A Safer Cutter at Winona State University

For 33 years, Winona State University’s Print Shop had been using the same 30˝ power cutter. But when the shop upgraded its prepress and press operations last summer, Supervisor Greg Johnson decided that a new cutter was the next logical step. “With a constant turnover of student employees, we not only needed a dependable machine, but one that was safe and easy to operate,” says Johnson. So in January the Winona, Minn.-based shop installed a new Heidelberg POLAR 78X cutter. The staff was using it within days of delivery. “The old cutter...did not have all the safety features that the POLAR has,” Johnson says.

A Thought Leadership Workshop

LAST MONTH I had the opportunity to join about two dozen in-plant managers in Rochester, N.Y., for a Thought Leadership Workshop, organized by Xerox. As part of its effort to better understand the concerns of in-plants, one of its most important customer groups, Xerox has hosted several of these workshops for in-plants to give them a chance to network with one another, help each other resolve common problems and learn about Xerox technology. I was invited to give the keynote address at the kickoff dinner. Xerox had assembled a great group of in-plant managers, most of whom I had never met before. They

DI Press Brings New Opportunities

LIKE MANY states, Georgia has been experiencing a budget crunch in recent years. To cope, the state mandated a 6 percent budget cut and banned all equipment purchases. So how, then, in a penny-pinching environment like this, was Columbus State University Printing Services able to install a four-color Presstek 34DI digital offset press in July? “We were able to justify the DI press...because it could pay for itself,” explains Manager Randall Bramlett. “More than a third of our print volume was going outside at commercial rates, and bringing it back in-house stood to quickly pay for the press and then save the university

Graph Expo Outperforms Expectations

GRAPH EXPO took over Chicago for four days last month, bringing the best of Drupa to U.S. soil. Thousands of printers turned out to see what the 600+ vendors had to show. They saw several striking changes from years past. For one thing, offset presses were not a dominant sight. Wide-open floor space typified the booths of many offset vendors. Even Heidelberg had just one press on hand, focusing instead on using Prinect to fully integrate a print shop. manroland showed no presses, but highlighted its service contract portfolios. This contrasted sharply with the booths of digital press manufacturers, which crammed as many

Ike Devastates University, Spares New Press

IT HAD been a test of perseverance, and Otis Johnson had finally won. Three years ago, the manager of Printing and Graphic Services at the University of Texas Medical Branch put in a proposal for a direct imaging offset press. He had analyzed the amount of short-run, four-color work his in-plant was producing on two-color Heidelbergs and decided a DI press would be the perfect solution. But before his proposal could be approved, the university president retired. The interim administration would not act on it, so Johnson waited patiently. When the new president came on board, Johnson tried again. This time he got

Otter Tail In-plant Makes Its Move

When Otter Tail Power Co. decided to put its in-plant’s basement facility to a different use, Scott Nelson jumped at the chance to move his 12-employee operation to new quarters. And because the in-plant has a thriving insourcing business that brings in good revenue for the Fergus Falls, Minn.-based power company, Otter Tail didn’t hesitate to fund the move. In September, the in-plant began operating out of its new 7,200-square-foot facility, just a half block from its old location. Nelson says the new plant is better in many ways. “It’s more of a storefront operation,” he says. Customers used to have to go into

Remaking an Analog Shop

IT’S A good thing Catherine Chambers isn’t afraid of a challenge, because that’s exactly what she got when she accepted the position of manager of Printing & Mailing Services for the State College Area School District in State College, Pa. “I replaced an excellent manager [Gary Burris] who’d been in the position for 38 years,” she explains. “It was my job to take an analog print shop, complete with three offset presses, and bring it into the digital age.” And with more than 20 years of experience in managing print, copier and mailing functions in higher education and the private sector, Chambers was

Rodney Vessell: Every Day Is A New Battle

FOR RODNEY Vessell, Missouri State Printer, working in the printing industry was never part of his plan. A native of Farmington, Mo., a town of about 10,000 people, Vessell graduated from Farmington High School in 1980 with one thing on his mind: basketball. In fact, he attended the University of Missouri on a full basketball scholarship, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. Upon graduation in 1984, he started sending out résumés. One of them found its way into the hands of Gary Judd, the Missouri State Printer. Judd called him for an interview. “After college, I had no

Soft Proofing: Fact and Fiction

SOFT PROOFING seems to be causing at least some degree of discomfort in the in-plant world. Should we be offering it? How do we do it? What exactly is it? We use soft proofing a lot at the University of Missouri. Our designers and a good number of our customers really like it. We send PDF proofs to customers during the design stage. Our designer exports the job file into a PDF as soon as it is designed and sends it to the customer. Soft proofs save customers money on one or possibly multiple sets of proofs. For example, the least

University Managers in Cowtown

IN-PLANT MANAGERS from 19 states and Canada gathered last month at the historic Stockyards in Fort Worth, Texas, for the combined Southeastern University Printing and Digital Managers Conference (SUPDMC) and Texas Association of College and University Printers (TACUP) conference. While billed as a regional conference, the event’s theme, “Making the Tough Decisions,” attracted representatives from as far away as California, Colorado and British Columbia. The conference was organized and hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Print and Mail department, led by Director Steve Burdette and Assistant Director Mary R. Burdette. The 65 attendees from 40 different schools were treated to a dynamic

University of California-Davis Installs Digital Press

With 42 employees, the University of California-Davis Repro Graphics is one of the country’s larger in-plants. Its Heidelberg presses churn out high volumes of flyers, forms, newsletters, surveys and more for the university. When it came to digital color, though, the in-plant has been mostly sending those jobs to outside printers—until now. “Our volume was continuing to climb, and it was getting to the point where we realized that we needed to make that next jump, which is going to a digital press,” notes Ed Dunn, client service and business development manager. The press the in-plant

University of N. Texas Consolidates In-plant

University of North Texas Printing/Eagle Images has completed a major move that consolidated its front office, prepress and production copy areas. For years, the 33-employee in-plant’s copy operation was in a separate building. This distance often inhibited communication between staff members. “It was kind of like a team divided,” remarks Director Jimmy Friend. “Now you have everybody in the dugout with you.” The in-plant’s front office moved to a different location within the University Services Building in June. The prepress department—including the in-plant’s two HP Indigo digital presses—relocated in early July. At the end of that month, the copy operation moved into the

UT-Austin Inks Copyright Deal with CCC

Having seen the fate of schools like Georgia State University, which was sued by publishers earlier this year for violating copyright laws, the University of Texas-Austin recently decided to purchase annual licenses from the Copyright Clearance Center. The CCC offers licenses and permissions to publishers’ content and collects their royalties. “The university wanted to make sure that we’re following all the guidelines and making sure that the publishers are getting the restitution that they deserve,” explains Steve Meadows, Copy Center manager. The in-plant has been securing copyright releases for many years for the course packets it produces. Richard Beto, director of Document Services,