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Bayou Shop Goes Digital

March 2013 By Bob Neubauer
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Tight budgets in Louisiana and the need for more on-demand printing have compelled the Office of State Printing to slim down and digitize. The slimming down came in October when staff reductions brought the Baton Rouge operation down to 20 full-time employees plus five student workers. The transition from offset to digital technologies followed closely after.

In November, the Office of State Printing installed a Xanté Ilumina 502 envelope press, and in January it took delivery of a new 70-ppm Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C7000 color printer. 

Adrien Gill, assistant superintendent, praises the C7000’s color consistency, thanks to a built-in densitometer and its use of Simitri HD polymerized toner, which uses smaller, more uniform particles.

“From the first [sheet] to the end looks the exact same,” he says. The shop has been printing jobs on the C7000 that it previously did on its four-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 74—items like brochures, flyers, posters and saddle-stitched booklets. Thanks to the C7000’s inline punching, stitching and stapling, Gill says, jobs now require less labor.

“The machine’s pretty much finishing everything that we want it to do without having to add another employee to take that job and finish it,” he remarks. 

As for the Ilumina 502 envelope press, Gill has nothing but good things to say about it.

“That Ilumina is a superb machine,” he praises. He especially loves Xanté’s iQueue software, which estimates job cost based on the amount of consumables being used and the coverage.

“So we can better cost out those jobs to maximize our profit,” Gill says. 

The Ilumina has allowed the Office of State Printing to stop using its envelope press and go completely digital, eliminating lots of waste. Plus, the in-plant can print four-color envelopes now instead of outsourcing them. Gill says the in-plant is testing out magnetized stock from Magnum Magnetics on the Ilumina. 

After selling its Speedmaster 74, the in-plant now has only one offset press left, a BaumPrint 18. The shop creates plates for it with an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 CTP system, which it also uses to print posters.

 

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