Nice, France

Nice Matin

Prepress innovations ensure that quality print keeps making headlines


Largest regional daily newspaper publisher in south-east France, employing 850 people. Prints over 130,000 papers a day.


How to reinvent as a digital-savvy business which can thrive in a fast-changing print future

Kodak Solution


SONORA Process Free Plates

"We have progressed from producing 360 plates per hour using three CTPs to 450 plates per hour using two CTPs. This provides us with two essential benefits: an optimized production process thanks to speedier printing, and space saving, with the removal of a production line."
David Terrage, Head of Maintenance & Production, the Nice Matin Group
Nice matin platesetter productivity
Keeping things rolling: Kodak's platesetter boosts productivity at Nice Matin
Nice matin high quality news output
Eye-catching spread: Just some of Nice Matin's high quality news output
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When employees at Nice Matin rescued the newspaper publisher from receivership in 2014, they knew they'd have to arrest the falling sales and ad revenue that caused the group's decline. An agile new strategy was vital, hinging on a radical overhaul of the prepress process. Kodak's innovations cut costs and boosted productivity, with a quality that kept advertisers and readers hooked.

The Business Need

Like many historic publishers, France's Nice Matin found itself struggling to adapt to the pressures of the digital age. The company was founded back in 1944; 70 years later, declining print sales and ad revenue drove the firm into receivership. But its employees could still see the business's potential and stepped in, rescuing and relaunching it as a worker-owned cooperative.

The new management team knew they needed to transform the company, developing an agile, future-focused strategy that would put digital front and center. But this didn't spell the end for Nice Matin's print offering. Far from it. Instead, the now worker-owned firm invested in an expansion of its physical output with new publications, and bought new finishing machines to ensure it could capitalize on lucrative advertising opportunities.

Such an ambitious strategy demanded the modernization of ageing prepress equipment. Nice Matin recognized the need for a more efficient and economical plate making operation, which would help the team keep pace with modern production demands, while maintaining quality, to keep presses rolling.

The Kodak Solution

In 2016, Nice Matin installed two high-speed CTP KODAK GENERATION NEWS Platesetters, and began using KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates, the most advanced thermal imaging and process free plate making technology on the market.

In doing so, they became the first publisher in France — and the largest in Europe — to use the technology for newspaper printing.

The new set-up promised a real productivity boost. The GENERATION NEWS Platesetter boasts imaging speeds up to 300 plates per hour, and a quality in image setting and dot precision that's impossible to get from violet technology. Its thermal imaging offered stability and consistency, enabling improved print quality, fewer remakes, and faster time to press.

GENERATION NEWS uses KODAK SQUARESPOT Technology, which prevents process variations that can cause quality issues, and the added cost of further production.

All of this came in a compact footprint, designed for maximum plate production in tight prepress areas. Plus, SONORA Process Free Plates promised even greater space savings, as well as environmental benefits and lower costs. Nice Matin wouldn't need to maintain a processor, or to buy, store, handle or dispose of any chemical products.

The Outcome

Nice Matin was operating at full production within 15 days of install and saw a huge productivity boost. With their GENERATION NEWS Platesetters, they went from producing 360 plates per hour using three CTPs, to 450 plates per hour using only two.

The new equipment, together with the adoption of SONORA Process Free Plates, also reduced the footprint of its production line, as well as bringing environmental benefits and lower costs.

They estimated that using GENERATION NEWS and SONORA saved the firm around €290,000 a year.

The integration was seamless too. The plates fit easily into the production process, and the prepress operators were impressed with the speed, useability, and reliability of the new machines.

Soon after putting the GENERATION NEWS Platesetter to work, Nice Matin began receiving positive feedback from readers and advertisers, commenting on the rich, sharp, and vibrant colors.

Nice Matin was the first media group in the region to switch to SONORA Plates. It proved crucial in helping the firm stand out from the competition — and securing a future for the business in an uncertain sector.

"The print quality! The GENERATION NEWS Platesetter prevents process variations that characterise UV and visible light systems. This can result in poor or inconsistent quality, and in new and costly production being necessary. It guarantees us quality in image setting and dot precision that is impossible to get from violet technology. It is a great asset."
David Terrage, Head of Maintenance & Production, The Nice Matin Group
"We were operating at full production within 15 days. Ultimately, we are printing greater volumes more quickly using fewer machines."
David Terrage, Head of Maintenance & Production, The Nice Matin Group
"Changing suppliers would have meant having to return to violet technology. Such a step backwards from a technical point of view was difficult to conceive. Kodak is a reliable, pioneering company in which we have total confidence."
David Terrage, Head of Maintenance & Production, The Nice Matin Group
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