Page 16 - Print 21 Magazine March-April 2019
P. 16

Web Printing
One plus one = manroland Goss
Mergers and consolidation are redrawing the print landscape. Last year manroland, the German web press manufacturer joined with US-based Goss. Dennis Wickham tells Patrick Howard how the new entity plays out in the local market.
Few business mergers have the significance for the printing industry as the arrival of manroland Goss. What was unthinkable
just a few years ago now has the two web press manufacturers coming together to present the printing industry with a unified front of rationalised production sites and single support companies throughout the world. Years of radical reorganisation followed manroland web’s emergence from bankruptcy under the ownership
of German conglomerate, Possehl. Goss went through a bewildering series of ownerships, that included Shanghai Electric, before ending up being owned by US-based PE fund, American Industrial Partners. Now they are one entity.
While the market for high-end web presses has fallen dramatically in recent years, even so the merger took the industry by surprise. manroland and Goss were the survivors, together owning
the largest share of the rapidly dwindling market. Now they are
by far the largest supplier ahead
of KBA in Germany and Indian- based Manugraf, while Komori, Mitsubishi and TKS mostly service the domestic Japanese market.
In Australia the situation is even more definitive. You have to go back a long way to find any web press other than a manroland installed in the local market. This year will see the latest 80-page manroland Goss Lithoman installed into Ovato’s (formerly PMP) Warwick Farm site (formerly IPMG) (see page 14). It is a suitable validation of the company’s dominance of the sector. While there are many more small Goss Community presses spread around the country, in recent years all the big Australian web presses have been manroland.
16  Print21 MARCH/APRIL 2019
So it was only sensible
when the merger went
down, that the Australasian manroland organisation
under Dennis Wickham, (41) managing director, became
the amalgamating force in
the region. It was the larger business, by far. In addition
to manroland Goss in the
web sector, it also represents manroland Sheetfed, the Langley Holdings company delivering its 900 presses to the worldwide packaging sector as well as the Evolution 700 to the broader commercial market.
ContiWeb, the drying and web- handling auxiliary manufacturer that was previously a subsidiary of Goss, is also represented. Excluded
“You have to go back a long way to find any web press other than a manroland installed in the local market.”
embracing the opportunity of getting to know his expanded customer base. His team has just returned from New Zealand, reaching out to printers there with Goss presses.
“We’re discovering new Goss Community customers every week, and the more we do the greater our market becomes. There are at least ten customers in New Zealand with Goss or similar equipment. Within Australia there are between twenty or thirty small printers operating Goss equipment.”
The amalgamation has sparked a surge of activity in the sector. Sponsorship initiatives are being put into place for groups such as the Country Press Association
in Victoria and South Australia, both associations still very active. Wickham is excited by the opportunities they present.
“There’s a whole culture out
there we didn’t know much about. While we don’t supply a whole lot
of service to them, they are an important part of the market. They need to be represented and they need to know who to contact for support. If you look at the combined tonnage in those places, they’re still a big player. These sites might not run 24 hours seven days a week but they still produce.”
In Victoria he has well known web industry identity, John Ostler, on the road going from town to
Continued page 20
from the merger, it now runs as an independent company.
Overseeing the whole business, Wickham has a complement of 42 staff, the vast majority of whom are technicians. He is currently encouraging his team to visit every manroland and Goss customer in the region.
A whole new
manroland Goss Australasia is primarily a service organisation. It even hosts a worldwide remote phone service for web customers to access when their local company support
is closed. The integration of Goss service into the new organisation presents challenges, not least the task of simply identifying the
large number of Goss Community presses in the regions. Wickham is
Passionate about the industry: father and son Graham and Dennis Wickham

   14   15   16   17   18