Digital Press Doubles Color for State of TennesseeJune 2012 By Bob Neubauer
Back when color printing was seen as an extravagance, the State of Tennessee, like many government entities, tried to minimize it. But as digital printing lowered the cost of color, those restrictions eased, and the demand for color has risen steadily in the Volunteer State.
For the past five years, the state’s Printing and Media Services division has been trying to fulfill this demand with a Konica Minolta bizhub 6500. In that time, color impressions rose from a scant 2,000 a month up to nearly 90,000 a month. But Director Tammy Golden felt there was an opportunity to capture so much more.
“I was seeing a lot of it go outside,” she says. “I wanted to keep that business.”
So in December the 50-employee department installed a Xerox Color 1000 digital press. In addition to being able to handle a greater variety of stocks, the machine has greatly improved the quality of the in-plant’s color output.
“The quality’s just really been exceptional,” she enthuses. “The first sheet looks like the last sheet. Registration’s really good.” So good that the in-plant used the digital press to win a Gold award in the In-Print 2012 contest for the Department of General Services’ annual report.
Quality aside, one specific feature put the Color 1000 ahead of all the other devices Golden and her crew examined.
“The clear toner’s what set it apart,” she says.
The in-plant added the clear dry ink station, which can be used to apply spot or flood creative effects. For example, it can highlight images to make them pop off the page or create artistic effects like patterns and grids, which the in-plant did on a promotional calendar it printed.
The main reason the shop added this option, however, was for security. The state Department of Safety & Homeland Security wanted to be able to use this to print, for example, a clear state seal on badges or passes so they can’t be duplicated.
“The kind of document that they need that kind of security on, they don’t want to send to an outside vendor,” Golden remarks. “They want to do it in-house.”