ACUP+ 2023: Inkjet Success at Iowa State
University in-plants have been slow to incorporate production inkjet presses, but Iowa State University Printing Services is not among them. Last year it installed a Canon varioPRINT iX3200 and hasn’t looked back.
At ACUP+ 2023, ISU Director Nathan Thole detailed the 22-employee in-plant’s path to inkjet, from his first inkjet press demo in 2016, to his ill-fated 2020 RFQ, to his revised 2021 RFQ and bid evaluation. His five-page proposal for the $1 million investment was approved in days.
The press is three times faster than the shop’s previous equipment, and costs less to run, Thole said. He estimates it will bring $1 million in savings over the next decade.
Though installation was smooth, some things the in-plant would do differently next time include having all media profiled in advance; clarifying digital front-end software better to avoid later confusion; and factoring in more cost for installation and environmental preparations.
Besides the press, the shop needed a new air compressor, a reverse-osmosis water supply, and an exhaust system.
Since firing up the press, the in-plant has enjoyed a more efficient workflow, extra capacity, and a greater ability to provide VDP. Quality is rarely a concern anymore, Thole said.
Related story: ACUP+ 2023: Networking in Nebraska
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.