Digital Press Tops List of Upgrades at Sacramento State
After 11 years of service, the HP Indigo 5500 at Sacramento State University Print and Mail was no longer the cutting-edge piece of equipment that had brought digital color to the California university in 2008.
Director Laura Lockett knew her 12-employee in-plant needed a technology upgrade, so she and her staff began visiting local dealers, bringing files and paper to test the printing quality of the latest digital devices. The Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6100 stopped her dead in her tracks.
“We were really blown away by the quality of the product that came off of the device,” she says.
What she assumed would be a quick visit to the Konica Minolta dealer turned into a 4½-hour stay as she and her key operator Michael Garden marveled over the quality and cost savings of the 100-ppm digital printer.
University Print and Mail installed the C6100 in May, part of a broader technology upgrade that included:
- A Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser, which replaced the shop’s Duplo DC-616 and brought a significant increase in speed
- A Direct Color Systems 1800z UV LED printer, to allow the shop to print rigid signage for the campus
- Edu Business Solutions’ Print Shop Pro MIS and Web-to-print software
Major Cost Savings
Beyond the excellent print quality produced by the AccurioPress C6100, Lockett was very impressed with the money it is saving her in-plant.
“There was a significant cost savings to go to the
Accurio,” she testifies.
Click charges are far lower than what the shop was paying on its Indigo. There was also a monthly maintenance charge of several thousand dollars on the Indigo. With the AccurioPress C6100, the maintenance fee is included.
The Indigo was also more difficult to run, Lockett says. Her in-plant had only two operators trained on it. By contrast, the learning curve on the C6100 is very short, she says, so she intends to train four operators to run it.
Lockett is impressed with the IQ-501 Intelligent Quality Optimizer, which improves color consistency and front-to-back registration accuracy. “It’s amazing,” she praises.
The closed-loop system constantly monitors and adjusts printed output. It scans the first sheet, then makes all adjustments automatically, saving operators from having to manually measure and adjust.
“It’s worth its weight in gold,” Lockett says.
With an extended tray, the shop can now run 13x29˝ sheets to produce 8.5x11˝ trifolded brochures.
Because the C6100 is more cost effective to run, Lockett hopes University Print and Mail will be able to keep more work in-house that it previously had to send outside.
“It’s really a great fit for us,” she praises.
The cost savings brought by the C6100 enabled the shop to add the Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser, which Lockett says is three times faster than the DC-616. She likes that it can score and perf in both directions, which should open opportunities for new products. Setup is much easier since the device scans a barcode on the first sheet of each job and then automatically adjusts its settings.
Upgrading the in-plant’s Print MIS and adding Web-to-print has been on Lockett’s radar for a long time, and in June the shop finally rolled out edu Business Solutions’ Print Shop Pro. As of July 1, every new order is being entered in the system, and customers are thrilled with its ease of use, particularly the ability to reorder jobs.
The new Direct Color Systems 1800z UV LED 12x24˝ flatbed printer, expected to begin operation in early August, marks the in-plant’s entry into the rigid signage business. Facilities asked the shop for help producing metal wayfinding signage for university parking structures. The machine can also produce Braille signs.
Lockett plans to also use the printer to create customized awards, work now being purchased off campus. Name tags are another business the printer can get the shop into. Lockett sees a “wide open field” of opportunity with the new UV printer.
“We saw it as a good entry point to ... keep the work on campus,” she says.
Related story: Laura Lockett: From Secretary to Director
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.