Digital Envelope Press Helps In-plant Move Away From Offset

Ryan Sweet, who handles graphics layout and design, and Susan Thompson, machine operator, hold samples of envelopes printed on the University of St. Thomas’ new Xanté Ilumina Digital Envelope Press+.

Like many in-plants, the Printing and Mailing Services department at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minn., is in the midst of a digital transition. In fact, just a few short weeks ago the 24-employee shop made the decision to get rid of its one remaining offset press—an ABDick 9850 duplicator with a T-head that was being used exclusively for envelopes.

“We’re no longer interested in managing the hazardous waste streams associated with offset printing,” says Director John Barron. “And we no longer want to have to buy the chemicals, solvents, blankets, paste inks, plates and all of the other supplies that go along with offset.”

In early 2009 Barron began exploring digital solutions for envelope printing to supplement the 9850. After reading about the Xanté Ilumina Digital Envelope Press+ in In-Plant Graphics, he sent electronic files to Xanté for sample printing. He was impressed with the registration, color quality and overall look of the samples he received back. So he took the plunge, sight unseen. The press was installed in June, and Barron is now transitioning as much envelope work as possible to it.

“We’ve completed developing a set of the appropriate settings to feed all of our traditional envelopes with the new machine,” he explains, “and we’re making good progress on the best ways to handle unusual paper stocks and envelope sizes with it.”

The in-plant also recently decommissioned and sold another offset press, a Heidelberg QM-46-2, which had been used to print letterhead. The shop is now printing letterhead with a pair of HP CM8050 color multi-function printers with Edgeline technology. It installed one in its Minneapolis service center and one in the St. Paul service center. Customers place their letterhead orders via the in-plant’s SCOOP online ordering system and the letterhead is printed at the most convenient location.

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