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Using Digital Technology to Improve the World

The World Bank's in-plant is one of the country's most advanced. It uses the latest digital printing, finishing and JDF technologies to support the Bank's humanitarian mission.

January 19, 2009 By Bob Neubauer
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REDUCING GLOBAL poverty is an ambitious goal, but the World Bank has made great progress since it was created in 1944 by providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. 

To support its activities, the World Bank maintains one of the largest, most advanced in-plants in the country. With 70 employees, the Bank’s Washington, D.C.-based Printing, Graphics and Map Design unit not only utilizes the latest digital presses—including two Kodak NexPresses, an Océ ColorStream 10000 and a Presstek 52 DI press—it has begun using JDF data to preset its equipment. Plus, it recently upgraded its Avanti shop management system to add Web ordering. 

Managing the operation for the last 12 years has been Jane Bloodworth, who feels that the in-plant’s location in the World Bank’s headquarters is both a convenience to customers and an opportunity for the in-plant to become more familiar with its customers’ requirements. 

“We understand the clients’ needs and the Bank’s business processes,” she explains. 

By analyzing those needs and making changes over the years, Bloodworth has saved the Bank a lot of money by bringing print jobs in-house and handling them more cost effectively.

For example, the Bank used to send its book covers to an outside printer, while the text printing and the binding were done by the in-plant. 

“As we looked at that volume and the pricing, it was apparent that we could save the Bank a considerable amount of money if we had short-run digital color capability in-house,” she says. 

That was back in 2001, when Heidelberg was just starting to beta test something called the NexPress 2100. Bloodworth heard about it and called Heidelberg…but the company wasn’t initially enthusiastic.

“I really had to sell Heidelberg on the idea of us bringing it in here,” she recalls. “But I finally convinced them that an in-plant was a good beta site, and they finally put one in.”

Because the book covers included large areas of solid color, the in-plant worked with the Office of the Publisher to redesign them in a more digitally friendly way. 

“Within about two months of the NexPress being in place, we had brought probably 90 percent of the cover work back in-house at a savings of about 40 percent,” she says. “Once we had short-run digital color, that just opened up a whole new avenue for people who hadn’t been able to do much short-run color before.”

 

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