First University In-plant Installs Inkjet Press
Over the past six years, dozens of in-plants from many different business sectors have installed production inkjet presses. But while insurance, state government and school district in-plants have embraced the technology, university in-plants have been noticeably apprehensive.
That changed in August when Brigham Young University Print & Mail became the first university in-plant to install an inkjet press. Based in Provo, Utah, the country’s largest university in-plant added a continuous-feed Ricoh Pro VC60000 to print both religious scriptures on very lightweight paper and books from outside publishing companies.
What’s most impressive about the machine is its ability to print on 23-lb. paper.
“That’s very light,” remarks Doug Maxwell, director of BYU Print & Mail. “We will run a full shift a day on lightweight paper.”
The inkjet press is able to do this by running roll-to-roll, with finishing done offline on Kolbus and Tecnau binders. The in-plant uses the inkjet press to print scriptures for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 150 different languages. This includes the “triple combination” — the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Maxwell anticipates the in-plant will eventually print 10 million impressions per month of scriptures on the inkjet press.
The printing of books for outside publishers is done during a second shift, using 60-lb. paper. Printed pages run directly into an in-line Standard Hunkeler finisher, where they emerge as book blocks to be perfect bound on a C.P. Bourg binder and trimmed with a Challenge three-knife cutter.
“So they come out finished books within minutes after they started running,” says Maxwell.
Foil is added to book covers with a new MGI I Foil press. BYU Print & Mail currently prints about 20 titles a week for each publisher.
“We expect that to increase by a ton,” says Maxwell.
The in-plant began considering inkjet after one of these publishers, Deseret Books, approached Maxwell a year and a half ago about printing some of its titles on demand. He tried to get the shop’s click charge low enough to get that business.
“We couldn’t get there with toner,” he admits.
Having attended the Inkjet Summit, Maxwell knew that inkjet technology has come a long way. He looked into it and discovered inkjet could bring an amazing cost savings.
“My click charge is about .0034 cents for black on my toner devices, but on my inkjet I’m down around .0003 cents — three hundredths of a penny,” he enthuses. “My color charge is not a whole lot more than my black, and the color is beautiful.”
BYU Print & Mail replaced one of its two Xerox Nuvera 288 monochrome devices with the Ricoh Pro VC60000 and has not looked back.
“We can do as much in an hour as those two devices can do in a day — and it comes out in finished book blocks,” Maxwell says.
With inkjet, the in-plant has now stopped printing and storing shells for variable data work, such as donor letters.
“Now we do it all just off the machine,” he says.
The in-plant recently implemented EFI Pace print MIS and Digital StoreFront Web-to-print software. Now publishers can order books from the online library, and they move right into the queue for printing. BYU Print & Mail currently processes about 60,000 jobs a year through its Web-to-print system, and Maxwell expects this to rise to 300,000 as more jobs are added to the library.
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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.