Color Quality Inspires Change at CedarvilleDecember 2013 By Bob Neubauer
When Cedarville University Postal & Print Services installed its Ricoh Pro C901 Graphic Arts Edition digital color printer in 2011, the 10-employee operation was quite happy with it. It greatly improved the quality of the color materials printed for the university’s Enrollment Services division, making the in-plant an integral part of the university’s marketing efforts.
So when the Cedarville, Ohio-based shop’s other color printer, a Canon imagePRESS 6000, was approaching the end of its lease this year, the in-plant naturally expected to upgrade to another Ricoh device.
Then Konica Minolta came calling.
Tammy Slone, manager of Retail Services, agreed to meet with Konica Minolta representatives, but she told them flat out that they had little chance of making a sale.
“I had no intention of changing from Ricoh at the time because we had a good relationship with them. But once we saw what the Konica Minolta [bizhub PRESS C8000] could do, we were like, ‘wow!’ ” Slone recalls. “Their equipment sold itself.”
She brought Chad Jackson, director of marketing from Cedarville’s Creative Services department, to see the C8000, and he tested some of his files on the 80-page-per-minute machine.
“He said, ‘This is probably the closest thing to offset that I have seen,’ ” Slone relates. “He was really impressed with it.”
On June 30, the in-plant took delivery of the C8000, which boasts 1,200x1,200-dpi resolution using Simitri HD toner; Screen-Enhancing Active Digital Processing (SEAD) technology to maintain accurate image stability; and 10,760-sheet paper capacity for long runs. The faster speed alone has had a major impact on productivity.
“We’ve actually been able to bring in more work because of that,” Slone says.
She especially likes the glossy look of color pieces printed on the C8000, enabled by a second fuser unit in the device. This enhances the look of the brochures, table tents, post cards, direct mail pieces and other items the in-plant prints.
When printing on pre-diecut sheets, the C8000 excels, Slone says.
“This gives you really good, crisp coverage clear up to that cut,” she says.
Another bonus is a built-in humidifier, she notes.
“We always hate wintertime here in Ohio because you get static,” Slone says. “They put that humidification system in the machine, which is a great idea.”
The in-plant did not put inline finishing on the C8000, since it can use the Plockmatic booklet maker on the Ricoh Pro C901.
Much of what is printed on the C8000 is variable data work, Slone says, since Enrollment Services has embraced personalization in its marketing pieces. Being able to assist in these efforts has been hugely rewarding, she says.
“I think the best thing that we ever did was start working with our marketing department,” she declares. “I really think that if you don’t move in that direction, you’re going to have a hard time sustaining your business.”