New Four-color Press in ArkansasJune 2013 By Bob Neubauer
While many printers are watching their volumes head south, things are a little different for Arkansas State University Printing Services.
“Our volume just keeps growing, and the amount of work and the revenue we generate for the university keeps growing,” says David Maloch, assistant director of the nine-employee in-plant. “So they like us over here.”
That strong administrative support earned the in-plant a Distinguished Performance Award from the university for team achievement last year. It also came in handy when the in-plant put forth the bold suggestion of buying a brand new four-color press.
“They love what we do,” Maloch says of university administration. “So they were willing to help us fund this new press.”
And since students in the university’s four-year graphic communications program use the in-plant as a laboratory, they would also benefit from having access to the latest offset technology. (The in-plant’s director, Pradeep Mishra, is a graphic communications instructor.)
As a result of this support, the in-plant just installed a new four-color, 20x29˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster SX 74 with an aqueous coater last month, along with a new chemistry-free Heidelberg Suprasetter computer-to-plate system.
“It’s really exciting,” remarks Maloch. “It’s really going to improve productivity and quality and efficiency.”
Getting a new press had become a necessity, Maloch says. The in-plant’s old four-color manroland press was breaking down frequently, impacting productivity. The in-plant needed a fast, reliable press to keep up with its heavy workload of full-color brochures, newsletters, magazines, postcards and flyers—especially considering the hefty amount of work coming from off-campus customers. Thanks to a state law requiring agencies to use state-owned printing plants, the in-plant receives almost half of its revenue from state agencies and colleges.
Printing Services looked at presses from Komori, KBA and Heidelberg, then went out to bid.
“Heidelberg was the low bidder,” says Maloch.
The Suprasetter CTP system was part of the deal.