IfraExpo 2006: Interview with Bob Brown, CEO of Goss International, related to IfraExpo 2006
CEO Goss International
IfraExpo Gazette: What aspects do decision makers attach special importance to when they need to reinvest in production equipment? Have the requirements of the users changed in the past few years?
Bob Brown: The general requirements have not changed that much, but they have intensified in importance along with the increasing competition among media for add revenue and consumer attention. Everyone is striving to maximize quality and color capacity while minimizing waste, operator effort and production time.
We are seeing an increasing effort to target newspapers through versioned runs and selective inserting of content. We have also seen an increasing demand for versatility to increase utilization and maximize return on investment. A lot of the interest in our Flexible Printing System press has been based on the versatility to run multiple types of products on one press and the potential to adapt to future format changes.
Gazette: Will Goss announce or present new products, concepts or other news at the show? (Publication not before 10 October!) What is your main focus at this year’s exhibition? What are your expectations for IfraExpo in Amsterdam?
B. Brown: We will emphasize the momentum we are gaining in the market through innovative technology, proven execution and fulfillment of our commitments. We have had a steadily growing volume of orders and installations in recent months around the world and across our entire product range. We are excited about discussing the unique capabilities that led these customers to choose Goss International.
I think the industry recognizes Goss International as the technology leader with an expansive product range and a worldwide infrastructure. Our aim at the Ifra Expo is to expand our dialogue with publishers about how these qualities can enhance their production capabilities and business opportunities.
Gazette: Nearly two years ago, the innovative Flexible Printing System (FPS) was presented to the public. What are the latest developments here?
B. Brown: The FPS press demonstrates our commitment to innovative technology and innovative ideas. We’re not just doing what every other supplier is doing. We’re looking more creatively at what publishers will need in the future.
Every concept behind the FPS press has now been proven in live operation, and there is strong interest throughout the world. Look for some announcements at this year’s Ifra Expo regarding the first installations.
Gazette: Is the market demanding for still higher press speeds?
B. Brown: Advertised press speeds always apply to specific configurations, cutoffs and folder specifications. Higher speeds are desirable in some applications, but in most markets, we find publishers are more focused on net throughput, efficiency, versatility and reliability.
Gazette: In the past years, many US newspapers tended to upgrade their existing presses instead of investing in new machines. Are there any indications of a reverse in this trend?
B. Brown: Trends are not really relevant, because these decisions have to be made by each publisher individually based on specific ROI and cost-of-ownership models and on specific business plans. New equipment is the best choice for many publishers, and upgrading remains the right choice for others.
This is why we emphasize the Lifetime Support concept. Offering such a comprehensive and integrated range of presses, mailroom equipment and aftermarket services puts us in the strongest position to serve the specific needs of any publisher.
Gazette: What are the current R&D priorities for your company? Are closed-loop control and computer-to-press among them?
B. Brown: There is still expansive potential for innovation to add more value and versatility to the newspaper production process.
In five to ten years, most new presses will have fully automatic plate distribution and changing capabilities, “lights-out” start-up with near-zero startup waste, closed-loop controls, and the flexibility to routinely change over automatically between production of newspapers, inserts and commercial work.
Computer to press is already technically feasible, but we don’t see it as preferable or economically viable in the near future. We can currently provide the automation and technology to change over an entire press in five or ten minutes. That’s far more appealing than the idea and the cost of having the equivalent of a CTP device on every couple in a dirtier pressroom environment, with the inability to serve each other as back-ups and the necessity of having the press idle while plates or cylinders are imaged.
Page first published: 25.09.2006