Bindery Upgrades Boost Quality, Productivity at Azusa

Inadequate finishing equipment was causing headaches at Azusa Pacific University Duplicating Services. So the in-plant found a creative way to overhaul its bindery.

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.

Evoking Change

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.

Related story: Azusa Pacific University: Course Work, Made Simple

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.

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