New Gear, New Capabilities for City ShopFebruary 2012 By Chris Bauer
When Jeff Sleizer arrived at the Reprographics Center for the City of Spokane, Wash., two years ago, the shop was in need of new printing and finishing equipment to handle the needs of its municipal customers.
"The shop was kind of limping along for many years, just getting by," observes Sleizer, a reprographics technician at the three-person operation.
The shop did not have a way to do crash numbering, Sleizer notes, and a lot of work was being outsourced. So the in-plant decided to bring in a Rollem Auto 4 numbering system. The Rollem has been a good fit, Sleizer says, due to a growing need for numbering capabilities, as well as the machine's ability to handle perforating, scoring and slitting work. The shop now can do numbering for a variety of print jobs, including forms for the parks and recreation department and booklets for various city agencies.
"Where this machine has come in real handy is when we are doing perforations," Sleizer contends. "We even started doing the city's utility billing."
Finishing work for the city's water, sewer and garbage bills previously had to be outsourced. The utility bills have a tear-off perf at the bottom for residents to send back when they pay their bills. The perf can now be done in-house.
Other jobs the Rollem machine is counted on for include producing raffle tickets for local community centers, parking tickets and anything that has a tear-off form. Scoring for calendars for various city departments is also done using the Rollem Auto 4.
To add high-quality color printing capabilities, the in-plant installed a Presstek 34 DI. It joined existing one- and two-color AB Dick offset presses.
"We started to get a lot of four-color jobs, so we wanted something we wouldn't need to make a lot of plates for," Sleizer explains. "So we went with the direct image press."
The Presstek 34 DI is used for long-run color work, like inserts that are sent out with the utility bills. The city sends community event announcements and other information to residents via the 80,000 monthly utility bills.
Inserting is done at the city's in-house mail center. Both it and the reprographics center are located inside Spokane's City Hall.
Sleizer contends that the high-quality, four-color work has been well received by residents.
"People now notice the information in their bill," he says. "Most of the other ones would just get thrown away."