Wide-Format Makes Florida District a ‘One-Stop Shop’
“I get calls left and right asking if we do banners or posters,” remarks Penny Mol, Print Shop manager at Osceola School District in Kissimmee, Florida. Up until December, her answer was always, “no.” Though her three-employee Orlando-area in-plant could handle everything from forms and business cards, to curriculum guides and graduation programs, wide-format work had to get outsourced.
Mol was determined to change that.
She started by surveying her customers at the 60-school, 69,000-student district about their wide-format needs. Armed with data showing overwhelming interest in wide-format printing, Mol created a proposal to get funding, confident the district would see the potential.
“We could definitely save the district a lot of money,” she proclaims.
In December her plans came to fruition when her in-plant installed a 64" Canon Colorado 1640 roll-to-roll printer with Onyx Thrive software. The 1640 uses UVgel ink, a UV-curable ink that bonds instantly on contact with the media, resulting in precise dot placement and prints that are instantly dry and ready to deliver.
“The colors are really vibrant,” Mol praises. “They do not scratch.” Nor do they fade quickly in Florida’s strong sunlight, she adds.
The printer was put to the test when the in-plant was called on to print 50 posters for the district’s Nutrition Services department on 6-mil removable adhesive vinyl from MacTac. The printing, she says, took less than an hour; the trimming, using a 72" Dahle hand trimmer, took much longer.
Since then, the in-plant received approval to get a Graphtec 9000 automated cutter. (At press time it had been delivered and was awaiting installation.) Mol says it will bring even more opportunities for the shop to print and cut stickers, lettering, and other applications it was previously unable to provide.
With the two new pieces of equipment, space is even tighter in the in-plant. The new devices share the floor with a pair of A.B.Dick presses; a Multigraphics press; and Canon varioPRINT 9010, 120, and 140 digital printers. To handle the work, she and her two coworkers are joined by a student worker through Project Search, which places people with developmental disabilities into job training situations.
Mol says the Colorado 1640 has definitely boosted the in-plant’s value to the district, enabling faculty and staff to get almost any kind of printing they need, without having to look outside.
“They can use us as a one-stop shop,” she says. “They can just go on PrintShop Pro [from edu Business Solutions] and do all their ordering right there.”
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.