Bindery Upgrades Boost Quality, Productivity at Azusa
Bindery equipment is often a secondary thought for printers. Sometimes they put up with inferior equipment for years, even though it’s clearly slowing down their productivity.
That was the case at Azusa Pacific University Duplicating Services, which had long relied on the inline booklet maker on its Xerox 700.
“It would take two minutes to produce one book, and it would only be trimmed on the right side,” laments Denise Cundari, duplicating key production operator. She would then have to use an old MBM Triumph cutter to trim the top and bottom.
“Our customers were frustrated at the turnaround time,” adds Donna Rutherford, senior manager of Duplicating Services at the private Christian university, located near Los Angeles.
Then there was the shop’s old Rollem manual setup creaser/perforator.
“It took us hours to set it up, and it was never accurate,” says Cundari.
“Our labor costs were just through the roof,” comments Rutherford. “I would have to have employees either stay [late] or work weekends to finish [jobs] because of the finishing process.”
Clearly, something needed to be done. But like most in-plants, Duplicating Services was crammed into a small space, with no room for new equipment, and was not exactly rolling in money for upgrades. Beginning last summer, though, a chain of events, combined with some vendor deal making, enabled the small in-plant to bring in a host of advanced bookletmaking, creasing and cutting equipment, along with a new digital color printer, for a relatively minor increase in its lease payments.
It all started when Rutherford, after doing some research on the high volume of T-shirt printing being done by student groups, decided there were savings to be generated by adding screen printing equipment and getting into the garment business. To do this, she opened a new storefront operation (branded “Evoke, a print studio“) and moved the in-plant’s self-service graphics lab there, which included its HP and Roland wide-format equipment and a six-color Riley Hopkins screen press, along with a new M&R Diamondback XL screen press from Ryonet. The new graphics studio and print shop has been flourishing, providing T-shirts, posters, banners, canvas prints, mounting and much more.