New iGen4 Signals Good Times at UW

Andrea Moncada, digital press operator, checks the image quality of a job being run on the University of Washington’s new Xerox iGen4.

UW Creative Communications’ Senior Management Team stands with the iconic W on the University of Washington’s campus. From left: Patrick McNelly, manager, Copy Services; Steven Roberts, manager, Mailing Services; Heather Prenevost, manager, Client and Creative Services; Frank Davis, director; Michele Mancuso, production manager, Printing Services; 
Jim Heneghan, Manager, Finance & Administration. 
(Not pictured: Katy Folk-Way, associate director.)

Times are good at the University of Washington. Its Creative Communications operation ended its fiscal year on June 30 $200,000 in the black—the second year in a row that the 90-employee operation has earned a profit.

Bolstered by this success, the Seattle in-plant decided to upgrade from a Xerox iGen3 to a new iGen4, a move that has dramatically increased quality and expanded the type of work the in-plant can provide. Installed in August, the digital color press was hooked up with the same C.P. Bourg folder/stitcher/trimmer that was on the iGen3.

“The quality has exceeded our expectations,” notes Frank Davis, director.

He credits the inline spectrophotometer and auto density controls on the new device, which instantly calibrate colors and control streaking. This, Davis says, has resulted in more uptime, since operators no longer have to make adjustments.

The new Matte Dry Ink on the iGen4 produces an offset look and feel, which Davis says is drawing raves.

“Our designers are thrilled with the quality of the new machine,” he says.

One of the biggest advantages of the new digital press over the iGen3 is the larger sheet size it can take. The in-plant can now print on a 14.33×26˝ sheet—up from 14.33×20.5˝. This allows the shop to produce six-panel brochures. In the past the in-plant either outsourced these pieces or convinced clients to redesign them as four-page brochures with an insert.

Creative Communications, a division of Finance and Facilities, supports some key university clients with its iGen4, such as Marketing, UW Medicine, Intercollegiate Athletics, UW School of Law, UW Alumni Association and more. Among the common items printed on the digital press are post cards, posters, brochures, business cards, letters and annual reports.

“Our volume was up 23 percent in the last two years,” notes Davis. The recent fiscal year was a record year for volume; the in-plant printed 16 million pages and generated more than $3 million in revenue on the iGen3.

“So we’re building on the success of the iGen3,” he says.

Creative Services is promoting the new digital press with a series of open houses, for which it printed personalized invitations on the iGen4.

This isn’t the only new equipment at the in-plant. It just ordered a Xanté Ilumina GS digital envelope press so it can start bringing envelopes back in-house.

“We’re also on the verge of ordering our third wide-format printer”—an Epson Stylus Pro GS 6000—“because we’ve had so much growth in wide-format printing,” Davis reveals. “Times are good here.”

Related story: University of Washington: Keen on Lean

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.
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