NexPress Brings Quality Color to Arkansas
At the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, the decision to switch from offset to digital was a practical one.
“We had a 20x28˝ Sakurai offset press and some smaller Hamadas, but we couldn’t find any press operators,” remarks Jon Flaxman, director of Printing Services for the Little Rock, Ark., school. “So we just made the decision, we are going to go totally digital.”
In October, the four-employee in-plant installed a new Kodak NexPress S2500 digital color press with a fifth imaging station. So far it has exceeded Flaxman’s hopes.
“We definitely now get more consistent color than we’ve ever had,” he contends.
Also in October, the in-plant replaced its Xerox 6180 with three Ricoh 1356EX monochrome multifunction printers, operated using EFI’s MicroPress system. In fact, Flaxman says, the in-plant is now paying less to lease all this equipment and software than it was paying for the 6180 alone.
One thing that attracted Flaxman to the new Kodak and Ricoh equipment was that it could handle a larger sheet size than the 6180. The NexPress can run a 14x20˝ sheet, he says, while the Ricohs can run a 13x19˝ size.
Thanks to the NexPress and an existing Xerox 8000, the in-plant can print short runs with high-quality color. Gone is the shiny “digital look” of the color prints the shop used to produce.
Flaxman relates how one customer had a newsletter that used a metallic ink on the masthead. It had previously been run on an offset press.
“We were able to replicate that on the NexPress, and nobody even knows it’s not offset,” he says. “It’s such a close match.”
Thanks to the fifth imaging station, the shop will be able to incorporate Kodak’s Dimensional Coating Solution in the future. Flaxman also has plans to produce variable data printing using the FusionPro module on EFI’s Digital StoreFront.
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.