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Interview – Technical and Production Manager

Interview – Technical and Production Manager

We met Nicolas Pelouin, Technical and Production Manager for the Corlet Imprimeur 360° Group on the Corlet Roto site in Ambrières-les-Vallées.

He has been in this position since January 1, 2020, but he has been with the group much longer, having started working for Corlet in 2004 as a maintenance technician until 2010. That year, he became maintenance manager before evolving to the position he holds today.

“It’s true that the career path is a bit atypical, because going from maintenance to production to site manager is not necessarily the logical progression. In the Corlet group, if you want to, you have the opportunity to take an interest in many subjects, to develop many skills, you just have to be curious!”

And Nicolas is curious. Self-taught and passionate about his job in maintenance, he decided to take a closer look at the environmental management system. He considerably improves the environmental responsibility of the site. All the bulbs on the site are low-energy LEDs, the waste generated by the activity is all treated and nothing is released into the atmosphere. He did not stop there, as he then decided to train in production data and set up a system to measure the performance of the production site.

“I like my job because it’s not just one job. I’m a little bit of a Swiss Army knife, which means I’m always troubleshooting. I’m always the one who fixes machines, I do building maintenance, but I have several strings to my bow. Today, I’m in charge of production follow-up, I manage the personnel… All these activities put together make for good days, interesting days. That’s what makes the job attractive. No two days are ever the same.”

What are the problems you encounter the most?

“From a technical standpoint, I would say there is none. We are a small structure and all the people who work here have a lot of experience. That allows us to not run into any technical problems.”

At Corlet Roto, each employee is responsible for his or her position and activity. Since 2020 and Nicolas’ evolution, the organization of the printing plant has been simplified. Indeed, he is in charge of the liaison between the group’s management and the Ambrières-les-Vallées site. The management shares the objectives to be reached, the strategies to be implemented and the resources allocated. In return, he or she passes on important information and ensures that his or her employees produce their best every day. Each of them has at least twenty years of experience in his or her field and the divisions, whether prepress or production, are autonomous. Nicolas Pelouin considers himself a facilitator for his teams and explains that communication is very easy because of their small size.

“My role is to facilitate, federate, organize to make things easier, so that people can produce better. If we are in a pleasant environment, I am convinced that we produce better and that is true. That’s my job.”

You are part of the Corlet Imprimeur 360° group. Do you often work together?

“Always. Every day, with Corlet Imprimeur or Corlet Routage. In particular the manufacturing or the pre-press which are in contact with the other units of the group every day.”

Corlet Roto, because rotary printing. Can you explain what it is?

Poste de contrôle de la presse rotative KBA C16

“Our place in the group is, originally for larger runs. In ascending order, we will start with digital, then offset and then roto. This is the reason why rotary printing exists. Now, with the KBA C16, the performance of the presses is approaching that of sheetfed presses and we can work on more or less common projects.

Does innovation have a place in rotary printing?

In web printing there are innovations, especially in terms of performance. Indeed, Corlet Roto has one of the last new rotary presses arrived in France. In terms of automation and performance of a 16-page press, there is no other. We are the only ones to have a KBA C16 in France. The performance of the press in terms of calibration and process monitoring allows us to innovate on new products. Nicolas also explains that in a few years there could be digital presses.

The paper supply in this period is still complicated. Are you impacted on your activities?

Bobines de papier en fabrication

“No. Because I would say that the battle is not fought here, the battle is fought at the level of our buyers who, every day, struggle to have paper on the one hand and to buy it at a correct price on the other hand. The battle is more there and for the moment they have done their job well in the field, because we don’t have too many concerns. I hope it will continue like this. We haven’t run out of paper. I know the management is very complex as the sourcing times are very long.”

At his level, Nicolas still has some difficulties in obtaining spare parts for his machines. Delays have become longer and prices have increased.

To sum up, what are your strengths at Corlet Roto?

“We have very experienced employees. This allows us to respond very quickly to customers and our sales force, with great flexibility while providing a quality finished product. This is our strength. We’re always available for a trial, a test, we’re always up for that kind of thing.”

It is not uncommon for customers to come and assist in the setting up and the final press proof because at Corlet Imprimeur 360° we make it a point of honour to always welcome our customers when they want to.

Any final words for us?

“It’s a great adventure and we hope it will last for a long, long time.”