Heidelberg Ships its 100,000th Printmaster GTO 52 Printing Unit
Press release from the issuing company
Tried-and-tested entry-level press for commercial printers
June 4, 2002 -- Heidelberg today handed over the 100,000th Printmaster GTO 52 printing unit at its Wiesloch facility. It is part of a four-color press being shipped to the Brazilian printshop Logus Editora Gráfica in São Paulo. With over 60,000 customers worldwide, the GTO 52 is the industry’s most commonly sold sheetfed offset press. Its key markets are currently Germany, the USA, China, Brazil, Italy and Spain. The GTO 52 has made a lasting impression on its format class - even today, the A3 format is also referred to as “GTO format”.
The birth of small offset
The history of the GTO began in 1972, when Heidelberg presented a single-color press at drupa. This press was a fast, quality offset press for the small format class that was modern, flexible and easy to operate. When the 32 x 46 cm format GTO hit the market, the evolution from offset reproduction to high quality small offset was complete.
At drupa 1977, Heidelberg presented its GTO two- and four-color presses with adjustable sheet-reversing device. For the first time, customers were able to purchase a high-quality multi-color press for the small format class and produce jobs that until then had been the domain of larger-format presses. At last, it was possible to print forms on recto and verso, and to number and perforate sheets easily.
New areas of application open up new areas of business
The growing diversity of applications led to the 33 x 46 cm format being increased to 36 x 52 cm in 1980. And so the GTO 52 was born. Ongoing further developments on the GTO 52 gave customers the opportunity to ensure continuous business growth in the quality offset sector, and to explore new business opportunities. Many of what are now the world’s best-known major printers started out with a GTO 52 multi-color press. At drupa 1986, Heidelberg showcased the GTO 52 five-color press, bundled with one or two sheet-reversing devices.
At drupa 1990, Heidelberg launched the GTO four- and five-color models as the first offset presses in the small format class to feature digital press control. This took the small format sector into the realm of industrial printing. The GTO thus became the forerunner to the present-day Speedmaster SM 52.
Direct Imaging technology used for the first time in the GTO 52
1991 was a portentous year for Heidelberg, and particularly for the GTO. The company equipped the press with Direct Imaging technology. For the first time, it was now possible to image printing plates directly in an offset press. Heidelberg has successfully carried the digital offset printing concept through to the present day with its Quickmaster DI 46-4 Pro and Speedmaster 74 DI.
GTO 52 is the gateway solution to quality offset printing
At drupa 2000, the GTO 52 was unveiled sporting a state-of-the-art design and enhanced technology. Versatility and ease of operation are now its watchwords. The introduction of the ClassicCenter remote ink and register control system in February 2002 makes press operation easier, while at the same time boosting print quality. Tried-and-tested Heidelberg technology coupled with sturdy press construction are the secrets behind the GTO 52’s success. Today, the GTO 52 is still the ideal entry-level press to small-format quality offset printing for many customers. Larry Lembo, one of the four owners of Circle Press, which employs 80 staff in New York City in the USA, is well aware of the benefits of the GTO 52. The printshop has a total of 44 printing units. “We run one shift, but it tends to be a long shift, sometimes from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at night. I wouldn’t go with any other machine than a GTO. The durability and quick make ready is unbelievable. It’s the backbone of the company, it’s what the whole company is built on”.
The history of the GTO 52 continues
The Printmaster GTO 52’s versatility makes it essential standard equipment for commercial printshops around the world looking for a straightforward, cost-effective means of achieving impressive offset quality. It is a must for small and medium-sized printshops which take on all kinds of jobs in their capacity as full service providers. The Printmaster GTO 52’s range of accessories is constantly being expanded, and Heidelberg is continuously striving to enhance its quality further. As a result, Heidelberg can help small-format printers meet market demands head-on.
Heidelberg customer Peter Kirmair, joint owner with Christian Kalteis of the Kirmair & Kalteis printshop in Rosenheim (which employs 5 people), confirms this: “Customers demands and the range of applications they require have grown constantly in the four-color sector in particular, and if we are to keep pace with this growth, we need to use the right press. By buying the GTO 52 four-color press plus ClassicCenter, we have met one of our long-term goals and given our printshop a major boost forwards. Today, we are able to produce and ship four-color print goods in a minimum of time and in maximum quality”.
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