Frank's Parting Gift
Frank Davis spent 45 years working for the University of Washington, most recently as director of Creative Communications. He steered its advance from a formidable offset operation to a lean digital enterprise.
Before Davis retired in June he had one final goal: upgrade the in-plant’s six-year-old Xerox iGen4 to a new iGen 5 120.
“He really wanted to get the iGen 5 in before he left,” says Interim Director Katy Folk-Way. “That was one of his personal goals. And it came in a week before he retired, so that was great. It was up and running before he was out the door.”
The iGen 5 came with an in-line C.P. Bourg stitcher, which can score, crease and three-knife trim, and can also be taken offline. It uses the EFI Fiery Command WorkStation front end. But the improvement in output quality from the new digital press is what Folk-Way is most excited about.
“The very fine print is so much crisper,” she says. “Everything is just so much sharper now.”
This lets the in-plant bring some outsourced offset work back in-house.
“A lot of those shorter runs we’ve been able to pull back in, because the quality’s so great,” she affirms. “The quality of the flood colors closes the gap between iGen and offset printing.”
Folk-Way also loves the 5th Print Station, which the in-plant uses to lay down white ink.
“We think that’s going to be great for our customers,” she says. “We’re really excited about it.”
The white can be used to accent the university’s signature purple color, used in all of its branding.
“Pantone 2685 is hard to hit, and the iGen does it consistently,” she says.
The iGen 5 can handle a sheet size of 14.33x26˝, perfect for jobs like trifold booklets. Running at 120 ppm, the iGen 5 is currently pumping out between 250,000 and 300,000 pages a month, Folk-Way says. It runs from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a workhorse,” she praises.
Though the iGen 5 120 is rated for 650,000 pages per month, Folk-Way is pleased that if volumes continue going up, the in-plant can upgrade the press to an iGen 5 150, which runs at 150 ppm and outputs up to 1 million pages per month.
“You can change the speed without changing the machine,” she says.
Davis was able to negotiate a great deal for the iGen 5, so it ended up costing the university significantly less than the lease costs on the iGen4.
Moving to the iGen 5 was an easy change for the shop’s operators, Folk-Way says, and they love the new press.
“They had a very easy transition,” she says. “It’s been great for morale. It’s just really fun to have this new, beautiful piece of equipment. It was really great to get it in before Frank retired. Frank really worked hard to get this approved.”
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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 more than 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.