California In-plant Adds Four-color Offset Press
Though digital color presses have clearly come to dominate the in-plant environment, not every in-plant has abandoned offset.
In September, the seven-employee Printing Services department at the San Bernardino Community College District fired up a brand new four-color Ryobi 524GE, a replacement for its previous two-color Hamada. Quality, speed and ease of use have vastly improved, notes Supervisor Louis Chavira—and customers have noticed, right from the first annual report job printed on the new press.
“They couldn’t stop complimenting us on how nice it looked, and how quick it got done,” he says
The addition of a four-color offset press at a small in-plant in these tough economic times certainly stands out, especially when the shop also does a fair amount of digital printing, yet chooses to stick with offset.
But Chavira explains that the schools he prints for (San Bernardino College and Crafton Hills College) are demanding high-quality color. Seven years ago this demand helped the in-plant justify the two-color Hamada. But when customers learned the shop could do process work with the press, requests for four-color flyers, brochures and magazines began to rise.
So a couple years ago, when the economy was stronger, Chavira started looking at four-color presses. But prices were high, and his proposal didn’t go anywhere. He says he considered toner-based digital presses too, but they were even more costly and would have required upgrades to his graphics department.
In January 2010, with color demand still strong, he tried again, and this time found that prices for offset presses had dropped by nearly half, thanks to the sour economy and hungry vendors.
“That really saved us a lot of money,” he says.
Chavira praises his boss, Dr. Glen R. Kuck, executive director of Distributed Education & Technology Services, for supporting the in-plant’s efforts to get the press and other new equipment.
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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.