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Making the Big Plays

One of the country’s largest in-plants, University of Oklahoma Printing, Mailing and Document Services, has devised a winning game plan by thinking big and taking chances.

August 2014 By Dawn Greenlaw-Scully
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As director of Printing, Mailing and Document Services for the University of Oklahoma—renowned for its storied Sooners football team, this year's Big 12 preseason favorite—John Sarantakos is used to thinking big and going long.

"I'm always looking to buy new things, and I'm not afraid to take chances," he declares. "Being a larger operation makes it easier to provide new services. Smaller equipment investments can be made when the ROI may not be as favorable as you might like."

With annual sales in excess of $16 million and 78 employees, OU Printing, Mailing and Document Services is the largest university in-plant in the country according to annual sales. The operation comprises:

  • A 60,000-square-foot off-campus facility in Norman, Okla., housing prepress, offset printing, bindery, mailing and warehousing.
  • The Collums center (on campus), which includes the campus mailing operation, document production, novelty sales and light digital production services.
  • Two satellite copy facilities in the Oklahoma Memorial Union center on campus and in the Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.

Impressive Offset Operation

Sarantakos acknowledges that the in-plant's size has increased its ability to take risks with purchasing. Six years ago, the operation made a significant investment considered unorthodox for an in-plant: it purchased an eight-color sheetfed press—a 28x40˝ Heidelberg perfector. How has that purchase panned out?

"It's been even better than expected and a reason our overall sales have increased [by $3 million since 2008]," Sarantakos says. "Since its installation, the press has been running three shifts per day. The savings related to the increased efficiencies in conjunction with the one-pass-and-done process have allowed us to increase quality and reduce prices."

That quality boost brought the in-plant a prestigious Best of Show award in the In-Print 2010 contest, and the shop consistently earns multiple Gold awards in that contest each year.

The productivity of the eight-color press allowed the in-plant to retire its five-color 40˝ Miller.

"It was just taking up space and collecting dust," Sarantakos explains. "The floor space was more important to us." The in-plant freed up even more of that floor space by moving its bindery and warehouse and taking over an additional 15,000 square feet in its multi-tenant building.

In-plant Snapshot

University of Oklahoma
Printing, Mailing and Document Services

Norman, Okla.

Annual Sales: $16 million
Main Facility:
60,000 square feet

Key Equipment:

  • Hagen OA management software
  • Kodak Prinergy workflow
  • Kodak Magnus CTP system
  • ImpoProof proofer
  • Eight-color 28x40˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster 102 perfector
  • Five-color 23x29˝ manroland 305 double perfector
  • Two two-color ABDick 9800 duplicators
  • Two-color Diamond envelope press
  • Xanté Ilumina envelope printer
  • Kodak NexPress 3300 digital press with 36” extended feeder
  • Kodak Digimaster HD300
  • Ricoh Pro 8110S with booklet maker
  • Ricoh Pro C751 color printer
  • Three Ricoh AFICIO MP 8001 color copiers
  • 44” Epson Stylus Pro 9890
  • Epson dye-sublimation printer
  • 60” Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9400s wide-format printer
  • 44˝ Canon imagePROGRAF iPF8400s wide-format printer
  • SEAL54 Base wide-format laminator
  • Graphic Wizard VividCoater
  • Tobias and X-Rite scanning densitometers
  • Two Polar EMC 115 cutters
  • MBO and Baum 26x40˝ continuous-feed folders
  • Two 20x26˝ MBO pile feed folders with right angle unit
  • Eight-pocket Muller Martini saddle stitcher with cover feeder
  • Graphic Wizard numbering machine
  • Duplo 646 business card slitter
  • Duplo DC-445 creaser
  • DryLam ALM 3222 laminator/trimmer
  • Fenimore flat sheet collator
  • Sulby 1250 perfect binder
  • GBC DigiCoil binder
  • Toppy skid turner
  • Epilog laser engraver
  • Mailing equipment



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