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From the Editor: Out and About

March 2007 By Bob Neubauer
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SOMETIMES IT seems I’m chained to this desk, “observing” the industry through e-mails and Web sites. So I like to break away now and then to see for myself what’s happening in the world’s in-plants. Recently I caught a train up to New York to do just that.

On a frigid winter day I walked through a sea of scarves and hats to the United Nations’ headquarters to visit one of the largest in-plants out there. Paul Kazarov, chief of the Publishing Section, took me for a walk through the U.N.’s vast underground in-plant, filled with just about every type of printing and binding equipment available. One of the 75-employee in-plant’s biggest challenges, he said, is printing each document in the six official languages of the U.N. for simultaneous distribution.

Kazarov, who is retiring this month, has seen a lot of changes since he started there as an operator. Though modest about his role, he has clearly been behind many of the decisions that have kept this in-plant on the cutting edge. For example, it was one of the first print shops in New York to install CTP, back in 1996.

From there I took a nice long walk to the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 80th Street and Fifth Avenue (a fair hike) to see a very different type of in-plant. Behind a nondescript door in the gift shop and up a set of stairs, the museum’s 11-employee print shop was busy pumping out brochures, invitations and floor plans in eight languages on its two-color Komori. In another room, a Kodak Digimaster was printing booklets, flyers and the museum’s daily calendar of events.

This shop, not surprisingly, has some very critical customers—the art museum’s designers—so the quality of its work has to be top-notch. Though the in-plant limits itself to two-color work and outsources four-color jobs, Pressroom Supervisor Paul Ortiz dreams of upgrading to a four-color press so they can bring that work in-house.

Two weeks later I was back in New York attending an EFI seminar for in-plants. Afterwards I strolled over to John Jay College to talk with Mario De Leon, acting manager, and see his shop’s new Xanté PlateMaker5 (see story in news section). The college is doing so much color work that De Leon hopes to move beyond the shop’s two-color Hamada and get a five-color press.
 

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