Folder Makes Impression on Long Island CampusFebruary 2014 By Chris Bauer
The start of each new semester at Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y., is not only a busy and stressful time for professors, faculty and the more than 25,000 students; the pressure is also on the eight-employee in-plant to produce a variety of classroom materials, marketing pieces and signage for the campus.
"Our busiest times are before the semesters and at commencement time, because we graduate thousands of students every year," notes Tom Conigliaro, director of College Printing and Publications. "We are a cranking in-plant shop. We stay really busy."
Conigliaro oversees offset and digital printing for the Long Island school, as well as the copy centers. All told, the in-plant produces almost 2 million pieces per month.
To help keep up with the college's strong demand for printing and binding, the in-plant installed a two-station, pile-fed Heidelberg B20 Stahlfolder in 2013, retiring a Stahl 2640, which had been in operation since the 1970s.
"We looked at some other manufacturers, and we went with Heidelberg because we felt their equipment is far superior to anything else available," Conigliaro praises.
He notes that his shop is well versed at repairing its own bindery equipment, which was a big reason he has been able to keep machines from the 1970s running.
"Where, at some shops, equipment would have had to been replaced 10 years ago," he notes, "we have been able to keep it going."
Still, nothing can breathe new life into an in-plant like an infusion of the latest technology.
"The new equipment has been an incredible help to get jobs out faster," Conigliaro contends, noting that he has received positive feedback from customers regarding the shop's quicker turnaround times. "The B20 has been an absolute asset."
The in-plant is also home to a Polar 92 cutter. While the cutter is five years old, Conigliaro says it runs like a brand new piece of equipment.
"Five years in the world of cutters is like last week," he explains. "That machine is another real beast."
Conigliaro admits that, since the shop is considered a government entity, getting funding for new printing and bindery gear can be tough.
"But we are one of the few government entities that does well," he points out. "So we are upgrading slowly but surely. We just upgraded to computer-to-plate."