'Green' Approach Helps CMU Justify New Equipment
The push toward sustainability at many companies and universities can work to an in-plant’s advantage. Take Central Michigan University, for example. Though the in-plant there was getting a great deal on film and supplies for its Fujifilm Ninja imagesetter, Printing Services Director Rhonda Kohler wanted to move into computer-to-plate. But instead of stressing CTP’s speed and efficiency advantages to her sustainability-focused administration, she pointed out that a CTP system would eliminate dangerous chemicals from the print shop.
They gave her the “green” light (so to speak).
The 15-employee in-plant just installed a Fuji Javelin 8300 thermal CTP system running Fuji Brillia and Ecomaxx-T processless thermal plates.
“The opportunity to be chemistry-free is huge, especially in this day and age,” Kohler remarks. It also gives the in-plant a new way to promote itself. She has already addressed a campus sustainability group, stressing how the CTP system has made the in-plant more sustainable.
Aside from its green benefits, the new system has helped the shop in other ways.
“The biggest advantage is the turnaround time,” Kohler says. “It cut the time in half.”
One reason the shop waited until now to go CTP was the cost of the equipment.
“I’m glad we waited because the prices really came down,” she says. In fact, Fuji offered the shop a “stimulous” package, she says.
The Javelin was installed in the former dark room, on a new anti-static rubber floor.
Fujifilm’s announcement last month that it will merge Fujifilm U.S.A.and Fujifilm Graphic Systems U.S.A. into a new organization called Fujifilm North America was good news for the in-plant, Kohler says.
“This will be a great thing. We won’t have to put together such big orders to get our stuff from Japan; we’ll be able to order for just-in-time deliveries,” she remarks.
CMU Printing Services has been busy in other areas as well. It recently added a Mutoh America ValueJet 1614 wide-format printer, and has used the 64˝ printer to wrap the back walls of CMU’s stadium with “Go Chippewa” banners.
“It’s like a sea of maroon,” observes Kohler, referring to the school’s signature PMS 218 color. The shop has also printed wraps for the football team’s lockers, as well as banners for buildings on campus. All told, Kohler feels the Mutoh printer could generate revenue of up to $100,000 in a year.
Also new is an Epson 8900 eight-up proofer, a Secap T2000 inline tabber and a 30˝ KBS dryer. The shop added four feet to its KBS conveyer, as well. Kohler expects all of the new equipment to save the university $56,000 in the first year, and pay for itself in approximately two and a half years.
To ensure color consistency throughout the in-plant, the shop recently calibrated all of its equipment to become GRACoL (General Requirements and Applications for Commercial Offset Lithography) compliant, a graphic arts standard for quality color printing.
“A lot of times we’ll run a long-run brochure on the big [Heidelberg] press, and we’ll do companion invitations on the [Xerox DocuColor] 8000, and then the posters...on the Mutoh, and they all need to match,” Kohler explains. “So that calibration was really important.”
In all, 14 peices of equipment were calibrated in the main plant and in two satellite operations. IPG
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 nearly 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.