IPI Visits Three Atlanta In-plants
I arrived in Atlanta on Monday Oct. 16 for PRINTING United Expo, a bit surprised by the chilly weather, and spent the two days before the show visiting in-plants.
On Monday I walked to the city campus of Georgia State University Paw Prints and talked with Kevin Kelley, director of GSU Print and Mail Services, inside the postal operation, which boasts a convenient street entrance. Print jobs can be ordered at the counter here for printing in the shop’s Clarkston operation, or customers can use the in-plant’s online ordering site, powered by PrintShop Pro from edu Business Solutions. That site also lets people order promotional products, a new business that is really taking off, Kelley says.
The in-plant recently installed a Canon imagePRESS V1000 and an imagePRESS V900, along with a Duplo folder and an HP flatbed printer, which it purchased refurbished from Grimco. Since the V1000 handles substrates up to 400 GSM, the shop plans to start printing on heavier stocks like textured and specialty media. Kelley also has his eye on a laser engraver so the shop can bring name badge engraving in-house, and he plans to check out this equipment at the Expo this week.
On Tuesday morning, I paid a visit to Georgia Institute of Technology Printing & Copying Services, where I talked with Manager Mike Teed about his seven-employee operation. With a Xerox Iridesse, a Versant 180 and a Kodak Digimaster EX 110, the in-plant prints everything from business cards and envelopes to math exams and annual reports. It also has a busy wide-format printing operation, and prints yard signs, banners, magnets and photo prints on its Roland wide-format printer. Teed intends to add a flatbed printer and will be checking out his options at the Expo.
The in-plant recently added a Duplo DC-618 slitter/creaser and it has been a big time saver especially for cutting business cards. The shop uses a Neopost DS-600i for folding and inserting.
At Georgia Tech for five years now, Teed says about a quarter of his time is spent consulting with customers about their ideas for print pieces, and offering his expertise. If jobs are too complex to handle in-house, he procures them from outside printers.
In addition to printing, the in-plant manages a fleet of 300 copiers along with 70 printers for student use.
After a pleasant stroll across the Georgia Tech campus on a sunny but cool day, I took an Uber to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta to visit with Robbie Feazel, who just this week started a new position as Vice President, Director of Staff Services and Property Management. He proudly walked me around the building, pointing out the many areas that have been refurbished and the numerous acrylic signs that his in-plant has printed.
We went up to the in-plant’s fourth floor facility – with a window view that would make any in-plant jealous – and chatted with his staff. The shop uses a pair of Heidelberg Versafire production printers for its production printing, but its wide-format work is what’s most impressive. Its Xanté X-98 flatbed printer has been staying very busy printing signage and graphics for conferences, as well as for the building itself. The shop also has a Mutoh ValueJet 1626UH LED UV hybrid printer, a Mutoh ValueCut 1300 cutter, and a Colex Sharpcut automated cutter.
I got to see the in-plant’s brand new, not-yet-operational Boss laser engraver, which it added to engrave bank-owned laptops, monitors, cell phones and other items.
Though his promotion will have him overseeing much more than just the in-plant, Feazel still has a vision of expanding the print operation with more staff and doing more printing for the other 10 FHLBanks around the country. Jason Carne will now manage the print and mail operation, and the whole staff plans to come to the Expo this week.
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 more than 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.