NexPress Brings New Opportunities at Michigan Farm BureauJanuary 1, 2011 By Bob Neubauer
Sometimes, to get ahead you just have to cut ties and move on. That’s what happened at Michigan Farm Bureau Printing Services last winter, when the seven-employee in-plant finally decided that its four-year-old Xerox DocuColor 8000 was holding it back.
“We couldn’t grow,” explains Business Manager Karen Meyers. “We didn’t have a machine that we could grow with.”
So began a six-month search for a more robust digital color press that would enable the Lansing, Mich., shop to bring in more business. That search culminated in July with the installation of a new Kodak NexPress 2500—a big change for the long-time Xerox shop.
“One of the things we loved about it was the Dimensional Printing,” remarks Meyers. “No one in our marketplace can offer that.”
Kodak Dimensional Printing uses Clear Dry Ink to create a clear “raised” layer on top of a page after fusing for a tactile effect similar to thermography. So far, the in-plant has been using it to great effect on the marketing materials, postcards, thank-you cards, sell sheets and Christmas cards it prints for Michigan Farm Bureau, the state’s largest general farm organization. And since some 20 percent of the shop’s business comes from outside the organization, this capability has opened up some good growth opportunities for the in-plant.
Meyers has also been pleased with the quality and 5000-sheets-per-hour speed of the NexPress. In addition, the new machine prints on heavier stock and larger sheet sizes (13x19˝) than the 8000, she says.
One of the biggest productivity benefits, however, has been the “lights out” capability. The NexPress can be programmed to run multiple jobs after the shop closes for the night.
“We’ve added four hours of print time whenever we need to do that,” Meyers enthuses. “That’s definitely been an advantage to us as well.”
The output tray can hold up to 5,000 sheets, she says. It’s nice to come in, in the morning, and have several large jobs completed, she adds. Her NexPress operator can check in remotely during the evening to make sure there are no problems.
The Dimensional Printing capability, combined with the increase in productivity and ability to keep more work in-house, all helped the in-plant justify the cost of purchasing the NexPress, though Meyers adds, “It was not that much more expensive than our 8000 was.”