New Digital Presses in Michigan: Ready … And Waiting
The hardest part about getting new equipment during a pandemic is not being able to use it. That’s what the University of Michigan’s Print, Copy, Mail department is facing after adding a pair of Canon imagePRESS C10000VP digital presses in March — just as the COVID-19 slowdown began. With far fewer jobs and limited staff in the Ann Arbor-based in-plant right now, the presses are taunting Printing Services Supervisor Roger Meyers.
“We’ve hardly even had a chance to use [them] yet,” he says. “We’re just raring to go right now.”
The 100-ppm digital presses replace two 70-ppm Canon imagePRESS C7010VPs that were five and seven years old. Meyers acknowledges he would have liked to replace them sooner, but the shop had been seriously investigating production inkjet presses, before eventually determining the time was not yet right.Meyers praises the sharp image quality produced by the C10000VPs, as well as their faster speeds.
“We’re 43% faster on these presses compared to the old ones,” he proclaims. “It’s really a nice upgrade.”
What he likes best, though, is the in-line bookletmaker and three-knife trimmer on each device. This is a step up from the previous printers, only one of which had in-line finishing. The new finishers can score, saddle stitch, square-back bind, and punch for three-hole, comb, and spiral binding. “Now we can run everything two-up and punch them in-line,” he declares.Having two printers with in-line binding instead of just one is a big advantage, Meyers insists.
“Before, we didn’t have the redundancy of two bookletmakers,” he says. Once things are back to normal, the machines will be busy printing brochures, flyers, saddle-stitched publications, test booklets, surveys, note cards, and stationery items, Meyers says. Though university work has ground to a near halt now that campus is closed, the in-plant has been getting jobs from the University of Michigan Medical Center, such as COVID-19 related posters and business cards for the emergency room. Operators are coming in as needed, and are staying away from one another.
“We’re adhering very, very strictly to the social distancing,” Meyers says.When adding the C10000VPs, the in-plant also switched from the EFI Fiery front end to Canon’s PRISMAprepare workflow, which was already being used for the three Océ VarioPrint 6000 TITAN monochrome digital presses in the in-plant’s copy department. Now prepress will have an easier time sending jobs to the various machines, he notes.
It really gave us a lot more flexibility,” he says.
As if two underutilized new machines weren’t enough, Print, Copy, Mail took delivery of another device in early April: a Tornado Autopunch EX from Rhin-O-Tuff. For now, it is still waiting to be set up.“We don’t know how quickly we’re going to install it yet,” Meyers says.The in-plant got the device to cut down on manual labor for complex binding jobs that include various elements, such as text pages, index tabs, UV-coated sheets, dividers, and inserts. The Tornado Autopunch EX will automatically feed, collate, punch, and deliver offset book stacks, ready for binding.“We feel confident that we’ve got a good niche for it,” he says.
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.