A New Age of Print in San Diego
SAN DIEGO State University is an academically rich, urban university with more than 34,000 students, award-winning professors, top-notch research facilities and a location that serves as the gateway to Latin America. Like most universities—especially in California—SDSU is also very conscious of its environmental footprint and constantly monitors and works to reduce its impact on the environment.
In April of 2005, the university hired Leslie Rutledge to transform its in-plant, ReproGraphic Services. Her years of employment with commercial printers and graphic arts vendors made her the right person for the challenge.
“When I walked in the door on April 4, 2005, which is one of the busiest times for the shop, I found a shop that was operating with manual, paper-based processes and was having difficulty delivering to its potential,” says Rutledge, now manager of ReproGraphic Services. “The shop was wildly busy but not operating efficiently.”
Rutledge and her team of eight began by analyzing the current state of the in-plant and coming up with recommendations for revamping it. Key among those recommendations was replacing the shop’s outdated, chemistry-based computer-to-plate system and its two-color presses with a better solution to meet the demand for high-quality four-color printing.
Over the next 12 months, SDSU ReproGraphic Services did exactly that, installing an HP Indigo 1050 digital press and a Presstek 5334 DI press. The result was a completely digital workflow.
The Way We Were
SDSU had one of the first CTP systems in San Diego, an ECRM TigerCat, but by the time Rutledge took over, that device was a little out of date.
“I was very concerned that one day we would show up for work and it simply would not be working,” she reveals. “I wanted to be proactive in replacing it.”
Although the SDSU print shop had installed Printer’s Plan, from SoftUSE as its MIS system, it had been put to limited use. While new jobs were entered into the Printer’s Plan system, employees would then use the same information to write a paper job ticket by hand. This made it difficult to track jobs through to completion to ensure that deadlines were not missed.