Digital Color Upgrade for Dickinson College
The Dickinson College Print Center still had a year left on the lease of its Xerox iGen3 digital color press when the Carlisle, Pa., in-plant decided to replace it in July. Kenneth Ball, director of User Services, had two very good reasons for upgrading to an iGen4 Diamond Edition.
“Because of the more consistent quality on the color and less operator maintenance,” he explains.
The latter is thanks to a time-saving feature on the iGen4 Diamond Edition called Auto Carrier Dispense. Dry ink and carrier are now combined, yielding more consistent color uniformity and ending the need to stop the machine to change developer.
“It constantly feeds new developer so you don’t have to do the developer changes any more,” Ball declares.
This has increased uptime and yielded more productivity for the six-employee in-plant. To get more work done, the shop takes advantage of evening hours to run jobs after it closes. With the iGen3, this wasn’t always trouble free.
“We close at 5:00, so we would send jobs to run on the iGen3, and the color would be looking great when we’re leaving,” he says. In the morning, though, things wouldn’t look as good. “Halfway through the stack of the output something went wrong,” he says. The color at the end of the run didn’t match the initial pages. With the iGen4, that’s no longer the case.
“We find now that the whole output during the night is identical,” he says. “The quality of the color is much sharper and it’s consistent.”
This quality upgrade has been noticed by clients like Design Services, which has started sending the in-plant jobs it had previously outsourced. A big reason for this is the larger sheet size the iGen4 can take: 14.33x22.5˝. The in-plant can now produce some of the larger recruiting pieces it previously couldn’t do.
The expanded sheet size also lets the in-plant fit more post cards, invitations and business cards onto a sheet.
“The price per piece went down for our customers,” notes Ball.
Another cost that went down was the monthly lease payment for the Xerox iGen4, which Ball says is less than what the shop paid for the iGen3.
Accompanying the iGen4 is a new Duplo DFS-3500 booklet maker, also installed in July. It can create pocket-sized 3.5x5˝ booklets, a size the in-plant used to have to stitch by hand.
“Now it’s all automated on the Duplo,” Ball says.
The in-plant also just upgraded the billing and chargeback components of Print Shop Pro, from EDU Business Solutions to replace its 10-year-old versions.
“We definitely needed a new billing system,” Ball remarks. “The new Print Shop Pro is much more robust as far as all the reports that you can go in there and generate to see more information about your customers and what they’re actually doing.”