Four Inkjet Presses Transform BCBSLA
Paul Bethel has seen a lot of changes in his 28 years at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA), but one of the biggest happened last spring when his Baton Rouge in-plant installed not one but four production inkjet presses.
Between April and June of 2022, BCBSLA Digital Printing Services implemented four Xerox Baltoro HF inkjet presses, two with Tecnau in-line post-processing equipment for perforating, punching, and stacking. The systems replaced four Xerox Nuvera 314s. The in-plant also added a pair of Xerox Iridesse digital presses, replacing an iGen4 and a Versant 80.
“I had, for a long time, wanted to go to a white paper factory,” says Bethel, manager of the seven-employee, two-shift operation. Eliminating the need for printing and storing shells was one of his priorities. Inkjet has enabled this for the company’s invoices, explanation of benefits statements, contract books, letters, and many other pieces.
Having attended the Inkjet Summit three times, Bethel learned a lot about the technology and felt it was time to take the inkjet plunge. The shop is now pumping out three to four million impressions per month on the Baltoros.
Though the Baltoros are slower than the Nuveras they replaced, he says, they are less expensive to run.
“The Baltoros are a bit more reliable than the Nuveras. We have more uptime,” he adds, thanks in part to a full-time Xerox service technician he was able to include in the contract.
The print quality, he says, is “very good,” though not as good as that of the Iridesses, which he calls “premium color.” The shop reserves that for marketing collateral, training materials, business cards, and other color-critical work.
The in-plant has learned some lessons in the months since it started printing with inkjet.
“If you’re printing 2D barcodes, which we do on our transactional documents … you’ll want to consider increasing the size,” he advises. The inkjet barcodes are not as pristine as those from a Nuvera, he says. The in-plant worked with IT to transition the codes on more than 60 BCBSLA documents from 4.3 mm to 6 mm in size, he says, and now they scan perfectly.
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