May 2006 Issue


Adding Design Services to Your In-plant

DON’T YOU just love getting a job file from an outside designer that has no chance of ever being printed the way it was designed? Perhaps the graphic artist has created a mail piece that doesn’t meet postal requirements or has used special fonts that were not included with the file. Or worse, the whole brochure was laid out in Publisher! If only those designers worked for you, then every job could hit the press problem free (or close to it). Graphic design has become an important and popular service for in-plants to offer. Already 73.7 percent provide design services, according to a recent

Collator Buying Tips

Selecting a Collator: If there is a big difference in price, there is usually a reason. It is always good to test the equipment on equal footing and speak to owners about what they like or dislike about the system they own and what drove their purchasing decision. —Bob Flinn, director of Business Development, Standard Finishing Systems Consider the reliability of both mechanical and electronic components, the number of years the manufacturer has been in business, the number of years the machine has been manufactured, the average life of the machine. Speak with other end users. If possible, visit a current user and

Cutting the Chemistry in Canada

Boyd Cranford knew the quality of his in-plant’s work would likely increase once it installed the new four-up Kodak Magnus 400S platesetter. But it wasn’t until the shop reprinted a job it had done last year using plates from the Magnus that he saw the improvement with his own eyes. “The difference was just amazing,” enthuses Cranford, manager of Printing Services at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s. The customer, he adds, was “ecstatic with the change. The image is just so much clearer, being first generation.” The 28-employee in-plant opted to use Kodak chemistry-free plates with the four-up CTP system, becoming one of the

Finding Creative Expression

A FORMER music major, Jane Bloodworth was working as an outside salesperson at an office supply company when fate intervened. A friend who owned an advertising agency asked her to volunteer as a coordinator on a large dairy industry kitting project. “He was impressed with my abilities and ended up hiring me,” recalls Bloodworth, business manager for the World Bank’s Printing, Graphics and Map Design unit in Washington, D.C. “It was a small agency, and I had an opportunity to do everything from writing and editing to production management and press approvals.” Bloodworth went on to become the director of travel


SOFTWARE E-ticketing with Hardcopy Jobs Rochester Software Associates has introduced QDirect.SCAN Connector for eCopy Share­Scan OP. QDirect.SCAN enables electronic job ticketing with hardcopy submission directly from multi-function printers (MFPs). Users log in for accounting purposes and specify options such as duplex, stapling and paper stock. Those choices, along with the scanned documents, are transmitted to QDirect, which generates a confirmation receipt that is printed at the requestor’s MFP. An electronic job ticket is automatically created from the user entry. The resulting print-ready file can be sent to any printer in the in-plant. Software Delivers Jobs ‘To Spec’ Quickcut has introduced QuickPrint 5, the

New NexPress in Texas

Variable data printing is a popular topic in Texas. “I get a lot of people who will call me and ask me questions about variable data printing,” remarks Steve Burdette, director of Campus Support Services at the University of Texas at Arlington. The in-plant has been providing personalized monochrome printing on its Kodak Digimasters, while outsourcing color variable print jobs to the University of North Texas, which runs an HP Indigo 3000. That has all changed now. The 25-employee in-plant just installed a new Kodak NexPress 2100 plus digital production color press with a NexGlosser glossing unit. Burdette plans to increase the shop’s variable data printing work, while

PCOM Cuts Chemistry with New CTP

When the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) added a Screen PlateRite 4000 to its in-plant seven years ago, it was happy to leave film behind and enter the computer-to-plate world. That world, though, was not entirely problem free. “It was starting to get expensive to eliminate the chemicals,” remarks Dean Gray, director of Materials Management. Plus, having to handle hazardous waste did not exactly make the in-plant an environmentally friendly place. The in-plant recently tackled this issue head-on by switching to chemistry-free Agfa :Azura plates. A new :Azura C85 processor has been installed, and the shop made an almost seamless transition to the new plates.

Picking the Perfect Printer

DESPITE THE rise of digital color printing, in-plants still have a pressing need for good black-and-white printers. These devices form the backbone of many an in-plant. In-plants can sink or swim depending on which printer they choose, though. To help you make the right choice, here are some tips from in-plant managers who have gone though the selection process. First Tip: Know what you’re getting “We did a lot of research,” says Bev Lucas, “and determined what features we needed, and determined which equipment would fulfill our requirements before we contacted vendors.” As manager of Printing Services at Bellevue Community College, in

Thriving in the DESERT

RISING FROM the barren desert along the north shore of the Great Salt Lake, Vic Conrad’s in-plant boasts one of the country’s most desolate locations. “I look out my window and I see mountains and fields and desert,” says Conrad, manager of Publications/Media Support at ATK Launch Systems Group. His 53-employee operation in the basement of the ATK administration building is part of a sprawling complex of manufacturing facilities spread over a 20-mile area near Promontory, Utah. The main plant itself covers about 19,000 acres. “We have our own water supply and electricity and cafeterias,” he adds. “There’s nothing here, just us.”

Variable Data Printing: A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

DESPITE THE tough competitive environment of the past few years, there are still many printers who haven’t seized on new ways to increase their profitability and profits. Studies have shown that print service providers who offer value-added services such as fulfillment, design/creative, digital asset management and/or full color personalized mailing are still in the minority. Change is afoot, however, and for good reason. According to Ralf Schlozer, associate director at Info­Trends/CAP Ventures, a digital print and document technology analyst, 23.6 percent of all digital print jobs currently contain variable data. He predicts that the growth of variable data printing (VDP) will be driven