Monochrome Marvel Boosts Productivity at UC Davis
Like at most in-plants, black-and-white print volume has fallen dramatically at the University of California–Davis, dropping from 22 million impressions a year eight years ago to 14 million today, where it’s been holding steady. To print that work, the 26-employee in-plant had been using four Kodak Digimaster 9110s, but after 13 years on the job, the machines were starting to show their age.
Not only that, they lacked a feature that Director Brian Wadell really wanted: inline punching. Most of the course readers, exams and classroom materials being printed on the machines had to be punched offline, slowing down productivity.
In the search for new black-and-white equipment to complement its six-color HP Indigo 5500, UC Davis Repro Graphics learned of the dual-engine Kodak Digimaster HD300 with interchangeable dies for hole punching. Unsure if his in-plant had enough duplex volume to justify a dual-engine printer, Wadell did some research.
“Eighty-seven percent of our black-and-white jobs are duplex,” he reveals. “So clearly we had enough duplex volume.”
In October, the in-plant replaced two of its 9110s with a 300-impression-per-hour (ipm) HD300. Changing dies from three-hole to GBC or spiral takes just seconds, Wadell says. With the post-fuser inserter, color covers can be added to a book and punched with the rest of the pages. The in-plant also added three extra paper drawers to the standard six, to be able to run nine different stocks—and some jobs require that many, he says.
The key benefit of the HD300, Wadell says, is its speed. Customers are more demanding than ever.
“Everybody wants it yesterday,” he says.
The combination of the much faster 300-ipm speed and inline punching enables the shop to complete jobs much faster. A recent job that would have taken 16 hours to run on the 9110s took just six hours on the HD300, Wadell says. Customers have noticed the faster turnaround times too, he says, and have thanked the in-plant.
Wadell is also impressed with the machine’s 600x600-dpi quality. Its H1 toner and small particle developer enable the reproduction of very fine lines.
“The black is really black, and the front-to-back registration is amazing,” he praises.
The HD300 is not all that’s new at UC Davis. The shop has also added a Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser.
“I’m really happy with it,” Wadell declares. “One of the things that’s helped us do is drastically improve our turnaround time on business cards.”
Rather than holding business card orders until there are enough to batch and offset print, the shop now prints each order digitally as it arrives, then slits it using the DC-646.
After 20 years in its facility, UC Davis Repro Graphics is preparing to move in the months ahead as its lease comes to an end. The new facility will be 10 miles from campus—five miles farther than its current one. To keep a strong presence on campus, Wadell moved his client services reps into the on-campus quick copy center in July, where they are now closer to customers.
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, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.