Creaser Improves Fold Quality for Oregon In-plant
Dave Juvenal freely admits to being an old school bindery lead. If you want a job scored properly, he maintains, then it should be done on press.
But Juvenal is slowly being won over in his role with Print & Mail at the University of Oregon. The 21-employee shop ushered in 2017 with the installation of a Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser, which includes a perfing module, to go with a Duplo System 5000 bookletmaker.
Scoring short-run digital work had become a challenge for Print & Mail. Over the holidays, the shop had to outsource 15 jobs to be scored. Lightweight stocks could be handled in-house, but the shop’s creaser couldn’t score the heavier material with any consistency. Cracking on heavy coverage runs also proved to be an issue.
“The product we were getting back from the outsource vendor was pretty nice looking, so we wanted to keep that work in-house and eliminate the outsourcing of short-run jobs,” Juvenal notes.
John Boytz, interim director for Print & Mail, sent a digital printing tech and a bindery employee on a couple of trips to inspect possible solutions. After witnessing the Duplo DC-646 in action at a Portland-based printer, the employees recommended this solution to Boytz.
“One of the biggest benefits is turnaround time,” Boytz notes. “We don’t have to wait for the outside vendor to get the job done. We can take it right off press to the Duplo and work on our own internal schedule. It also allows us to control the quality of work internally.”
Card production represents a lion’s share of Print & Mail’s digital output. It churns out business cards, greeting cards and a bounty of university-related invitations and folded-card material. The shop generally uses 80-lb. to 100-lb. cover, topping out at 14-pt., 140-lb. cover. Digital job runs of three to four thousand — produced on a Xerox Color 1000 and other presses — fall right into the sweet spot range for the DC-646.
“We wanted something that was easy to learn, and we were familiar with Duplo and their programs,” Juvenal points out. “Once we get to know the machine better, we’ll do some short-run tri-folds for it to score. Right now, we’re doing our short-run tri-folds on another folder with a tri-creaser. That does a pretty good job, but it’s not as consistent as we’d like to have it. The scores and perfs tend to wander a bit sometimes. So hopefully, this will take over some of those short run materials, and we’ll be able to put out premium product [with the DC-646].”
As a self-sustaining department, Boytz needs to go through a justification approval process for the acquisition of used or demo equipment, but without the requirement of a competitive bid process. Print & Mail obtained a demonstration unit that Duplo displayed during Graph Expo and leased it through CTX Xerox.
Moving forward, Juvenal says the DC-646 will be utilized for slitting and business card jobs. Consistency and convenience will pay big dividends for the shop.
“To be able to slit and trim business cards is a big advantage,” he says. “You can set it, let it rock and roll on its own, then come back in 15-20 minutes when it’s done. One person can get away with doing two jobs at once; a small press operator can run envelopes and have the Duplo machine running, so we get two jobs done at the same time. It’s production heaven.”
Related story: University of Oregon Moves Mail, Beefs Up Digital Color