Great ideas stay young. The DCOS story so far

The best companies in the world are run by people who mean business with their visions. The vision itself needn’t be so grand. An interest that’s been there since childhood. A determination to do what you really always wanted to do. Or a passion for something very specific.

And it all starts with an idea. The greatest idea of 2004 was to resign. Four colleagues came to the same conclusion. Mattias Andersson, Tomi Söderbacka, Johan Börjesson and Johan Andersson were friends at work, and they shared a passion for automation. This was a passion they only rarely would be able to endulge in. They wanted to change that.

– We had, and still have, a strong determination to make everyday work better for our customers by being innovative. Basically we’re a team of technicians with a vision. We’re simply convinced that things can be done a little smarter all the time, says Mattias Andersson, CEO.

They all knew that the daily work at printing houses could bec ome more efficient. Much more so. With this approach and many years of collected experience in the trade, they left their jobs behind and founded DCOS. They brought along their genuine interest in the printing industry and its challenges.

This was in 2004 in Kinna, a quiet town in west Sweden. Seven years have passed since then. It’s been seven years on efficiency’s service. It was evident from the start that there was a need for the specialist competence associated with DCOS. That need hasn’t diminished over the years. The company has grown by adding one or two persons annually, not too fast and not too slow. DCOS still isn’t a large company. Instead it’s a challenger, with great capacity. There are advantages for a printing house to be working with a smaller player like DCOS. The reason for this is the size in itself. DCOS is more on the same level as the typical customer. Being a smaller company where everybody knows each other, it’s easy to understand the customer’s situation. A trust arises that the forthcoming project will benefit from.

” Basically we’re a team of technicians with a vision. ”

Johan Börjesson, Founder

DCOS boilerplate

This is DCOS

Swedish company DCOS works with innovative automation for printing houses. The typical client is a newspaper printer. Located in Kinna (pronounced Shinna) in southwest Sweden, DCOS offers products as well as services. The company has been successful ever since starting out in 2004 and has been dubbed a Gazelle and local Entrepreneur of the Year.

DCOS has a project-oriented organization. Experienced and fl exible teams of service engineers make sure the customers are always well taken care of. The company’s vision is to be a preferred partner on a global printing market. As a result the services and products of DCOS are user-friendly, sophisticated, effi cient, and reliable. In short, the focus is on helping printing houses optimize their productivity. DCOS has an offer of quite some depth. It comprises everything from more or less standardized products to customized, client-specifi c solutions, maintenance and support. The company is sometimes a subcontractor supplying drive and control systems to manufacturers of other printing equipment. On other occasions, DCOS sells its products and services directly to newspaper printers. The product portfolio of DCOS holds solutions for an optimized printing process. Among other things, the fi rm offers drive and control systems to watch over, control and rationalize the printing process. Well-functioning, smooth-running machines are vital to any printing house. A way of extending the life cycle of machines, and one that has proved to be successful, is Retrofi t, a service provided by DCOS. A retrofi t is about making the very most of the machinery. The service assists printers in fi nding out where in the process measures should be taken to render it more effi cient. To many printing houses, retrofi t is the ideal and most cost-effi cient way to secure the production. DCOS has global presence. The company has an excellent reputation in the industry and has an explicit aim to expand. DCOS is a Gazelle, ready to take the next leap.


Torgau Dryck Northern Saxony, Germany

Torgau Druck in Northern Saxony, Germany is a medium-sized printing house specializing in newspapers and magazines, as well as digital printing. Well-known for being creative and reliable, Torgau Druck certainly has to be up-to-date when it comes to equipment. As for any other printer, there comes a time for reviewing the status of the production process and decide what to do.

The life cycle of a press is often said to be 15 years–at best. This means printing houses will need to invest a lot of money when their presses approach the end. Unless, that is, they choose instead to extend their life cycle. Retrofit is an attractive solution to many printers facing the challenge of updating their equipment. At a fraction of the cost, compared to investing in new machinery.

After performing a review, Torgau Druck wanted to meet DCOS and discuss potential solutions. There was a need for a new register system, and that’s where the discussion started. DCOS is known in the business for innovative camera solutions. Andreas Plaul at Torgau Druck expresses another reason for contacting DCOS:

– To a company like ours it is also important that DCOS is not a big company. While some printing houses are indeed huge, most are not. It is much easier for us to deal with someone equal.

