The world’s biggest selling offset press celebrates 40 years in the market this month, with the Heidelberg GTO having its launch back in 1972 and still going strong under the PrintMaster GTO moniker.
Alastair Hadley, general manager, sales, marketing and product management, Heidelberg Graphic Equipment says, “Back in 1972 the GTO was the answer to every printers’ dream.”
He says, “There are still some 1600 GTO presses in the Australian and New Zealand market today, making the GTO the most popular offset press in the market by a long way.”
The GTO boasted speeds of 8,000sph, it was versatile and consisted of printing, numbering, inprinting and perforating in the same pass.
Hadley says, “It could print on thin paper, NCR, light board and envelopes, it was simple and easy to use. Small and regional printing businesses use the machines today. It was the best thing since sliced bread and printers couldn’t get enough of them, some printing companies had multiple machines lined up in a row. The presses are still sold today, they are mainly used presses and pass through the market directly or via some of the used equipment dealers.”
The Australia that the GTO was launched into seems like another planet today. National Service in the military was compulsory, the Aborignal tent embassy was established in Canberra, and public bars were in fact only open to male members of the public.