Staying ahead of the game in magazine and newspaper printing can be challenging. Some titles must be shipped out just a few hours after going to press, while others are updated almost right up until the ink hits the paper. Combine these deadline pressures with hundreds of orders for other types of printed material, and you have the perfect storm. The printing companies that sail through it unscathed are those with highly automated, robust and agile systems in place.
Roularta Printing, in Belgium, implemented ECO3’s Apogee prepress workflow and automation software to maintain its leading position. As the country’s largest offset printing operation, the company is always looking for efficiency gains that also ensure it can reliably deliver the high quality that its clients have come to expect.
Full in-house printing operation
Established in 1954, Roularta Printing operates under the umbrella of Roularta Media Group (RMG), a prominent publisher producing over 60 news and lifestyle titles and a range of regional and local newspapers. Belgium’s leading magazine publisher, RMG also has a strong presence in the Netherlands and Germany, boasting a combined staff of 1300 across the group.
The printing house runs four heatset offset presses, including one 16-page Rotoman, three 72-page Lithoman, and a Colorman newspaper press. These are complemented by an in-house design and prepress department, numerous finishing options (either inline on press and offline), and four packing lines. With a keen eye on sustainability, the printer is also the first in the Benelux to invest in a paper wrapping installation.
This impressive operation allows Roularta to offer publishers across Europe a wide choice of page sizes, paper qualities and various finishes, with or without cover, glued, stapled or perfect bound, all produced in its modern 19,500 sqm production hall. In addition to printing RMG’s magazines and newspapers, Roularta Printing also takes on many jobs from external customers. These include brochures, catalogs, leaflets, and much more.
Free from constraints with Apogee automation
At a time when cost and time pressures are higher than ever before, Roularta Printing decided it needed to replace its existing workflow and chose Apogee, supplied by ECO3 (formerly Agfa Offset Solutions).
“We firmly believed that the integration of Apogee would not only provide us with significant efficiency gains but also serve as the optimal interface with the new ERP system, which we were implementing in parallel,” said Roularta’s Production Manager, Peter Leroy.
The modular nature of the software allows users to configure the system for their specific needs. The Roularta team decided to include Apogee Impose for automated impositioning and WebApproval as its online collaboration platform. According to Peter Bardoel, Head of Digital Assembly, the main benefit of Apogee Impose has been its flexibility.
We used to work with predefined templates, which meant we had to create a template for each new print job. Our library contained between 5,000 and 10,000 templates! With Apogee, you don’t need this huge bank of templates and you can adapt more easily. Although it requires a little more expertise on the part of our operators, it adds a lot of value to their work and reduces the risk of errors. Apogee provides numerous checks throughout the process to guarantee a fault-free outcome.Peter Bardoel, Head of Digital Assembly - Roularta Printing
Precise previews with WebApproval
To further enhance the Apogee workflow, Roularta Printing also implemented Apogee WebApproval, which offers a complete web portal for online collaboration. Designed for seamless file exchange and digital proof validation, it allows users to upload files, review pages, and approve jobs from their desktop computer or mobile device at a time of their convenience.
Bardoel is very clear in his appraisal of the solution and the benefits it brings to the workflow. He noted, “The standout feature of WebApproval is the ability to provide a precise preview of the final printed product – this level of accuracy significantly enhances the overall workflow, making it an indispensable tool for us.”
Apogee: One modular solution fits all
Celebrating 20 years of helping printing companies maximize their business potential, Apogee prepress workflow and automation software is a proven integrated solution that streamlines the entire production process. Erik Peeters, Marketing Manager Software Solution of ECO3 states: “Apogee is not only aimed to increase efficiencies at larger production sites like Roularta. Our customer base covers small print shops with a single sheetfed printing press, to industrial high-volume production and service agencies covering offset, digital print and wide format production.”
Apogee is available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, either on-site or cloud-based.
Innovate, interact, and optimize. That’s the Apogee workflow software philosophy with which you stay ahead of the competition. Because quality and efficiency can never be rated too high in the printing business.Discover