."