Six Colors, No Debts
These days, who can afford a new six-color press? At University of Missouri-Columbia Printing Services, it was just a matter of saving up.
How can you buy a brand new six-color press without going into debt—or begging your management for money?
Wayne Merritt knows.
His in-plant at the University of Missouri-Columbia has just installed a new six-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster 102 perfecting press.
And he doesn't owe anyone a cent.
"In the last four years we have managed to save enough money to buy it outright," reveals Merritt, director of Printing Services. The shop's savings, he added, were about $2 million.
It helps that Printing Services is not budgeted by the University but must support itself on its own profits. Last year, Merritt says, the 103-employee shop brought in $8.5 million in printing and copying sales. The new press will allow the in-plant to handle that business much more efficiently, he says, chiefly because of its speed and automation.
"It's the old business of, 'you can't do it fast enough,' " Merritt explains. "Speed seems to be the big thing nowadays."
The Heidelberg, he says, runs 13,000 sheets an hour in perfecting mode, compared to just half that with the shop's previous capabilities. It has cut makeready time down from one hour to 10 minutes due to its advanced automation features, like auto plate insertion, auto register and auto blanket wash.
"The pre-inking allows you to be up to color almost instantly," Merritt adds.
With the increased speed and automation, he says, the shop can work faster without raising its rates. This efficiency, Merritt adds, more than the desire to increase business, was behind the press purchase.
Second Six-color Press
This is not the in-plant's first six-color press. It has been running a six-color, 40˝ MAN Miller for years, as well as a two-color MAN Miller and a two-color Heidelberg. The old six-color isn't going anywhere, either, making this one of the only in-plants operating two six-color presses. Merritt says that the old press has more value as a back-up press than it would as a trade-in. And with a 50,000-square-foot facility, he's got the space to keep both of them.