ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 13-Billing, marketing and Transpromo specialist, Acierta Transpromo & Billing Solutions, has joined forces with newspaper printing company PressPrint to create a local integrated digital newspaper printing service in Spain.
The service will use Acierta's infrastructure in Madrid, which includes two KODAK VERSAMARK VL4200 Printing Systems. One of the systems is a recent purchase, while the other is an upgraded KODAK VERSAMARK VL2200 System that was already in use at the company.
This integrated offering initiative was driven by a development project involving Acierta, PressPrint, Kodak, ASIP, the Tajamar Institute of Graphics and Technology (ITGT-Tajamar) and the paper producer, Holmen Paper Madrid. The project involved conducting research into developing new inks, paper weights, files and workflows suitable for digital newspaper printing while delivering quality similar to offset printing. After 18 months of research the project finally bore fruit. Today, several international newspapers are interested in using Acierta's and PressPrint's services to enter the Spanish market.
Juan Manuel Albelda, PressPrint's Managing Director, explains: "Acierta played a key role in the project, not only because the company already had the KODAK VERSAMARK VL4200 Systems, but also because of its knowledge of database management, which is one of the services we offer newspapers to help them capture subscribers. The integrated offering makes a newspaper's move into the Spanish market much easier, as we can do much more than just print and distribute newspapers-we can also help them increase circulation and offer other services, such as customization."
Eduardo Giner, Acierta's Sales Director, confirms the importance of PressPrint's involvement in the project. "Nobody knows the problems that exist in this market better than a company that belongs to a publisher like PressPrint, whose titles include El Pa's, AS and Cinco D'as. The company's experience has been vital in developing the entire workflow-they knew where the weak points were, enabling us to focus research on strengthening these areas. The result is an automated workflow that delivers outstanding digital print quality for newspapers."
Delivering fast, top-quality output with the VERSAMARK VL4200 System
Benjam'n Caro, Acierta's Managing Director, summarizes the partnership: "It is the collective added value that Acierta and PressPrint offer that differentiates them from other companies that focus solely on printing. The two companies offer an integrated service that includes customization and the capturing of subscribers.
"And because we have incorporated a second KODAK VERSAMARK VL4200 System into our infrastructure, we now have two powerful printing systems that can produce around 12,000 copies a night."
Gerardo Codeso, News and Publishing Sales Specialist for Digital Printing Solutions at Kodak, adds: "The VERSAMARK VL4200 System has a strong track record in the digital production of newspapers. The systems are used in newspaper printing operations around the world, thanks to their duplex and color printing capabilities. The VERSAMARK VL4200 System enables end users to add newspaper printing to their traditional commercial and data printing offering, opening up business opportunities using a single, versatile system."
The VERSAMARK VL4200 System operates at 410 feet per minute (125 meters per minute) at a resolution of 600 x 360 dpi. The system is packed with features that help users enhance reliability, stability, speed and productivity. The ink refill system, for example, runs continuously during production so jobs can be undertaken without interruption, ensuring production is fast and quality meets customers' expectations.
Eduardo Giner explains that Acierta has aimed to add value to each of the production processes: "In prepress, ASIP and ITGT-Tajamar have played an essential role in workflow development and color management, while we have contributed our knowledge to create a communications network that helps us stay in contact at an international level and handle all aspects of customization.
"In printing, PressPrint has made a huge contribution by sharing its vast knowledge of working alongside newspaper publishers. So too has Holmen Paper Madrid, which has developed newsprint that weighs 52 g/m2, providing a digital print with a quality that rivals offset.
"As for Acierta, we have two KODAK VERSAMARK VL4200 Systems that will print newspapers at night, and the usual transactional and billing statements during the day. It's also worth noting that having two systems lets us fall back on one in case anything unforeseen occurs, and that the finish is done using HUNKELER Systems."
Giner concludes: "We can help foreign publishers establish themselves in Spain via our distribution network, direct marketing strategies and by capturing subscribers. We can also create communication databases for them through the traditional postal service and via the internet.
"These services make the newspaper's entry into the Spanish market far simpler. In a nutshell, we are an integrated service provider-we receive the file that comes in for printing, capture subscribers and can help publishers build customer loyalty. We can even collaborate with media agencies to handle local advertising. We've certainly built a very strong foundation for the company."
A safe operational model for publishers
Juan Manuel Albelda believes the integrated offering will appeal to publishers that want peace of mind when entering a new market: "In today's economic climate, the integrated option is a safe way for international newspapers to set themselves up in Spain, as it provides all the necessary guarantees-from near-offset print quality to the newspapers' timely arrival at sales outlets. Cost also plays a big part-although it may be slightly higher than offset printing, publishers gain because there are no logistics to factor in.
"We also help national publishers to customize their newspapers, as we believe in the future that newspapers will increasingly provide their subscribers with value-adding content. Holding reams of information on subscribers means we can create products tailor-made for them, which will help circulation and ultimately make the newspaper more attractive to advertisers."
Benjam'n Caro believes that the future of the press industry involves listening to the customer more, and knowing how to provide the content he or she wants: "Companies are realizing that to survive they must deliver what the customer desires. This has resulted in today's multi-channel world, where there is far more direct communication and interaction with the customer. Content will need to be more customized and targeted at specific groups, so having detailed information on subscribers is vital. And this is exactly what we're preparing for."
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