La Hulpe, Belgium - Reunion Island is for the first time to receive daily newspapers on the same day they are published thanks to RotOcéan's investment in KODAK technology. The printing house, which is based on the French island of Reunion, will print local, national and international newspapers using a KODAK VERSAMARK VL4200 Printing System. The installation of the inkjet system marks RotOcéan's latest investment in Kodak innovations – the company is already equipped with a KODAK MAGNUS Platesetter, KODAK THERMAL DIRECT Plates and a KODAK NEXPRESS Digital Production Color Press.
Reunion Island is a small island in the Indian Ocean, 9,500 km from Paris. Prior to RotOcéan's installation of the VERSAMARK VL4200 System, the island received its national and international newspapers by air, at least one day after their publication.
"RotOcéan is putting an end to 20 years of outdated newspapers on the island, and we'll be introducing a number of other prestigious titles," says Hubert Pédurand, Director and Joint-Manager of RotOcéan. "Our investment in the high-speed, high-output VERSAMARK VL4200 System means the island's residents and visitors can enjoy newspapers on the day they're published. The titles will be distributed by ARDP, a subsidiary of PRESSTALIS, in the same or almost identical format to those printed in mainland France."
Playing it safe
RotOcéan opted for the KODAK VERSAMARK Printing System because in their opinion it is the most cost-effective method for producing short print runs and is the most flexible way to compete with new media: "Printing newspapers digitally is already a reality in New York, Dubai and Malta," explains Pédurand. "It's the ideal way to provide local areas with renowned national and international titles, and respond to the immediacy of electronic media."
RotOcéan installed a VERSAMARK VL4200 System with two finishing lines, one for newspapers and the other for books. Offering variable cut dimensions, the system is capable of four-colour printing on paper weights from 45 to 160 g/m2 at a rate of 128 m/min.
"The KODAK VERSAMARK VL4200 System is very easy to use. It enables us to achieve outstanding print quality in the right quantities, with practically no waste or rejects and with very fast reprint times, which makes us a more environmentally friendly company," adds Pédurand. "And because newspapers are printed on the island using the VL4200, they no longer have to be transported by air, which means carbon dioxide emissions are dramatically reduced."
In addition to the VERSAMARK VL4200 System's technical performance, Pédurand is impressed with the support RotOcéan is receiving: "The quality of the after-sales service provided by Kodak and its local partner, PAPECO, were significant factors in our decision to purchase the VL4200 – after all, it will be in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so maximizing uptime is crucial."
Producing more than just newspapers
Besides the VL4200 System, RotOcéan also has a downstream HUNKELER double line and HEIDELBERG folder, which are used for daily newspapers and print-on-demand books respectively. Following its increase in capacity, RotOcéan is also targeting the marketing and promotional documents sector, including retail catalogues with variable data.
To guarantee controlled and consistent print quality, the line is equipped with an AXODE 1080 system, incorporating functions to control head registration and a full-page document view at high speed. The on-board DATAMATRIX system allows 2D coding using identification/correction algorithms. This opens up a wide range of new opportunities, including transactional mail, transpromo and direct marketing applications, and ensures the front-to-back registration of printed documents.
Established in 1999, RotOcéan is the result of a long shareholding tradition of printing publishers with partners such as Temoignages, a local press publisher and the oldest press printer on the island, and Graphica, a renowned offset printer. RotOcéan is based in Sainte-Marie and employs seven people.