Burst Pipe Triggers Flood of UpgradesJanuary 2013 By Bob Neubauer
It was a fairly routine day at Allegheny College Printing Services. Manager Mark Pritchard was talking with a customer when a popping noise made him turn and look toward his in-plant's Ikon CPP 650 color printer.
"All of a sudden the ceiling opened up," he recalls. The deteriorating cap on a drain line directly above the 650 had burst open, and a deluge of black sludge came pouring through the ceiling tiles and onto the machine. Pritchard grabbed a sheet of plastic and threw it over the printer, but it was too late.
"By that time it was all over the walls, all over the machine, running down into the machine—it was a mess," he says.
Ikon tried to repair the 650, but in the end, because the lease was almost up on this and the in-plant's other color printer, an Ikon CPP 500, he decided to pay them off and get something new. As a result, the three-employee in-plant installed a pair of Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C6000 digital color printers in its Meadville, Pa., operation, about 90 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Both have large capacity drawers, inline booklet making, a GBC punch and two/three-hole drilling, and one also has a folder.
"The quality of both of them is exceptional," Pritchard praises. When a large job is split between the two machines, the consistency is impressive. "You cannot really see a difference," he contends.
The in-plant had considered getting a Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000, Pritchard reveals, but couldn't manage the cost.
"We've got to have two machines," he explains. "We were able to get the two of them cheaper than one of the 8000s, and actually as cheap as the 500 and the 650 Ikon." Printing Service signed a four-year lease on the equipment.
Since adding the printers, the in-plant has been doing a lot more color work, Pritchard says—an average of 65,000 color impressions per month. This work includes color course packs, post cards, brochures, reports and posters for campus events. He's happy with the faster turnaround time the in-plant is now able to provide.
"Between the two 6000s, we actually have 120 pages a minute if we need it," he remarks.
This isn't the only thing new at Allegheny College. In recent months, Printing Services also added two laminators—a 55˝ GFP 455 cold laminator with heat assist for posters and a 27˝ Ultima 65 hot roll laminator for smaller jobs—plus a Compac shrink wrapper, a new Powis Parker Fastback binder and a Fletcher F-60 straight line cutter for poster trimming.
"The Fletcher F-60 takes the place of our classic drywall T-square and razor blade knife and provides for a much safer environment for each of us and faster, straighter cuts," Pritchard notes. "Now our student workers aren't as scared to trim posters. I should have made this purchase long before now."
In addition, the shop just installed a new black-and-white Konica Minolta bizhub PRO 951 in late January to replace its Ricoh Pro 907. Pritchard says Konica Minolta offered to pay off the lease on the 907 and proposed a very reasonable click rate. The 951 has inline booklet making, a GBC punch and two/three-hole drilling.
All these equipment upgrades at Allegheny College couldn't come without terrific support from upper management. Pritchard says the in-plant's history of great service and fast turnaround has shown the college how valuable it is.
"The administration, they back us 100 percent," notes Pritchard. "They want to keep us here."