Colorado Comes to Nebraska
Though adding a production inkjet press was a big move for Omaha Public Schools’ in-plant, it hasn’t been the only change at the department. Printing & Publications Services recently replaced its Mutoh VJ1638 wide-format printer with an Océ Colorado 1640 roll-to-roll printer from Canon. It uses Canon’s new UVgel ink, a UV curable ink that bonds instantly on contact with the media, resulting in precise dot placement.
The in-plant, notes Manager Steve Priesman, has offered wide-format printing for about two decades.
“That market has exploded over the years,” he maintains. “That is why I looked for an alternative to the Mutoh, even though it was doing a good job for us and it is a good machine.”
Priesman admits the shop was getting buried in wide-format work, which includes banners and posters for classrooms. The wide-format output the in-plant produces offers motivational messages, general directions for student conduct and classroom management statements. Most of the wide-format work printed by the shop includes color graphics or charts.
“It has become such a popular tool to disseminate information in an educational environment,” he adds.
Priesman explains that the in-plant previously would have to lay the wide-format work out to dry because it would not be perfectly cured coming off the Mutoh machine.
“We had things laying everywhere,” he says with a laugh. “It could get ugly.”
One particular wide-format project the shop tackles every August involves producing about 100 24x40˝ banners. The job traditionally would take the in-plant more than a week to complete, tying up an employee through the length of the project.
“With the Colorado, we did that same job and we were done in a day,” Priesman reports, pointing out that the use of UVgel ink speeds the drying process.
“We like the quality, but the productivity is just incredible,” he lauds. “And I can do a banner cheaper now than I could with the Mutoh because the ink is a lot less costly. It is meeting our needs exactly as expected. And, in some cases, surpassing our expectations.”
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