Major Upgrades at Ashland University Bring Printing Back In-house

Operator Michael Collins examines a job produced on Ashland University Printing Services’ new four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 52, part of a major equipment investment at the Ohio university.

Michael Collins stands with the new press.

Luann Motter retrieves a plate from the Heidelberg Suprasetter.

After getting by for the past couple of decades with minimal investment, Ashland University Printing Services has carried out some major equipment upgrades, allowing the shop to bring a significant amount of printing back in-house.

About a year and a half ago, the Ashland, Ohio-based university invested in a new four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 52, along with a Heidelberg Suprasetter computer-to-plate device with Prinect workflow. At the same time, the shop replaced its aging Baum folder with a 20˝ Stahl folder from Heidelberg.

Then, in October, the six-employee in-plant followed this up by trading in three Ricoh and Konica Minolta digital printers for a Canon imagePRESS 1110P black-and-white printer with a punch and a Canon imagePRESS C6000 digital color press.

Paul Jones, director of Printing Services, cites one reason for the recent investments: “We were losing jobs to the outside,” he reports.

The shop’s old Ryobi 3302 could not provide the quality or turnaround customers wanted, he explains.

He credits University President Dr. Frederick J. Finks with understanding this and realizing that by upgrading the in-plant, the school would save money in the end. Jones adds that the in-plant will pay the university back for the equipment over a five-year period.

One large job the in-plant has brought in-house is the printing of the alumni magazine. In November the shop produced all 50,000 magazines—800,000 impressions—in 12 days. Jones says the in-plant saves the university $3,000 an issue.

“It’s really been amazing to see the speed and the quality of the work. It’s like night and day,” Jones says. “Now we’re turning jobs the next day or even the same day.”

Small Jobs Moving to Digital

The new Canon printers have also brought positive changes.

“A lot of those small jobs that we were doing on the press, we’ve moved that into digital,” Jones says.

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