Leading Quebec book printer Marquis Book Printing, with five locations in Quebec and one in Roubaix, France, has announced a partnership with U.S. firm EPAC (San Leandro, California) and a $9-million investment in new equipment at its Montmagny, Quebec plant. “This major new initiative was launched to meet market imperatives and the needs of book publishers. It also initiates a shift to a new industry 4.0 model,” said the company. “The entire book and printing sector is changing. Print runs and order volumes are increasing and require quick turnarounds. Print-on-demand and on-orders are up, with a trend toward zero inventory. Perfectly balancing supply and demand is becoming a necessity for content publishers for all titles. This investment is one of the first steps on our roadmap to accelerate our growth, increase our global productivity, and better meet our clients’ business needs.”
The EPAC solution manages equipment from different manufacturers in a single, integrated and highly automated workflow. Marquis can now combine cutting-edge technologies to offer its clients the same high-quality products as traditional offset printing, “but manufactured on-demand with unprecedented efficiency.” The transformation at its Montmagny production facility is already underway. The first step is the installation of three new digital inkjet presses, two assembly lines and two perfect-binder lines. This first phase, which requires a $9-million investment, allows the company to produce an additional 3 billion pages on-site. Other steps will be announced later in 2018 and will “deploy incremental capacity,” the company added.
A major component of the move is that all of the new equipment installed will be interconnected using an automated production flow developed by EPAC called PACEX. This industry 4.0 version technology enables direct communication with the equipment without human intervention, while also decreasing paper usage. EPAC’s new production software is already used by some of the largest publishers worldwide, including publishing and distribution specialist Interforum. “Since June 2017, Interforum has partnered with EPAC to propose a revolutionary new print-on-demand solution – Copernics. We’re thrilled to hear that the leading printer in North America has also chosen to work with EPAC,” said Eric Levy, President of Interforum and Editis COO. “Together, we’re going to reinvent the world of publishing and printing to open new worlds for our publishers and booksellers.”
Marquis clients will now have access to the EPAC network, which includes facilities in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The move makes Marquis an even more efficient gateway for the production in North America of books from Europe. The network also opens more opportunities for all of Marquis’ current and potential Canadian clients wanting to print closer to their readers for most export markets. Discussions are currently taking place on this subject between Marquis and publishing leaders to create new, decentralized printing solutions. The technical performance of the Marquis–EPAC partnership, along with simplified ordering on the company’s Marquis Express platform (which is powered by SoBook Hub), will allow booksellers, distributors and publishers to deliver books to readers much more efficiently than before.
“Aligning technology with publishers’ needs has always been one of our strengths,” said Serge Loubier, Marquis President and CEO. “The entire Marquis team is convinced that this new, carefully considered investment will give our clients ‘wings’ on all the local, national and international markets. This shift allows us to once again adapt, and remain the book-printing leader in North America. This is a major milestone in Marquis’ history, and teamwork is what allowed us to achieve this technological breakthrough. We’re following our plan and I’m very proud of my team – the best team in the industry. You haven’t finished hearing about us,” he added.