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From the Editor: Another Successful ACUP

June 2013 By Bob Neubauer
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I just returned from my 18th Association of College and University Printers conference, as far-fetched as that sounds. (It's true, though. I counted them up.)

Despite the daily rain, it was another great conference, bringing together managers from all over the country (and the world, since the U.K. and Australia were represented). I knew the majority of managers from past ACUPs or from stories I'd written about them, but it was great to see 30 first-time attendees and to hear about the issues they're facing back home.

I was glad to finally meet Robert Donahue from Franklin University, whose brand new in-plant I wrote about last year after he convinced his Ohio university he could save it money by bringing printing in-house. At ACUP, he told me of some recent new bindery and inkjet equipment he has added.

In a similar vein, I talked with Kenneth Toy, of Harvard University, which closed its in-plant years ago. Toy is attempting to bring in-house printing back to the university that hosted ACUP's first organizational meeting in 1964.

Several in-plants dropped hints that they were exploring 3D printing technologies, the first time I've heard talk of actual expansion into this new realm. That's not to say in-plants aren't interested in 3D printing; When Ken Macro, soon to take over as head of the Graphic Communication Department at California Polytechnic State University, started detailing advances in 3D printing during his keynote presentation on ACUP's second day, every ear in the room was tuned in. Most of those I quizzed later said Macro's talk on printed electronics, smart packaging and 3D printing, among other topics, was the highlight of the conference, filling them with hope for the future of printing.

Another highlight was our visit to the in-plant at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The 11-employee shop, about 80 miles southwest of Minneapolis, has an impressive collection of equipment, including a four-color press (and a friendly staff that didn't mind our probing questions).

For the first time this year, ACUP held an awards banquet, honoring in-plants for quality print and design in five areas, as well as for laudable accomplishments in sustainability, collaborative service, meeting difficult deadlines and more. Jimmy Friend, retired director of printing at the University of North Texas, acted as emcee of the ceremony. Of special note were the very first ACUP Hall of Fame award recipients: Ray Chambers and Maury Kane, both long-time ACUP supporters and past hosts. Maury recently retired from Temple University's in-plant, and Ray (as all IPG readers know) has helped many in-plants as a consultant and IPG columnist/blogger. Hats off to them and all award winners.

 

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