Expanding into Four-color
By adding a four-color digital offset press, University of Southern Indiana Publishing Services has brought the majority of the school's four-color work back in-house.November 2012
A year and a half ago, the University of Southern Indiana's Publishing Services operation was outsourcing 75 to 85 percent of its four-color work. This bothered Terri Bischoff, assistant director of Publishing Services, at the Evansville, Ind., school. She knew the university would be better served if her in-plant could gain control over this work, improve the quality and reduce turnaround times. To do this, though, would require some new equipment.
After researching digital printing technology options, Bischoff and Director Leslie Parker came to a decision. They felt that a Presstek 52DI digital offset press would be the best fit and would allow them to handle the majority of four-color print jobs.
"We had the money in reserve, a skilled staff, and adequate space," Bischoff says. "We believed we could make this investment without breaking the bank."
So in July of 2011, the 12-employee in-plant installed the new press and started bringing four-color work back in-house. Customers noticed the difference right away.
"Not only do they appreciate the improved quality," Bischoff says, "but they also like the fact that we have complete control over the job rather than outsourcing the work to an outside firm who is juggling the priorities of many customers."
A Busy In-plant
Founded in 1965, the University of Southern Indiana (USI) enrolls more than 10,500 undergraduate and graduate students in 70 undergraduate majors, 10 master's programs, and one doctoral program. Publishing Services coordinates the production of all university publications and graphic needs from the initial idea to the last staple. The in-plant has first right of refusal for all university printing. Partially funded by the university, it also generates revenue to purchase equipment and pay salaries.
The in-plant's full-time production staff consists of three graphic designers, two press operators, one bindery technician and three copy center staff. For years, Publishing Services had been operating with a pair of two-color Hamada presses supported by a Presstek Vector platesetter and a Xerox 700. Its bindery consisted of a Perfecta cutter, a Stahl folder and a BinderyMate twin-head stitcher.
"When I got here over five years ago," says Bischoff, "we were still using film-based platemaking, and disposing of the chemistry was a real dilemma, to say nothing of the productivity impact. Adding a chemistry-free platesetter improved production time, increased our print quality, and moved us in a 'green' direction."