Every in-plant outsources something; the smart ones look for opportunities to bring those outsourced services in-house.
For Whatcom Community College, in Bellingham, Wash., one of those services was perfect binding. Diane Cronk knew there was a demand; her shop has been outsourcing perfect binding for years. So, in May, the program manager of Copy, Print & Mail Services installed a Duplo DB-280 perfect binder, and everything changed.
“We don’t have to outsource [binding] anymore,” she reports.
Since then, the shop has perfect bound thousands of books: course packs, cookbooks, coloring books, even a coffee table book. The operator just drops each book block into the clamp. The machine automatically does the notching, gluing and nipping, processing some 200 books per hour, and the dust extraction system keeps the air clean. Books are trimmed offline on the in-plant’s Challenge cutter.
Ease of use was a priority since the union shop is running with about half its normal employee count. It usually has four employees in printing, two in mail, and several part-time workers and work-study students. Now just four full-timers and a part-timer handle print and mail. Cronk is hopeful the work-study students will return in the fall.
A Xerox shop, Copy, Print & Mail Services uses a Versant 180, a D135, and two 125s, in addition to a Xanté Impressia. Cronk also manages a fleet of 23 MFDs around campus. Located about as far north in Washington as you can get before crossing into Canada, the 11,000-student community college gets its name (Whatcom) from a native word meaning “noisy water.”
The biggest perfect binding job the in-plant has done to date — and one that helped the shop justify getting the DB-280 — was an order for 2,000 books from an outside customer at a labor union that insisted another union shop get the work. At the time, Copy, Print & Mail Services could handle the printing, but not the binding.
“They were not going to even have us print the books if we couldn’t perfect bind them in-house,” Cronk says.
This was the catalyst for acquiring the DB-280.
One nice feature of the perfect binder is that it can also do tape binding and padding. The latter feature came in handy on a textbook padding job the in-plant did for another college. The padding had been time consuming on the shop’s padding press. Not so on the DB-280.
“It saved a lot of time on those,” Cronk reports.
Overall, she’s very pleased with the new addition and feels it will open up new business opportunities.
“It’s old technology, but it’s new to us,” Cronk says.
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.