New Wide-Format Printer, Contour Cutter at University of Virginia
University of Virginia Printing & Copying Services recently expanded its wide-format area with two new technologies: an Océ Colorado 1640 roll-to-roll printer and a Colex SharpCut FBC-5x10 flatbed cutter/router. The Colorado 1640 gives the 30-employee in-plant the ability to provide better quality prints at a much faster speed, while the Colex contour cutter will allow it to expand its product offerings.
“We stepped up to much higher-quality output,” proclaims Melvin Woodward, manager of the copy division.
The in-plant had been providing wide-format printing for the past 10 years with a 54˝ Roland Soljet Pro III XC-540 printer. As wide-format technologies have improved over the years, and the Soljet got older, the in-plant decided to upgrade. It did that in a big way with the Colorado 1640, which uses Canon UVgel ink and an LED-UV curing system to produce prints that are dry and ready to deliver once they come off the printer. With the Roland Soljet, prints had to be set out to dry.
“This is instantly dry once it comes off,” remarks Woodward.
This has greatly improved turnaround time.
“Now, if they bring it to us first thing in the morning, they can have it before noon,” he says.
At 64˝ wide, the Colorado 1640 can also produce larger prints than the 54˝ Soljet, Woodward says. And he loves its multi-roll feature, which allows the print engine to switch jobs between rolls without operator assistance.
Customers, he says, have noticed the quality difference on the Colorado 1640, and job orders have increased.
“It definitely stirred a lot more interest,” he says.
Woodward is hoping for a three-year ROI on the Colorado 1640.
The Colex SharpCut FBC flatbed cutter/router is a new technology for the in-plant, which previously did such cutting by hand using a clamp-down system.
“We can contour cut, we can actually rout into a surface, so it just expands what we’re able to do,” says Kelly Hogg, director of Printing & Copying Services.
This opens up new types of products, like routed acrylic and wood for awards and signage.
“The accuracy of the cuts is so much better because it lines up with the cut marks,” says Woodward. “You get nice, smooth cuts.”
Related story: Expanding by Cutting
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.