Rochester In-plant Switches to Konica Minolta Devices
Change can be difficult, but as Tom Licata found out, it often comes with great benefits.
For nearly 30 years, his print shop at the Rochester (N.Y.) City School District used Xerox equipment — a no-brainer based on their shared Rochester location.
So when he made the decision a few months ago to swap the shop’s iGen3 and iGen4 digital color presses and two D125s for six Konica Minolta devices, Licata admits, “I was hesitant.”
The payoff, though, has been immense, and has brought substantial savings to the district. In August, the three-employee in-plant installed:
- One Konica Minolta AccurioPress C2070 with an envelope feeder.
- Two Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1100s with GBC punches, booklet makers and squareback binding.
- Two Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS 1250P monochrome printers with GBC punches.
- One Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS 1250 with a perfect binder.
- A Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser with the DC-F2 folder.
Licata touts the reliability of the new devices.
“They don’t go down,” he says.
This has resulted in some impressive productivity. For example, the influx of work at the beginning of the school year was always a challenge for the shop to produce.
“It used to take us a month to clear out all the jobs that were coming through,” he remarks. “With these new ones, we cleared it out in four days.”
Two of the 1250s are dedicated to printing curriculum material. Teachers send these materials directly to the printers’ queue. The shop receives about 500 of these jobs per day.
“We used to have to have one person dedicated to printing this type of work,” Licata says. “With the reliability of the Konica Minolta machine, we have freed up a person to do other things.”
The other new digital presses print a variety of materials needed by the district: tests, tickets, booklets, post cards, business cards, year books, stickers, magnets and more.
“Anything I can do in-house I’m trying to bring it in-house because it saves the district tons and tons of money,” Licata says. Perfect binding, which the in-plant previously outsourced, is one example of a new service the in-plant is offering, thanks to the in-line perfect binder on its bizhub PRESS 1250.
One of the key features on the C1100s is in-line square-back binding, which produces stapled booklets with a perfect-bound look.
“These come out fantastic,” he enthuses. “We’re doing the same books that we were doing last year, but now the people are raving about them, and I’m getting tons more orders for saddle-stitched books now.”
He offers an example of one teacher’s reaction after seeing both a conventional saddle-stitched book and one with a square-back stitch.
“We did a memory book for one of the schools, and it was right when we were installing the Konicas, and our only option was the regular saddle stitch off the iGen,” he recalls. “I said ‘I can print these now or you can wait a couple days.’ She goes, ‘no, no, I need them now.’”
When the teacher picked up her order, the new equipment had been installed. Licata couldn’t resist showing her a book with a square spine.
“She went back to her principal,” he continues. “Her principal called me and said, ‘We need to redo them. I want that square back.’”
Another bonus with the new devices is that they are all driven by a common EFI Fiery workflow, which allows operators to see all the presses from any press station and drag and drop jobs from one to another. What’s more, Licata says, you can highlight a list of jobs and change all of their properties simultaneously, rather than having to change each one individually.
He’s also been impressed with the new Duplo DC-646, which uses a CCD scanner to read a printed barcode on each piece and automatically set up the job. The scanner also reads registration marks, correcting the sheet-by-sheet image shift to deliver accurately finished pieces.
Licata says the DC-646 has been a great help with finishing business cards, which were previously cut using a GBC ProCut, with less accuracy. The shop also uses it for perforating, avoiding all of the waste generated when it perfed jobs with its A.B.Dick.
“Any time we can use automation, it helps us a lot,” 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 more than 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.