Talk from the Top Offset and Digital Printing
Top 50 in-plants say one of the keys to their success is modernizing their offset and digital printing capabilities.
By Eric Martin
You're probably sitting at a desk, not winded or breathing hard—but in all likelihood, at this very moment, you're racing against competitors to get work printed.
This competition is even more apparent at the in-plants on the IPG Top 50. They operate in a "get it done yesterday" mind-set, and that goal has pushed these successful operations to update their printing equipment with an eye solely on speed.
In 2003, for example, John A. Sarantakos, administrator of University of Oklahoma Printing Services, in Norman, Okla., added a MAN Roland double perfector press and saw an immediate boost in efficiency and productivity at his shop, which ranks 28th on this year's Top 50.
"It's the difference between a new car and an old one in terms of nearly everything," says Sarantakos. "We cut makereadies by a third to a half, and the run times are two to three times as fast as on our previous short-run two- and four-color presses. The hourly rates are a little more expensive, but the amount of work you get done in that time is almost exponential.
"As a university, the short- and mid-run color market is a significant part of our business, and doing it two to three times faster has made all the difference in the world in terms of our profitability," he says. "Print quality is better as well, with better controls and repeatability, but that almost goes without saying.
"The concept and processes with any printing equipment are similar," continues Sarantakos. "You can do a job with a 30-year-old press the same as with a new one, but not nearly as fast. Today, you have to push things through and make money."