Missionary Society Adds Trio of Digital Devices

Dwight Cooke, prepress operator at the Oblate Missionary Society’s in-plant, stands next to his shop’s new Ricoh Pro C901s Graphic Arts+ digital color printer, with the new Ricoh Pro 8100EX behind him.

When the Oblate Missionary Society Inc. (OMSI) installed a Ricoh Pro 900 digital color printer in 2008, the fund-raising arm of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate had no idea that it was the first installation in the country.

“We weren’t really aware that we were the guinea pigs,” laughs Dwight Cooke, prepress operator.

It was fast and the quality was good, but it also had more than a few bugs, requiring numerous service calls. Still, 15 million clicks later, the 20-employee in-plant decided to stick with Ricoh when it upgraded its digital printing operation recently with three new devices:

  • A Ricoh Pro C901s Graphic Arts+ digital color printer, running 90 pages per minute (ppm).
  • A Ricoh Pro C751EX digital color printer, with 75-ppm speeds.
  • A Ricoh Pro 8100EX black-and-white printer, printing 135 ppm.

Cooke has been very happy with the new printers, especially the C901s. Compared to its predecessor, it requires far less maintenance, can print on a range of stock thicknesses without deviating from its 90-ppm speed and the quality of its 1,200×1,200-dpi output is superb.

“The registration from front to back has improved in a major way,” Cooke praises. He’s also pleased with the improvements resulting from Ricoh’s switch to oil-free fusing in the C901s. This and the use of more uniform toner particles have resulted in near-offset quality.

High quality printing is very important for OMSI and the international order of Catholic priests and brothers it serves. Over the years its fund-raising efforts have advanced from handwritten letters from priests to full-color materials printed on a five-color Komori press. Matching this quality in the short-run promotional pieces and thank-you mailings it sends to donors is crucial. Cooke feels the C901s has been up to the task.

These materials feature high-quality photos of the missions where donor contributions are being used. In the past, the in-plant printed shells on the Komori and added the personalized information digitally, but now the C901s can handle it all.

The new device offers some great productivity enhancements too.

“I don’t ever have to stop the machine to load paper,” Cooke remarks.

He likes the printer’s ability to use a variety of stocks, up to 350 gsm.

“It doesn’t slow down,” he remarks. “It runs just as fast doing that as it does if you run 20 lb. bond.”

He has also had success running 50 lb. offset sheets.

“I ran 8,800 sheets duplexed without one misfeed, without one problem, without one wrinkle,” he proclaims. “It went off without a hitch.”

Though Ricoh doesn’t recommend using offset paper on its printers, it’s a cost-saving measure for this donor-funded organization.

“The reality is, we’re trying to save money here,” Cooke notes. “We’re a non-profit. The digital papers happen to be more expensive. It’s to our advantage to be able to run [offset] stocks through there too.” Especially since the in-plant buys them in bulk for its offset operation.

The in-plant got the new Ricoh Pro C751EX to replace a Konica Minolta CPP 500.

“We did it for color redundancy,” Cooke explains. “The quality is there, the versatility is there to do everything the 901 does.”

At 75-ppm, it’s a little slower than the C901s, but the quality is just as good, with a resolution of 1,200×4,800-dpi. The Ricoh Pro 8100EX also boasts stellar quality.

“It’s just been a blessing,” Cooke says. “It’s a workhorse machine.”

All three devices came with EFI Fiery front ends, which Cooke saw as necessary to provide the processing speeds and high image quality the in-plant needs.

“Without the Fiery, we’d be fighting a lot more problems,” he says.

Related story: Mission Com-Plate

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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