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Issue 988 – March 2, 2018 Weekend SPECIAL

Few sectors in printing have been hit so hard by changing conditions as the high-end offset web press manufacturers. As newspaper volumes continue to plummet and magazines barely hold their own, the catalogue market is the only refuge for the beleaguered technology. As new press orders dwindle it comes as no surprise that two of the few remaining manufacturers, manroland web and Goss Systems, will merge their operations.

manroland web enjoys the better and more secure position as it’s owned by the hugely rich German industrial trust, Possehl. Goss on the other hand has been through a series of owners, including Chinese-based Shanghai Electric Corporation, before washing up with US-based private equity firm, American Industrial Partners – always unlikely long-term investors.

The end result will see the web press sector dominated by German companies, manroland web and KBA, with Indian-based Manugraph and Japanese manufacturer, Mitsubishi leading the rest of the world. Australia and New Zealand have long been a happy hunting ground for manroland, with only the occasional KBA and Goss installation breaking its iron grip. IVE Group’s Franklin Web is the latest customer currently installing a second massive manroland 80-page Lithoman at its new Huntingwood site in Sydney’s west.

Welcome to your latest issue of Print21, the leading news and information service for the printing industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Patrick Howard
Publishing editor