NexPress Brings New Opportunities at Michigan Farm Bureau

Showing off the new Kodak NexPress 2500 at Michigan Farm Bureau are Jeff Berry, digital operations supervisor, and Karen Meyers, business manager.

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 (13×19˝) 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.”

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.
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