Coldset Web Offset -- No Heat, No Sweat
"This gives printers who choose these machines more flexibility to react cost-effectively to regional market demands," Gora stresses. "The press investment is typically less than for a commercial web machine and heatset packages can be retrofitted at any time if not originally purchased with the press."
The Magnum, Goss' entry in the coldset arena, evolved from its Community press. The Magnum prints regional newspaper inserts on coated and uncoated paper at speeds up to 40,000 cph and features advantages such as fast plating, easy blanket changes and accessibility to the inking and dampening systems for roller adjustments. The Goss Universal press (50,000 cph for one-around, 70,000 for two-around) is aimed at the directory, insert, commercial supplement, book, newspaper, shopper and flyer markets.
Gora believes regional demand will continue to drive the market. "As long as the cost per piece for web offset remains the most competitive print choice, coldset printers have a unique opportunity to recreate themselves by capitalizing on regional demands," she says.
Chuck Gath, vice president of sales at Web Press—manufacturers of the Quad-Stack, two-high UPM and the Quadra Color—recognizes five variables in coldset's battle to remain competitive with heatset:
- Environmental restrictions on heatset operations increase the operating costs of these machines. The result: increased prices to the customer or reduced profit margins to the producer.
- Production quality of coldset products is on the rise as press units with increased and improved features enter the market.
- Changes in inks, papers and fountain solutions have enhanced coldset quality.
- The initial investment in heatset equipment is more significant as opposed to coldset.
- Demand in four-color product is constantly on the rise, while the cost of producing four-color heatset remains higher than coldset. Many products are featuring a heatset wrap or cover with a coldset package inside; thus the overall package is less expensive.