So, sometimes size matters. Being small is why DCOS has proven to be an interesting alternative to many printers. There’s an obvious flexibility, and discussions will be kept on an equal basis. Our discussions with Andreas led to an agreement to carry out an analysis.

In close collaboration with Andreas Plaul, we performed an analysis of Torgau Druck’s situation. It turned out that there was an additional need for upgrading the control system. Combining the camera project and the control system project into one would be the most cost-efficient. So our assignment turned into a mix between new installations and retrofit, which is something we’re used to.

At Torgau Druck, two towers are able to print 64 pages tabloid in all, double round and double wide. This was not going to change. Our proposal was to upgrade the control system into a fully modern and efficient one, integrate a new register system and incorporate a new control desk into the printing process. We also proposed to upgrade the drive system in several steps over time, in order to make the investment less intense. This was all agreed upon.

Before arriving at Torgau Druck, we spent several months back home preparing. We performed a technical study, we built electric constructions and made sure everything would be running smoothly once we were on location. Then, in the early fall of 2011, we came to Torgau to spend the next 10 weeks implementing everything, without interrupting daily production. This is usually an absolute condition, since few printers can afford stoppages. Still it goes without saying that it takes quite some planning to make this work. In November, 2011 we were done and Torgau Druck was ready for a fresh start.

Today, and for a long time to come, Torgau Druck is a modern, efficient and secure printing house. They have easy access to support at a reasonable cost, and the amount of waste copies is massively reduced. This is of great importance, since less waste copies means the investment is paying off.

– We are really happy with the result, says Andreas Plaul. Working closely together with the people from DCOS has been nothing but positive all the way. At Torgau Druck we value being creative and flexible, and I think our collaborators at DCOS feel the same way.

This is not the end, of course. We will continue to work together. In fact, Torgau Druck came back in early 2012 with an order of the all new SoftProof, a software product that lets you preview an image of what you are about to print. At DCOS we are convinced that Torgau Druck will continue to be at the front edge among creative printers.


La Presse de la Manche – Cherbourg, France

In order to keep up with the competition, any printing house needs to keep a close eye on their machinery. Upgrading is vital, and to most printers the decisive question is whether to invest in new euipment, or rather stick with what they have and improve the performance. The latter is known in the business as retrofit.

There is also the combined solution of installing new equipment and carrying out a retrofit. La Presse de la Manche in Cherbourg, France has a history that dates back to 1889. Over the years, many changes have occurred, of course, and in the new millennium there was a need for expansion. The company decided to go for a combination of retrofit and new installations. But could it be done without interruptions in the daily production? This is a challenge, and one that DCOS has been up against many times.

A printing house of respectable size and part of the Ouest France group of companies, La Presse de la Manche needed to expand their capacity. Above all, they wanted to increase the capacity for printing in colour. With the existing equipment, La Presse de la Manche could print up to 16 pages in colour, but wanted to be able to print a further 24. In addition, there was a need for increased automation. We presented a somewhat innovative solution, and a deal was agreed upon.

A project where new installations were to be combined with a retrofit, a thorough analysis was needed. La Presse de la Manche already had one tower, from Solna Offset with a built-on Solna/Global tower. Now they wanted to invest in three more towers, this time from Tensor Group. We proposed a remodelling of the existing tower to make it function with the new ones. In addition to this retrofit process, La Presse de la Manche had a need for new drives and controls, as well as a sophistacated register system. To round things off, a new control desk to handle all of the functions, old and new, was added.

– Our basic need was to print up to 40 pages in colour. We invested in new towers, and we wanted everything, new and old, to run smoothly in a unified system, says technical director Hervé Pannier at La Presse de la Manche. And, we could only accept a solution where our production wouldn’t go down during the installations. DCOS presented an attractive solution, where we would also have access to support afterwards. So we chose to work with them.

At La Presse de la Manche, things were going well. Still, there had arisen a need for change. There was an apparent need for printing more pages in colour in their papers and magazines, so something had to be done. We proposed a solution where production would go on, and where the implementation of a new DCOS drive and control, among other things, would lead to less waste copies. An agreement was reached.

