January 2008 Issue


‘Flying into the Color’ at Mt. San Antonio College

The Xerox digital printers at Mt. San Antonio College have certainly gotten plenty of use over the years. “We just pretty much ran them into the ground,” reports Jim Carl, supervisor of printing. So the in-plant dug them up, traded them in and brought four new printers into its Walnut, Calif., shop: n A new Xerox DocuColor 5000 n Two Xerox DocuTech 135s, with FreeFlow digital workflow n A Xerox 4110 Since swapping its old Xerox 2060 for the 5000, Carl says, color printing at the four-employee in-plant has doubled. “We were averaging from 25,000 to 30,000 [monthly impressions] on the...2060,” he says. “But since we’ve got the 5000, we’ve

A Chat with the New Public Printer

HANDS DOWN, GPO topped our tallies of the largest in-plants last month. But the Government Printing Office has moved far beyond its middle name, putting it in a much different league than other in-plants. IPG editor Bob Neubauer recently talked with new U.S. Public Printer Robert C. Tapella about the future of GPO’s in-house printing operation and of the new ways GPO is handling the digital information it is charged with collecting and making available. >>> Offset vs. Digital Printing at GPO Robert Tapella: “Even though we’re making significant increases in what we’re doing digitally, we are still a majority offset factory. We

A Tradition Grounded in Print

PATRICK O’DONNELL is a man who values tradition. Married to his wife, Patricia, for nearly 38 years, O’Donnell has been committed to the print industry even longer. “I took printing at our local high school and just fell in love with it,” the Dearborn, Mich., native recalls. “I’ve always lived in the metropolitan Detroit area, and I’ve never done anything else but the printing business.” Today, O’Donnell is the manager of Document Production Services for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, for which he oversees three facilities—a main plant, with offset and digital printing capabilities, and two reproduction centers that

CTP, iGen3 Come to University of Washington

With $14.65 million in annual revenue, University of Washington Publications Services is the largest university in-plant, according to sales. But until August, it was one of the few big in-plants that had neither a digital color press nor computer-to-plate equipment. That just changed. The Seattle-based operation recently added both a Xerox iGen3 and an Agfa :Avalon chemistry-free CTP system. “Now it’s an all-digital workflow,” proclaims Frank Davis, associate director. “Whether it goes to the pressroom or it goes on the iGen, it’s all digital now.” So far the speed and quality improvements are making a huge difference. “Our designers and customer service reps

Digital Printing in Government

Government in-plant managers from the CIA, the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury and many other agencies met recently in Washington, D.C., to attend the second annual Digital Printing in Government Forum. The one-day event was organized by INTERQUEST, a research and consulting firm serving the digital printing and publishing industry. The main draw was new Public Printer Robert Tapella, who gave the keynote address to about 120 document professionals from more than 30 agencies. Tapella, who heads the Government Printing Office, provided an update of GPO’s document production and distribution strategy. He noted that GPO’s middle name often gets in the way

Examining the State of the Bindery

WHILE HARDWARE and software manufacturers have yet to devise a tonic that can cure the hung-over stitcher operator, many aspects of postpress efficiency have been adequately addressed...depending upon whom you ask. Some feel we have made leaps and bounds en route to shortening the after-press process; others believe we’re still being short changed. We’ve asked a group of industry experts their opinion on the progress made in automating postpress processes. Most agree that some areas have been bolstered, but they don’t agree on which areas. “I’d say binding, folding and stitching equipment have drastically improved to the point where we have eliminated a

From the Editor

FSC and the In-plant THE DEPARTMENT of Printing isn’t the only in-plant doing noteworthy things in the state of Washington. About 330 miles to the east, Washington State University is about to become one of the first university in-plants to receive its chain of custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Director of Printing Steven Rigby says WSU has a strong environmental commitment and is involved in several sustainability initiatives. “Since we’re the biggest user of paper products here, we felt like it was our duty to fall in line,” he says. Once the in-plant receives its certification, it will be

High Seas In-plant

It’s official: digital presses can float. Or at least the HP Indigo press 1050 aboard the Ocean Village Two cruise ship can. Ocean Village, a U.K.-based cruise company, brought the digital press on board to replace the two-color litho press it was using to produce menus, schedules, welcome packs and an on-board newspaper. The HP Indigo press 1050 will enable an even wider range of collateral to be printed than before. The press was installed by Digital People, an HP Indigo distributor, while the ship was docked in Germany. “The press had to be dismantled on land in order to fit through the one-meter-wide

Improve Productivity Without Spending Money

THE MOST productive plants I have seen have not accomplished high productivity by paying high wages. They have accomplished it by eliminating every cause of low productivity. Here are some of my observations and suggestions. Look first at the storage of raw materials and incoming work. Are they stored in a controlled area that is properly heated, air conditioned, clean and free from damage from lift trucks? Paper should be stored at 70

In-Print Contest Deadline Approaching

Less than three weeks remain before the deadline for In-Print 2008, the only printing contest exclusively for in-plants. With categories for offset printing, digital printing and a combination of the two, the contest is tailored for every type of in-plant. There are even separate categories for in-plants with fewer than five employees. If you’ve never entered before, do it this year. You can submit up to three entries at no cost. The deadline this year is January 31, so you don’t have much time left. Start collecting samples now. Go through your printed work and pick out examples that are perfect in every way

Inside the Expanding World of Wide-Format Imaging

WIDE-FORMAT digital imaging is one of today’s hottest markets. If you’re sending business outside of your facility because you don’t have the capabilities to fulfill orders, you could be ready to add a wide-format device. Wide-format digital imaging is taking printers to a whole new level in their product offerings. The technology allows companies to print on more surfaces than ever before and provide greater customization options. “It’s rewriting what the printing industry can do in terms of full color and variable data,” says Michael Robertson, president and CEO of the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). “Wide-format digital imaging has really shifted

Is It Easy Being Green?

