Printed Course Packs On the Rise at SUNY
Though course materials at many universities have been migrating online, Jim Lyons doesn’t think students are very happy about it.
“The students don’t really like to use PDFs as much because they find it tiresome to read,” says Lyons, manager of Print & Mail Services at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.
His own daughter, a student at another university, likes to print her course materials out instead of reading them from a screen, because she can grasp the information better — a statement that Lyons hears from students at his university as well. As a result, he says, “the demand for course packs has been growing.”
To help satisfy this demand, the 16-employee in-plant added a new a Sterling Coilmaster Jr. tabletop spiral binding machine from Spiel Associates in December 2017. Prior to installing it, the in-plant was binding course packs manually.
“We had a roller that we would roll them on and then we had a foot pedal crimper that would crimp one side of the coil each time,” he explains. “It took forever to try to get these packs done, the bigger ones especially. So the Coilmaster — rated for up to 600 books/hr. — really automated it for us, and we were able to get everything done on time and about five times faster than when we were doing it manually.”
Lyons notes that before Print & Mail Services added the Sterling Coilmaster Jr., he did a lot of research.
“The Coilmaster Jr. seemed to be the only spiral binding machine that fit our needs because we punch a lot of books in-line on our high-speed black-and-white copier,” he points out. “Many of the machines out there couldn’t successfully ring coils around the holes. The Coilmaster Jr. is adjustable so that you can really fine tune it into the hole — the round hole as opposed to an oval hole. When I saw a demonstration of the Coilmaster Jr., I knew that it would do what we needed.”
As far as the quality of the bind, Lyons could not be more pleased. “It’s beautiful and the quality is amazing,” he enthuses. “There’s all kinds of adjustments on the machine that we can make as opposed to just a single operation that you can’t really adjust.”
Since adding the Coilmaster Jr., Lyons says that his customers are amazed at how quickly the in-plant can turn around their projects.
Aside from course packs, direct mail still makes up a good portion of the in-plant’s work. The shop also produces stationery, NCR carbonless forms, directories, posters and signs for the campus.
Print & Mail Services produces black-and-white jobs on its Ricoh 1107EX printer and color work on a Ricoh Pro C5110S full-color production printer.
Speaking with Lyons, it’s clear that his passion to serve his customers and his enthusiasm for printing is contagious. In 2016, he was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service by his university.
“It was a very proud moment for me because they only give it to you once in a lifetime, and your peers have to write letters in to support the nomination,” he reflects. “When I was notified that I received it from the state chancellor, it was pretty incredible.”