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UTHealth: Adapt and Thrive

A busy offset operation with a booming digital color print business, UTHealth Printing and Media Services is a well-rounded in-plant, ready to take on any job that comes its way.

June 2014 By Bob Neubauer
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When you sit down and talk with Donna Horbelt, you immediately feel like you've been friends for years. So it's no wonder that her engaging personality and the interest she takes in her customers has led them to view her in-plant at the University of Texas Heath Science Center at Houston as a supportive ally, committed to their success.

For example, when the Harris County Psychiatric Center came to her to reorder 5,000 pocket folders, each stuffed with 23 inserts, a job the client had been printing twice a year for ages, Horbelt and her team pulled them aside.

"We sat down and talked to them, and said, 'What is your end goal for this project?' " recounts Horbelt, director of Auxiliary Enterprises, Printing and Media Services at UTHealth.

After discussing it, she suggested the customer stop printing the job as a pocket folder with inserts and switch to a black-and-white perfect bound book.

"We're saving them more than 50 percent on that job," she remarks. "It cost me revenue…but we're going to be able to provide the customer with something that really fits their needs. The client's much happier. It's amazing what you find out when you just sit down and say, 'What do you need this for?' "

Customer care like this is just one reason UTHealth Printing and Media Services is one of the busiest in-plants in the U.S. Its six-color offset press is booked weeks in advance; its Xerox iGen4 routinely pumps out 350,000 color impressions a month.

"There aren't a lot of services that I can't offer here," Horbelt says. The 20-employee in-plant handles everything from design to bulk mail—even fulfillment.

Located in an off-campus university building, the in-plant's 21,124-square-foot facility includes a loading dock with eight bays and a large warehouse area. The centerpiece is its six-color, 29˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster perfector. Providing plates for this and the shop's two-color presses is a Heidelberg Suprasetter A75 Gen III thermal computer-to-plate device with the Prinect Prepress Interface. A Xerox iGen4 90 digital color press and a Xerox 4127, fronted by the Xerox FreeFlow print server, make up the digital printing section.

The in-plant produces about 8,000 jobs annually, such as newsletters, magazines, brochures, pocket folders, stationery, invitations and more than 3 million envelopes a year. Nearly half of the in-plant's revenue (45 percent) comes from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, part of The University of Texas System. Another 8 percent comes from state or non-profit clients, such as Sam Houston State University.

In-plant Snapshot

University of Texas Heath Science Center
Auxiliary Enterprises, Printing and Media Services
Houston, Texas

Employees: 20
Annual Budget:
$3.2 million
: 21,124 square feet
Jobs Per Year
: 8,000

Key Equipment:

  • EFI Monarch MIS system
  • Pageflex iWay online order system
  • Heidelberg Prinect software
  • Heidelberg Suprasetter A75 Gen III
  • Epson proofer
  • HP Spinjet proofer
  • Xerox Free Flow server
  • Xerox iGen 4 90
  • Xerox 4127
  • Six-color, 29˝ Heidelberg Speedmaster perfector
  • Two-color, Heidelberg perfector
  • Two-color Heidelberg Quickmaster duplicator
  • Two-color ABDick duplicator
  • Heidelberg KORA
  • Astro envelope feeder
  • Polar 45˝ and 36˝ cutters
  • Stahl 20˝ and 40˝ continuous-feed folders
  • Heidelberg Omnibinder
  • Stahl ST 70 Multibinder
  • Morgana CardXtra business card slitter


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