You Can’t Keep
 Offset Down

Last year, University of North Texas Printing Services installed not one but two offset presses, including this five-color, 29˝ Ryobi 755XLW. Standing with it are (from left) Mark Spicer, Clem Deussen, Earl Callahan and Director Jimmy Friend.

Burlington County College installed this four-color Ryobi 524GE last year. With it here are (from left): Christine McCracken, Rick Jones, Steve Amitrano and Bob Cummings.

This Heidelberg QM DI press at Gannon University paid for itself in the money it saved in just its first year of operation. Showing it off here are (clockwise from bottom left) Director Chris Matheis, Joe Dolak, Dave States, Tim Natale and Mac Reed.

Showing off the University of Tennessee’s new two-color Heidelberg Printmaster QM 46-2 are (from left) Jerry Blair, Jack Williams and Carl Wright.

Standing by the San Bernardino Community College District’s new four-color Ryobi 524GE press are (from left) Chris Jones, Debbie Castro, Dennis Winters, Gloria Piggott, Carmen Sanchez and Louis Chavira.

Wait, isn’t digital printing supposed to be taking over while offset fades quietly away? Why, then, are so many in-plants still adding offset presses?

JIMMY FRIEND didn’t want a new offset press.

“We thought that we would not invest in offset in the future,” reveals Friend, director of University of North Texas Printing Services.

His 40-employee in-plant had two HP Indigo digital presses, and was getting good prices for long-run offset jobs from outside printers. Why rock the boat?

Then UNT got a new president and everything changed. A strong believer in the power of self-sufficiency, the president challenged her Denton, Texas, campus to accomplish more using internal resources. So Friend analyzed the print work being outsourced and discovered that $700,000 of printing was going off campus.

“There was probably about half a million dollars worth of work that we could do,” he realized—if only his in-plant had a four-color press.

So last year, UNT Printing Services installed not one but two new offset presses: a five-color, 29˝ Ryobi 755XLW and a Ryobi 3404 DI direct imaging press. Since then, the in-plant has brought lots of work back in-house.

“We’re busy every day,” Friend confirms—so much so that the in-plant should recoup the press’s cost even sooner than planned.

“I would say it’ll be recovered in probably five years, the way we’re running right now,” he estimates.

Offset in a Digital World

In a time when all the world is shouting “digital” and in-plants are shedding their older presses in favor of toner-based boxes, a number of in-plants have been adding sheetfed presses. In just the past year or two, new four-color presses have been installed at:

And that’s just naming a few. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is preparing to install a Presstek 75DI press with an aqueous coater next month.

Related story: UNT Printing Services Installs Five-color Press

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