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  • 11 Apr 2012

Goss goes global with Vpak

Goss International will use Drupa to introduce its Sunday Vpak package printing technology to a global audience after spending the last year establishing a foothold for technology three decades in the making in other markets. David Pittman reports
Goss International’s Sunday Vpak variable sleeve web offset package printing presses are part of the ongoing evolution of the Sunday technology, says Peter Walczak, the company’s director of product management for packaging presses.
Sunday Vpak presses are available in two platforms, the Vpak 500 and Vpak 3000, with the former offering three press sizes (521mm/20.5in, 851mm/33.5in and 1,041mm/41in web widths) and the latter having four web widths (1,118mm/44in, 1,397mm/55in, 1,626mm/64in and 1,905mm/75in). Vpak 500 presses are rated up to 1,200ft/m, and Vpak 3000 for 1,500ft/m. Two 851mm (33.5in) Vpak 500 models and one 1,626mm (64in) Vpak 3000 will be shown at Drupa, and will be used to demonstrate nested plate capabilities, sleeve changing, make-ready times and other features of the range.
‘Sunday technology was developed in the 1980s as a way to advance web offset printing technology,’ says Walczak.
‘This revolved around eliminating blanket gaps as seen on conventional offset presses, so removing a lot of the parameters that limited press performance, like web width, speed and cylinder circumference.

‘Sunday technology evolved gapless or sleeve blanket technology, which is at the heart of any package printing or variable offset process.’
As such, the Vpak presses that will be seen at Drupa are a ‘culmination of all that has gone before,’ says Walczak, and show the, ‘true evolution of the design. There have been many applications for Sunday technology as the core system has been developed and propagated to different markets, such as publication, commercial and newspaper printing. Now it is available for packaging.’
These years of involvement in other markets give Goss a certain pedigree, although Walczak is aware that the company is a new player in the package printing market and so has work to do to educate potential customers on the history of the company itself, as well as the Sunday technology upon which the Vpak presses are based.
‘We have a breadth of knowledge of the web offset market, and know how to make that equipment run fast and in an efficient way. Packaging is just a different type of application we’re applying our technology to. It’s important that we leverage this position though, and don’t just offer a “me too” press, as then there’ll be no value to us or our customers.’

Refraining from becoming just another press manufacturer to offer a package printing solution is one of the reasons why Goss has kept its initial marketing focus targeted on the North American market, although this will change at Drupa.
‘We want to lead the market so didn’t want to spread ourselves too thinly around the world, and not be able to support customers the way we wanted to,’ says Walczak.
‘We’ve kept the focus in North America by design so we can develop understanding in the market and gain a foothold, but that will change at Drupa.
‘As a new entrant to package printing, we’ve had to work to build understanding and comfort for our customers with Goss and the Sunday technology in order to create interest and then orders.’

For customers outside the US, Walczak says Goss will be able to leverage the heritage of the Sunday technology upon which Vpak presses are based and tap into its extensive existing installed base. ‘Whether a short train, plane or car journey away, potential customers will be able to go and see the performance and integration of the core technology anywhere in the world.’
Walczak adds: ‘We’re coming into this market and have to build trust. Goss International is a worldwide name, but not in the packaging industry. We’re just as new as anyone else so have to work hard to create understanding and market acceptance of our company and its technology in the packaging industry.’