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Government, Higher-ed In-plants Convene at D.C. Forum

December 1, 2009 By Bob Neubauer
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On November 4, the fourth annual Digital Printing in Government & Higher Education Forum took place in Washington, D.C., bringing scores of in-plant managers together for a packed day of sessions. It was presented by INTERQUEST, a digital printing market research and consulting firm. Three of the day's four panels featured innovative in-plant managers sharing their success stories. 

The first of these was Leslie Rutledge, manager of ReproGraphic Services at San Diego State University, who described how she turned her in-plant around by replacing old offset presses with new HP Indigo and Presstek equipment. This gave customers what they really wanted: affordable, good quality color. By adding design services, decreasing turnaround times and making it very easy for customers do do business with the in-plant, she increased sales and reduced the amount of work going to outside printers.

"I don't even think 5 percent goes off campus now," she remarked, adding that previously, 30-40 percent was done outside.

On the same panel was Jane Bloodworth, manager of Printing, Graphics and Map Design at The World Bank. She detailed changes her in-plant has made in 2009, including upgrading its Océ equipment to a CS10000 four-over-four digital web press and replacing two Kodak NexPress machines with NexPress 3000s with fifth color stations. The in-plant has added Kodak Dimensional Toner and is insourcing thermographic business cards. It is also putting more emphasis on customer relationship management using a new module from Avanti.

World Bank is planning to move its in-plant out of Washington to Maryland, so Bloodworth is preparing for that. At the same time, the shop is planning to buy a press and is currently analyzing both offset and ink-jet options. 

On another panel, Steven Howe, manager of Printing Services, Stores and Mail Operations for the City of Cincinnati, introduced the audience to his shop's new MGI Meteor DP60 Pro (as detailed in IPG last month). It can print up to 13x47˝ on a range of substrates. His shop has produced plastic parking tags, labels, magnets and more, including the city's new multi-color business cards. One reason he chose the press was because the stationery it prints can be run back through laser printers. 

Gilles Biscos, founder and president of INTERQUEST, analyzed key trends in the digital printing market. He noted a slowing in the growth of digital color print volume. He said that transactional printing is showing a slight decline, and transpromo printing is still in an emerging stage. Digital book printing is showing solid growth, he said, and he predicted it will grow 15 to 20 percent a year over the next three years. 

 

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