New Stitcher Boosts Efficiency at Ohio State
Starting at Ohio State University in 1997, and moving up to the position of plant manager at UniPrint was a welcome opportunity for Jim Strapp. Today, Strapp works with 38 employees along with 15 student helpers, to turn out printed materials for the Columbus, Ohio-based university — which has had a print shop since 1914. The in-plant’s annual operating budget is $6.6 million for print production plus $6.8 million for the university’s copier/printer program.
In the past two years, UniPrint has made several major equipment investments to create more efficiency throughout the in-plant and to keep up with the university’s needs. When the bindery department needed a major upgrade, Strapp addressed that by adding a Standard Horizon StitchLiner 5500 saddlestitcher.
“We needed a machine that was capable of running both offset and digital work,” says Strapp. “Standard Horizon’s reputation for quality combined with the service from Graphco was the final decision for the purchase.”
Added last summer, the Standard Horizon StitchLiner 5500 replaced a six-station Muller Martini 1509 saddle stitcher and an aging Duplo System 5000 bookletmaking system. Prior to the installation of the StitchLiner 5500, the jobs would come off of the digital press and then need to be cut on a cutter so they could fit on the Duplo.
“Now we can go straight to the StitchLiner 5500 from the digital press,” Strapp says, “which means less folding time since we are cutting four pagers for the StitchLiner 5500.”
Strapp adds that offset work that used to run on the Muller Martini with an operator and an assistant can now be run with one operator, and that jobs can also be stored so the operator can pull the same specs up on a repeat job.
With the new StitchLiner 5500, Strapp estimates a return on investment within two to three years. The shop uses it to produce booklets of various sizes, from 4.25x5.5˝ up to 8.5x11˝.
He says that it wasn’t difficult to justify this purchase to management, given all of the time that the StitchLiner 5500 saves.
“I just advised management of the StitchLiner 5500’s quick changeover and the ability to replace two machines with one,” he notes.
Since its installation, the saddle stitcher has received praise from the in-plant’s operators. What they like the most is how user-friendly it is and how simple it is to set up.
UniPrint has an impressive arsenal of sheetfed offset and digital presses in its facility, including:
- A six-color, 29˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74 press
- A five-color, 40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 press
- A Kodak NexPress S3000 digital press
- A Xerox Color 1000i digital press, added in 2015
- A Xerox Color C75 copier/printer
- Two Xerox D125 copier/printers
- Two Xanté Impressia digital presses
- An EFI Rastek H700 UV hybrid flatbed printer
- A Direct Color Systems Direct Jet 1024 UV printer, added in the summer of 2016.
The in-plant produces numerous items for the university including diplomas, commencement materials, university stationery, business cards and recruiting materials. One new business that Strapp is excited about is the printing of ADA-compliant signage for buildings on campus and for regional campuses. This work was previously outsourced and is now being printed on the Direct Jet 1024 UV printer.
Related story: Ohio State UniPrint: Always A Team Player