Westside’s Story: Digital Makeover Fuels Growth
Bob Mason knew his in-plant needed to update its equipment. Faculty and staff at Omaha’s Westside Community Schools wanted better quality workbooks, tests and teachers’ guides than what the in-plant’s old A.B.Dicks were pumping out.
“Everything is computer generated—and we were operating from electrostatic masters,” reveals Mason, manager of the four-employee in-plant.
The main problem Mason faced was lack of space. With less than 900 square feet to its name, Printing Services simply had no room for a large digital press.
“There was a lot of equipment out there that was too large for us,” he affirms.
Recently, after a year of searching (and studying IPG to see what other in-plants were using), Westside Printing Services finally went digital. Its presses and platemaker were hauled away, and in their place was installed a monochrome Océ VarioPrint 6250 and a color Océ CS665 Pro. Also, a new 125-ppm Xerox 4127 replaced the shop’s Nuvera.
Mason has been very pleased with the results.
“The quality’s a lot better, and we have more versatility,” he proclaims.
Where in the past the in-plant didn’t print any four-color work, now it can easily handle four-color brochures, posters, newsletters and more for the 12 schools it serves. As a result, Mason says, the shop’s work volume has increased by 25 percent.
To justify the cost of the digital equipment to management, Mason pointed out the growing repair costs for the old presses, and the difficulty he had finding parts.
“The cost of the parts had tripled,” he notes.
He also showed upper management stories in IPG so they could see how other in-plants were upgrading their -equipment.
To beef up its bindery, the in-plant added a GBC DigiCoil Automatic ColorCoil inserter. In the past, employees had to manually collate pages, then punch them and spin the coils in by hand. Now pages are punched on the Océ VarioPrint 6250 and coils are inserted on the Digicoil. This has been a huge time saver, says Mason.
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, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.