Twin Digital Presses Boost Indiana University’s Color CapacityJanuary 2013 By Bob Neubauer
As he inches up on his retirement at the end of March, Joe Goss, director of Indiana University Document Services, has been readying his in-plant for a future without him. First he moved the 30-employee operation into a new facility last June, with improved workflow and closer proximity to the mail operation. Then, more recently, Goss oversaw the installation of two new Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C7000 digital color printers, one with a booklet maker.
The productivity jump between the shop’s old Konica Minolta bizhub PRO C6500 and C6501 printers and the new ones, he says, has been significant. For example, when printing on stock thicker than 20 lb. bond, the C6500 would slow down. Not so with the new devices.
“If we’ve got a 70- or an 80-lb. coated text sheet, we can run that at 70 pages a minute,” notes Goss, “whereas [on] our old Konica, we would probably have been down to about 35 pages a minute.”
The decision to replace the older printers was not hard to make. With color volumes approaching 300,000 pages a month, “we were just pushing them to the limit all the time,” says Goss—with service reps making regular appearances.
At first he thought the bizhub PRESS C8000 would be the best fit for his in-plant.
“Real quickly I realized the price jump between the 7000 and 8000 is very large,” he says. “I did not feel like we could afford to have two 8000s.”
Having two machines was a must, he says, since Document Services could not be without a back-up color device, due to the high demand. The in-plant investigated both the C7000 and the Ricoh Pro C751, supplying files and papers for test prints.
“Bottom line, either one of the machines would have been fine,” Goss reports. “The quality was superior to the 6500 and 6501, and any customer would have been happy with either one of them.”
So the decision boiled down to which company offered the best lease deal and incentives. Konica won.
One performance area where the C7000 excelled was in the running of heavy stock. The in-plant occasionally gets orders for postcards on 14-point stock. While both the Ricoh and Konica machines will run the stock, “the Konica’s the only one that will duplex print on 14-point stock,” Goss says. Having this ability has cut production costs.
Goss is excited about the variety of new substrates the machines can handle, such as back-lit plastic and cling-and-peel sheets.
“We’re printing magnets on these new machines,” he says. He has high hopes for getting into the specialty media market. Of course, this will probably happen after his retirement. After 28 years with Indiana University, and long-time involvement with industry associations like ACUP, Goss plans to retire on March 31, his 65th birthday.