Collators - Upgrade And Breathe Easier
As customers clamor for faster turnaround, in-plants are relying on their collators for relief. Upgrading to newer models, managers say, has helped most of all.
TEN YEARS ago, Jason Seto's shop sent out any collating job over 5,000 copies. Twenty years ago, it was still collating by hand.
Today, Seto's shop can turn jobs around in as little as 24 hours, thanks to its in-line collator/stitcher/trimmer.
Although Seto's shop at the State of Hawaii's Department of Education has had a collator for the last 20 years, only recently did the shop strengthen itself by replacing its 11-year-old collator with a new Standard Horizon MC-80—and boy, have the results been impressive.
With the new collator, Seto says the in-plant can handle up to 5,000 saddle-stitched booklets in-house.
"Before we got this collator, I know we used to bid out a lot of jobs that included saddle-stitching," confirms Seto, reprographic specialist for the Honolulu-based in-plant. "And once we got the collator a lot of those jobs stayed in-house."
Though most in-plants today own collators, many of them are outdated. Managers who have upgraded their collators say they have been impressed with the speed and versatility of newer models.
For example, in Plano, Texas, J.C. Penny Print Services upgraded to a new Duplo System 4000 collator in December, and Manager Jerry Newman couldn't be happier.
"With the collator, you've got some really good technology that's coming out," he says. "Collators are in a period right now where people have figured out that they're a really valuable commodity to have, and the features are getting better and better."
Though a collator can improve any in-plant, many shops say the full value of a collator can only be realized in conjunction with in-line support—more specifically, with an in-line stitcher and trimmer.