Ball State Adds CTP, Four-color Press
Thanks to two back-to-back installations, Ball State University Printing Services is producing work faster and at a lower cost.
By Bob Neubauer
For 10 long years Ken Johnson and his crew at Ball State University Printing Services have been slowly building an equipment reserve fund.
Now payoff time has come.
Over the past couple of months, the Muncie, Ind., in-plant has used its savings to make two major installations that will completely overhaul the 11-employee operation.
First the shop installed a six-page thermal Screen (U.S.A.) PlateRite 4100 platesetter. Then, in April, it added a four-color Heidelberg Printmaster 52 perfector. The new capabilities will pay for themselves by reducing waste and bottlenecks, says Johnson, director of Printing Services. Plus, the new press will let the in-plant do four-color work it was previously unable to handle, including outside jobs.
"It will allow us to go to some of the other colleges and non-profit organizations in the area and let them know what our capabilities are and see if we can do some more insourcing," says Johnson.
Unique Double Upgrade
The near simultaneous addition of both CTP and a four-color press is a rarity among in-plants, but Johnson felt the timing was right for a couple of reasons. Budgets at universities have been getting tighter, and he thought it was best to use his shop's equipment reserve fund before the university considered tapping into it for other purposes. Also, the shop's 14-year-old two-color Heidelberg GTO 52 was wearing out and could no longer produce high-quality four-color work. The in-plant will now transfer work from its Ryobi 3200 to the GTO and move the GTO's work to the new press, along with some work from its two-color Heidelberg MOZP.
As for the PlateRite 4100 platesetter, Johnson calculated that the elimination of film and chemical costs, as well as waste, would save enough money to pay for the equipment. Previously, the shop had been outputting punched, imposed film with an Agfa Avantra 30 imagesetter. That machine, along with a film processor, was removed and the entire prepress area was remodeled. The wall between the old dark room and stripping room was removed to open up space.