Digital Color Printing: Delaware Dives into Digital Color
TUCKED INSIDE a nondescript brick building at the edge of campus, the University of Delaware’s Graphic Communications Center has brought a lot of favorable attention to the university in recent years. The quality of its offset printing has earned the in-plant numerous awards, including two Best of Show honors in the In-Print contest.
Now the 19-employee in-plant is bringing the Fighting Blue Hens into the spotlight once again by becoming one of the first in-plants to install a new Xerox iGen4 digital color press.
Unveiled at Drupa, the iGen4 brought several improvements over the iGen3, including auto density control, auto carrier dispense and an inline spectrophotometer. The results have been noticeable to Manager Rodney Brown.
“The quality is far superior to what we were getting before,” he remarks. In particular, colors are more consistent now than what the in-plant was achieving on the Xerox 7000 it previously used, he says. Solids come out much nicer too.
“We run a lot of solids,” affirms Jo Ellen Rathbun, Copy Center supervisor.
“Quality-wise, you’re sneaking up really close to a press,” adds Brown.
He’s comfortable enough with the quality that he plans to move at least half of the shop’s two-color offset work to the iGen4, along with about 25 percent of the four-color work.
The iGen4’s quality was put to the test right away with its very first job, a postcard that had already been run on an offset press but needed to be rerun due to a change. The customer, Brown says, couldn’t tell the difference.
The in-plant plans to continue pitting its iGen4 against offset presses by bidding on some State of Delaware jobs that have traditionally been printed offset. This is not to say that the in-plant is abandoning its sheetfed presses. Its five-color 20x28˝ Komori Lithrone 28 is as busy as ever, Brown says, and will be needed for years to come.
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, co-sponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.