Digital Printing Raises the Bar in N.M.
Brian Sanchez can trace his in-plant’s beginnings back to a single publication: the Bar Bulletin, the official publication of the State Bar of New Mexico.
“This print shop was created around this one publication,” says Sanchez, manager of the State Bar’s Digital Print Center in Albuquerque, N.M.
Though the first issue 58 years ago was a single typewritten sheet folded in half, the weekly Bar Bulletin has grown to 52 pages, filled with notices, rules and orders from the New Mexico Supreme Court, advance opinions, job openings, recent rule-making activity and advertising. Printing and saddle stitching 7,000 copies of each issue is no small task for the five-employee in-plant.
“It takes us three solid days with all five machines running,” remarks Sanchez.
Those machines are two Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1070 color printers, and three monochrome digital presses: two bizhub PRESS 1250s and a bizhub PRO 1200.
Until 2011, though, the Bar Bulletin and the shop’s other jobs were all printed with offset presses. The switch to digital was a sad day for Sanchez, a self-described “craftsman” brought up on offset, but he acknowledges that the amount of work the in-plant is able to produce has increased with digital presses on the floor. These jobs include renters guides for tenants, constitution books for schools, spiral bound course materials, brochures, posters, menus on synthetic stocks and holiday cards — lots of holiday cards.
“We get flooded with that type of work the last months of the year,” he says.
The need to score those cards is one reason the in-plant recently installed a new Rollem Auto-4 numbering/perforating/scoring/slitting machine.
“We probably spent around $2,000 or $3,000 in scoring costs by having to send everything out from September to December,” he says. He expects the Auto-4 to pay for itself quickly. Plus the shop plans to bring in perforating work that was previously outsourced.
This new machine follows the installation of a Challenge Titan 200 paper cutter to replace an older cutter.
“It’s just a great little cutter,” Sanchez praises. “It’s dependable.”
With these new capabilities, he is confident the in-plant can handle even more work. Though the in-plant offers its printing services to the 7,300 members of the New Mexico State Bar, Sanchez hopes to be able to add a salesperson to help solicit additional work, but says this idea is still under discussion.