Faster Proofs at Missouri State
After seven years of service, the Epson 10000 at Missouri State University was fading fast. When it reached the point where it would run for only an hour a day, Mark McCarty had enough.
Despite the budget crunch, the Printing Services manager was able to get approval for a new Epson Stylus Pro 9900 so the Springfield, Mo., in-plant could once again offer accurate color proofs. The 44?-wide ink-jet printer arrived in February.
“So far we’ve been very pleased with it,” McCarty says.
It offers 11 colors, including four different blacks, he says, and uses UltraChrome HDR inks, which hold their color longer. This is important, since roughly half of the work done on the wide-format printer is for posters, banners and presentation materials. Customers have noticed the difference, he says.
“They really like this new machine, with the color that we can get out of it,” he says.
The 9900 uses a MicroPiezo TFP (Thin Film Piezo) print head, which can handle 10 separate ink channels. A new ink-repelling coating reduces nozzle clogging, and variable-sized droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters decrease print times. The 9900’s faster speed is the most noticeable advantage for the shop.
“It prints probably twice as fast,” McCarty says. Resolutions can be reduced more easily for proofs, he adds, resulting in shorter RIP times.
The in-plant is looking into getting a used four-color Heidelberg along with computer-to-plate equipment. A digital press is an alternate possibility, McCarty says. Though purchases are on hold for a while, the shop is getting print samples and crunching numbers so it’s prepared to move ahead once funding becomes available.