In-plant Round Tables Draw a Crowd at PRINT 09
In-plant managers had two opportunities to mingle at the recent PRINT 09 trade show in Chicago. IPG and the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association each held a separate session for in-plants. Both attracted more than 50 attendees, many from university and insurance in-plants.
At the IPG breakfast round table, sponsored by Ricoh, Editor Bob Neubauer went over some of the issues managers have had to contend with after buying a digital press. Ricoh’s Greg Cholmondeley discussed performance considerations for selecting a digital press, and related how Toll Brothers has achieved dramatic cost savings by using a Ricoh Pro C900 digital press to bring high-quality color mailings in-house.
After these presentations, Neubauer engaged managers in a discussion about their digital printing capabilities and plans. Most in the room said they already had digital production color devices. Some said they justified the cost of their presses by calculating the cost of sending that work outside. Most agreed that after installing their color devices, they received more work than they had anticipated.
Many at the round table said they are proceeding slowly into variable data printing. They are trying to get marketing to buy into it first and understand the applications. Managers from Unum Group, though, revealed that their in-plant is producing complex variable data pieces on their Xerox iGen3. As for transpromo printing, none in the room are actually producing any yet.
Cholmondeley urged in-plants to work with customers on their VDP projects before they go to an outside provider, because once they start working with someone else, it becomes much harder to bring that work in-house later. Plus, he added, by providing VDP for the organization’s marketing efforts, the in-plant becomes crucial to the organization’s success, making it much harder to outsource the in-plant.
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.