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.