The snowstorm that shut down the University of West Georgia (UWG) and much of nearby Atlanta in January was nothing compared to the gale that nearly blew away UWG's in-plant a few years ago. Back in 2009, UWG administration floated a plan to shutter the school's Department of Publications and Printing and reallocate funding. The idea was to begin contracting for printing services with outside vendors.
To handle the increasing demand for personalization at Iowa State University, Steve Weigel, director of Printing & Copy Services, needed a digital press with more speed. So in September, he decided to upgrade the in-plant’s Kodak NexPress 2100 to a NexPress SX3300 digital production color press.
When will an inkjet production press make its way into your in-plant? The technology is advancing steadily, and a handful of in-plants have already invested in it, but for most managers, inkjet means wide-format, not high volumes and high speeds.
Is it time to invest in inkjet? It's a simple question that lacks an easy answer. For a printer that has the volumes to justify laying out $2 million to $3 million for a production inkjet workflow, the process of moving forward can be slow and methodical.
It is not altogether clear whether Catherine Chambers believed in fate when it came to choosing her career as an in-plant manager. As the director of Printing and Mail Services at Virginia Tech sees it, it just “kind of happened.”
Winter was just settling in at the University of Cincinnati's campus back in January of 2012 when the sneak attack came. Agents from the facilities management (FM) arm of a popular print equipment vendor set up a meeting with the university's financial committee. With no one from the in-plant present, they began dishing out promises of cost savings if the university allowed the FM to handle its printing.
Though direct mail, books and transactional work seem to be the holy trinity of the production inkjet digital printing church, there are murmurs of a fertile ground beyond the big three that will open the door for commercial printing, package printing and beyond.
More than 90 college and university in-plants, ranging in size from 1 employee to 100, responded to a recent IPG survey. Here are some of the interesting facts we learned.