Widening Possibilities in Pennsylvania
Though the new HP Latex 335 at the Pennsylvania College of Technology was initially purchased for educational purposes — to print car wraps for the college’s automotive technology program — Joe Geffre quickly recognized the potential of the 64˝ print-and-cut system.
“I shared with the administration that I didn’t want to focus just on the automotive area ... but that we should expand it to anywhere on campus that would be using graphics, vinyl or banners,” says Geffre, director of Mail and Document Services at the Williamsport, Pa.-based college. His nine- employee in-plant wanted to save the institution from the extensive cost of outsourcing these materials.
“We made an agreement to try to do more in the in-plant that was being outsourced to be able to save money for the institution,” he reiterates.
The in-plant started by looking at the expensive smaller runs for the institution and analyzing if it would be cost-effective to print them in-house. Geffre contacted departments that would likely need wide-format printing, such as public relations, and spent six months experimenting with different substrates.
“I would contact them and say, ‘Hey, these are the different substrates out there. Let’s try different things,’ and if it works, that’s great, and if it doesn’t, then we haven’t invested a whole lot of time and money into dealing with it. We can work with the designers and marketing, and we can turn around and start tweaking so we make the best product possible,” explains Geffre.
To ensure the in-plant turns out high-quality products, Geffre made sure his employees were well trained to handle the equipment. Lindenmeyr Munroe — the company that sold and installed the Latex 335 — sent trainers to the in-plant, and Geffre also sent staff to the company’s New Jersey showroom for training.
Adding the HP Latex 335 allows the in-plant to protect brand integrity at the college.
“We can control the message and we can control the look and we can protect the logo because it is staying in-house. It doesn’t damage our branding because now we’re controlling that,” Geffre points out.
He expects a fairly quick return on investment for the device.
“I would say less than two years for ROI on it,” he predicts.
Starting from car wrapping, the in-plant has now moved on to pull-up displays, wall graphics, labels, banners, custom-cut stickers, podium graphics and a lot more. The shop is still experimenting with different substrates.
“We are putting the wall graphics up and doing a lot more banners for the institution,” Geffre says.
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