“IT’S NOT that easy being green,” sang Kermit the Frog in “The Sesame Street Book and Record.” But more than 35 years after Kermit’s song debuted, it’s not only easier to be “green,” it’s actually cool to make green choices and acquire green products. A broader environmental awareness from corporations and consumers has pushed advancements in green technology despite the significant investment, research and innovation required to develop green products. Companies are sourcing paper from suppliers dedicated to sustainable forest management and offering multipurpose papers with up to 100 percent post-consumer recycled content. One of these companies is Xerox, which happens to be

Mike Barbie Passes Away

Michael Barbie, manager of Printing and Mailing Services at the University of Richmond, has died at the age of 65 after a two-year battle with brain cancer. A loyal member of the Association of College and University Printers, Mr. Barbie was known for his unfailingly relaxed, polite demeanor, traits that also won him the respect of his university. “The whole campus loved him because he was calm and easygoing,” remembers coworker Karen Pierce. “He showed everybody respect. He valued you as a person and showed respect for you, and I think because of that, everybody really loved him and appreciated him. He was very sincere.” Hired

New Bindery System Boosts Throughput at Colorado Springs School District 11

New Bindery System Boosts Throughput for School District Since 1981, Colorado Springs School District 11’s Production Printing Department had been using a 14-bin Bourg collator to create basic note pads, carbonless forms and other items that didn’t require folding or stitching. “It became increasingly difficult to find repair parts for our 26-year-old collator,” explains Joe Morin, manager, Production Printing. “And, as our customer requirements change, we are seeing more requests for full-color booklets, programs and marketing pieces, making the need for a more sophisticated inline finishing system apparent.” So last summer the in-plant purchased a Standard Horizon SPF-200A stitcher/folder with three VAC-100 10-bin towers and

Not the State Printer You Used to Know

WHEN YOUR in-plant has 153 years of history behind it, promoting it as a cutting-edge marvel with a “customers first” mentality can be a tough job. Jean-Luc Devis thinks he’s found a way. Just 15 months into the job, the new director of the State of Washington Department of Printing has made it his mission to rebrand his 130-employee in-plant in the minds of customers. His message: “We’re not the state printer you used to know.” Instead of using the state mandate to force agencies to use the in-plant—the strategy just a few decades ago—the Department of Printing (PRT for short) now strives to

OFFSET PRESSES: The Best Features

ANYONE WHO thinks in-plants are all unplugging their offset presses and going digital should talk to John Sarantakos. “We run three shifts, 24 hours a day, five days a week, and we can’t get it all done,” remarks Sarantakos, director of University of Oklahoma Printing Services. So heavy is the demand for magazines, books and other four-color work, the 75-employee in-plant has been forced to do the unthinkable: “There’s stuff that we have to turn away because we just can’t get it done,” he confesses. To remedy that, the in-plant is installing an eight-color, 40? Heidelberg four-over-four perfector this month—to join its existing two

The TransPromo Revolution

Over the past 18 months, a combination of new technologies, postal changes, and market conditions have created an environment in which transaction documents such as statements, invoices, and notifications can be used effectively to generate sales and long-term relationships. Now, companies are starting to use these communications to create ongoing, sustainable customer dialogues that promote products and services in addition to communicating transactional information. This transition is being coined the “TransPromo revolution,” and it is resulting in the use of more attractive, easier-to-understand statements that also encourage buying and other desired behaviors. Key TransPromo Drivers There are four key drivers that make right

The Wonderful World of Forest Certification

ABOUT A year ago, one of my clients came to me and said he wanted me to help his company get FSC certified. My response was F-S—WHAT? That was the start of a journey that has led me to become somewhat of a specialist in the relatively new world—for printers at least—of sourcing from well-managed forests. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, like many, I knew about recycled content, federal guidelines for its use, and a few other environmental paper-related preferences such as acid-free options. But I never gave much thought to virgin fiber or the forests from which they were sourced.

Third-party Lease Review

ONE OF the dilemmas in-plant printers have always faced is managing around the ironclad lease agreements forced upon them by capital equipment manufacturers—primarily the digital print engine suppliers. This is not to suggest that any of these suppliers have delivered lemons or won’t provide the expected maintenance support. Generally speaking, with ongoing maintenance, the basic equipment usually performs as expected. This is difficult to ascertain, however, as lawsuit settlements always include a nondisclosure clause hand-cuffing (or “mouth-cuffing”) the printer to stop him or her from ever describing their problems with the equipment and the actual settlement features. The number of lawsuits during

TRANS­PROMO: Printing that Fills the Bill

TRANSPROMO, ADDING marketing messages to bills/statements, is a rarity in today’s business climate—a printing segment that promises strong growth. Unfortunately, that spending is likely to come out of a company’s traditional direct mail budget. According to research done by Info­Trends, a Questex Co., color digital output of trans­promo work totaled more than 1.6 billion pieces in 2006. Info­Trends projects the annual output to approach 22 billion pieces by 2010, for a 91 percent compound annual growth rate. Several factors contribute to the bullish outlook for this market segment. 1|Bills and statements enjoy nearly 100 percent delivery and open rates, and consumers are interested