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‘Copy Shop’ Transforms Into Production Color Print Operation

Elon University Printing Services just installed a Ricoh Pro C900 digital color production system

December 1, 2010 By Bob Neubauer
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When Wesley Grigg started as manager of Elon University Printing Services a year and a half ago, the three-employee in-plant wasn’t exactly viewed by university departments as a provider of top quality printing.

“This was pretty much just a copy shop,” confesses Grigg. Having shed its offset presses a year before his arrival, the Elon, N.C.-based in-plant specialized in black-and-white copies. And though it had an Ikon CPP 500 color printer, the shop charged so much for color that most people went to local quick printers instead, he says. 

For Grigg, who had 20 years of printing experience under his belt, this was not acceptable.

“I wanted to do color,” he declares. 

So when the lease on the CPP 500 was nearing its end, he took action. 

“The first thing I looked at was how much was being spent off campus,” he says. He found that close to $1 million a year was going to outside shops.

“My goal was to get as much of that back on campus as possible,” he says. 

To do that, he knew he needed a much more robust color device. So he looked at printers from Xerox, HP, Canon and Konica Minolta, finally narrowing it down to either a Xerox 700 or a Ricoh Pro C900. In the end, Ricoh won out. In September, the in-plant installed the 90-page-per-minute, 1,200x1,200-dpi digital color production system.

“I’m very impressed with the registration, front to back,” he remarks. And perhaps most importantly: “We’re able to hit our school colors now. We were unable to do that before.”

This kept the shop from doing a lot of university work in the past—work that has now started flowing in. In fact, one big feather in Grigg’s cap was being trusted to print the Elon Annual Report, a job that was always sent off campus to get the highest quality results. 

“We were able to produce this job at a fraction of the cost, and they were very pleased with the quality, to say the least,” Grigg reports. 

The in-plant’s biggest customer is now Elon’s Athletics department. The Ricoh Pro C900 prints all the department’s business cards, flyers, post cards, membership mailings—everything but the football programs, though Grigg adds, “I expect to get the football programs next year, as they have been very, very, pleased with everything we do for them.”

 

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