Equipment Overhaul Brings Big Improvements to University of Hartford
After years of putting up with older printing equipment and a lack of decent finishing gear, University of Hartford Print Services just got a major infusion of new technology that not only expands the three-employee in-plant’s capabilities and productivity, but has brought significant savings in maintenance costs.
In April, the Hartford, Conn., in-plant installed:
- A Canon imagePRESS C850 digital color production press
- A Canon imagePRESS C650 digital color production press
- A Canon varioPRINT 130 monochrome digital press
- A Xanté Impressia digital envelope printer
- A Duplo 350 Booklet System with a face trimmer, square spine unit and a slitter/creaser/cutter
- A Duplo DC-646 slitter/creaser/cutter with an integrated folder
Print Services Manager Mario Maselli says this was the first major upgrade in his seven years with the university. It followed a change in the in-plant’s reporting structure that moved it from Purchasing to the Office of the Treasurer — a change that sparked a renewed focus on cutting costs.
The maintenance charges on the in-plant’s Xerox J75 color press and two Xerox 4112 black-and-white printers were substantial, Maselli points out, as was the month-to-month rental plan on the J75. He knew the in-plant could save money and expand its capabilities by adding new equipment. At the same time, he reasoned, the shop would be able to bring more of the outsourced marketing materials back in-house with better equipment.
“I was able to sit with our VP one-on-one and map this all out,” he says.
By upgrading, he estimated, the university would save at least $15,000 a year. His plans were approved and the installation moved ahead.
Because of the increasing demand for color, the in-plant opted for a pair of color printers and just one monochrome device. Maselli is very happy with the quality of the new printers, and their reliability allows operators to do other tasks while the machines are running, instead of having to monitor them and clear jams, like with the old equipment.
Another big change for the in-plant is that the new printers don’t have inline finishing like the old ones did. Instead, the new Duplo 350 Booklet System and Duplo DC-646 slitter/creaser/cutter will handle finishing. This is a major improvement considering the in-plant often had to crease and fold jobs by hand in the past. Maselli notes that a recent order for 600 trifold brochures used to require a full day of hand folding for the in-plant.
“We ran it through the 646. It creased, it folded it and we still did the job in under four hours,” he reports. And that included printing and prep time.
Print Services added the Xanté Impressia so it could start printing envelopes, which were being outsourced. The shop was already printing business cards and letterhead, he says, so it made sense to print the envelopes too, to ensure brand consistency on all three. The cost savings from printing envelopes in-house allowed the in-plant to lower its prices while still making a profit.
The in-plant also upgraded its Web-to-print system in recent months to PagePath’s MyOrderDesk. Maselli especially likes its reporting features.
“That saves me a good amount of time,” he remarks.
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.