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Special In-plant, Specialized Field

September 2000
When new technology changed the way engineering documents were produced, Lockwood Greene upgraded its in-plant to keep pace.

When Lockwood Greene emptied its Boston warehouse, the 168-year-old engineering company released over 80 percent of it's archive to the Smithsonian Institute. A good portion of the rest went to David Rush's archive at the company's Spartenburg, S.C., Document Management Services department.

"I've got records from the 1870s," says Rush, manager of the department. Rush says he enjoys rummaging through the archive room, located across the hall from his office.

The nine-person in-plant produces engineering documents and revisions, project specifications, cost reports, meeting minutes, studies and general office correspondence for Lockwood Greene, a national engineering company. It also handles distribution and archiving.

Its primary function is the reproduction of engineering documents. To do this more efficiently, the in-plant discarded its blueprint machine four years ago and switched to an Océ 9800 wide-format plotter. It also upgraded equipment at every level.

"What we've done is make major steps forward over the last five years," Rush enthuses.

The Océ 9800 was one of those major steps. The machine reproduces four to seven designs per minute. This is a far cry from the old blueprint machine that took up to six people to operate, Rush says.

A Variety Of Designs

Design jobs vary in complexity. Some designs may consist of as few as six drawings, while larger designs can demand 600 or more. Designs are revised up to 10 times, and each revision must be printed and shipped to various craftspersons.

Rush estimates that the in-plant produces nearly 1 million square feet of these designs a year.

The in-plant also uses a PC Doc software package to electronically archive every revision of every drawing.

Along with engineering documents, the in-plant produces roughly 250,000 copies per month on its equipment, which includes a Xerox 5880, a 5885, and a networked DC 265, plus 255 walk-up copiers. It uses an Equitrack Accountant system to keep track of who in the company is using the machines, and what they use them for. Then the in-plant charges them back for its services.

The shop has a color center with networked Canon 800 and off-the-glass 700 color copiers. These machines produce around 13,000 impressions per month. The shop also provides lamination for project covers with a GBC laminator, and spiral binding with a GBC Spiral System.

All equipment is leased, Rush says, to make the in-plant as cost-efficient as possible. Rush has national accounts with several vendors to service all of Lockwood Greene's in-plants, not just his own.
 

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