The DCOS project team arrived in March, 2010, with a detailed plan for implementing the solution agreed upon. For three months, we worked at La Presse de la Manche. After the existing tower was rebuilt, all four towers would be fitted with automatic DRCS colour and cut-off register, a drive and control system and a DCOS control desk were to be installed, and retrofit of dampening and inking functions would be carried out.

Meanwhile, it was business as usual for everyone working with the daily productions. Well, that’s not entirely true, because nobody could fail to see we were working right among them. But as far as the daily production goes, everything was carried out as normal. And when the project was over, in June of 2010, La Presse de la Manche was all set for the new, improved capacity.

Goal achieved. La Presse de la Manche now is able to print 40 pages in colour, which was what the project was all about. The new system is not only ultra-modern and has a very high capacity, it is also user-friendly and efficient.

– Yes, we are happy with the outcome, says Hervé Pannier. We worked closely together for several months, and everything fell into place as planned. And a fine bonus is that we now have much less waste copies.

In 2012, La Presse de la Manche and DCOS signed a service and support agreement. We are, of course, very proud to be given this trust.


Retrofit MittMedia Print – Falun, Sweden

MittMedia Print is a major player in the Swedish printing business. With headquarters in the city of Gävle, the company has a further six printing houses in the mid and northern parts of Sweden. In total, there are well over 100 magazines and papers in the client portfolio.

In Falun, where one of MittMedia Print’s printing houses is located, there was a strong need for upgrading of the whole printing process. There were simply too many production stoppages to keep customers happy. Something had to be done to turn the situation around. There was also a wish to become a truly competitive alternative for new customers.
In order to achieve this, there would have to be improvements in the printing process in general. There would also have to be higher quality and efficiency in the coloring and cutting processes in particular. The plan was to go for a retrofit solution as a way of extending the life cycle of existing machines. MittMedia Print contacted DCOS, since earlier collaborations between the two companies had proved successful.

Retrofit is a service provided by DCOS. We met with MittMedia Print to discuss the different possibilities. What was at first thought of as a limited project concerning an inking system with preset capability, soon developed into a full retrofit.
– Discussing the options back and forth, DCOS soon stood out as the obvious choice for us. We hadn’t realized they could actually take responsibility for the whole retrofit project. When we found out they could, it was really not a difficult decision to take, says Måns Nyberg, local branch manager at MittMedia Print in Falun.
MittMedia Print’s position was clear: There could be no interference with the uptime. All ongoing assignments would have to continue as usual.
This was of course a true challenge. We pursued an analysis of MittMedia Print’s processes, all in close collaboration with manager Måns Nyberg. Mr. Nyberg was a key person all through the project. Together, we came to the conclusion that MittMedia Print would benefit from having a new drive and control system, new and considerably fewer control desks, a new inking system with preset capabilities, and a closed loop register system.

The existing situation at MittMedia Print was not uncommon. There was a functioning system for production of magazines and papers. This system, though, had been developed in several different steps over the years. A reasonable objective of the retrofit would be to create a unified solution, thus losing the heterogeneity of the existing system. This was agreed upon.

The purpose of the retrofit would be enabling a greater degree of flexibility and last but not least to seriously decrease the amount of waste copies. With careful planning, this concept could be carried out without interrupting the daily work at MittMedia Print.
The project team from DCOS arrived at the printing house to implement the solution. This called for meticulous precision, and there could be no mistakes. That would have caused interruptions in the ongoing assignments, and would prove expensive. Together with Måns Nyberg, we managed to finish the complex procedures according to plan. The overall implementation took 5 months to get up and running and was carried out in 2010.

After successfully having taken the Falun printing house through the retrofit process, there is a considerably higher efficiency at MittMedia Print. There are indeed much less waste copies. There is also a greater flexibility, making MittMedia Print in Falun an even more attractive choice for its existing and potential clients.
Måns Nyberg, local branch manager at the printing house, comments:
– Working with DCOS was excellent. I was involved all through the process, thus being in the middle of it all the time. It took some careful planning, and we are very pleased with the results of the retrofit.