Flatbed Printer Brings Opportunities to University of Southern Indiana
Before purchasing a Xante X-33 flatbed printer in July of 2021, the University of Southern Indiana’s in-plant had to apply adhesive vinyl by hand — a task both tedious and time consuming for the 12-person staff.
Terri Bischoff, director of Creative and Print Services, says the in-plant does a lot of yard sign printing for the university, including signage for student organizations and campus events. It was the pandemic, however, that made Bischoff realize the in-plant might need a new piece of equipment.
“We were doing an extraordinary amount of yard signs, especially when we were removed from campus during the first part of the COVID quarantine. Our Undergraduate Admissions Office wanted to start sending signs to accepted students to announce that … ‘we’re glad you’re joining the USI family,’” Bischoff says. “We did a huge amount of those at the time, and we were printing on adhesive vinyl and then applying it … pretty much by hand to the Coroplast substrate, and then cutting them down by hand and shipping them out to all the new students that were enrolled.”
After creating about 1,000 of these signs, Bischoff went to her VP to get permission to purchase the Xante X-33 flatbed printer to save both time and money in material costs.
In addition to being more efficient, Bischoff says the X-33 is also the perfect size for her operation. The in-plant operates out of a small physical space, and the compact size of the X-33 made it a good fit.
The new addition also allows the in-plant to expand the types of applications it can print, which Bischoff says was the true motivation behind the purchase.
“It has the capability to print on a lot of different substrates up to 6ʺ thick and 24-36ʺ inches wide. So, we thought there might be a lot of other things we could do with this machine besides just print yard signs,”
Bischoff says. “We’ve done some signage for some high-profile, high-traffic areas on brushed aluminum. We’ve done stuff on acrylic, we’ve done stuff on canvas boards. We’ve even customized golf balls. So that was the main reason that we bought it: we thought we would be able to offer more products to the university.”
Bischoff says the Xante X-33 has cut the in-plant’s labor time in half, and she speculates that costs have also been reduced by 35-40%.
“We want to show a willingness to offer new and unusual products to the university at a very good cost. Plus, our turnaround is a lot faster, and it’s always nice when you can keep things in-house,” Bischoff says. “I would also like to market to more students and say, ‘Hey we can print your favorite picture or piece of artwork on a canvas.’”