Since starting an in-plant five years ago, Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, has had no regrets. The in-plant continues to save the school about half a million dollars a year, while adding capabilities to better serve both Franklin University and nearby Urbana University, which it purchased in 2014.
Over the past couple of years, the in-plant — recently renamed Printing Solutions — has added an impressive array of new equipment to its 2,000-sq.-ft. facility, including a Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1100 digital color press, a Roland True VIS VG-540 wide-format printer/cutter, a Xanté Impressia digital envelope printer and a Duplo DC-646 slitter/cutter/creaser.
Now Printing Solutions has upgraded again, swapping its Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C8000 for a new Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6100. The 100-ppm digital color press is a major improvement in quality, says Bob Donahue, director of Purchasing, Mail and Print Services.
“The registration on it is phenomenal,” he lauds. “The consistency across the print, it’s even better than the 1100.”
Donahue is especially excited about the Intelligent Quality Optimizer IQ-501 on the C6100, which brings one-touch, closed-loop image quality controls. Color and registration data is read automatically and fed back into the engine and controller, which automatically make adjustments.
“It looks at the entire length of a sheet as it’s going through the process and it will constantly adjust to maintain the registration,” he explains. Color measurement and calibration take just seconds, he reports, where this would take 20 minutes a day on the C8000. This has freed up time for his operators.
The press can handle up to 400gsm stock weights while still running at 100 ppm. The ability to duplex cover sheets will open up new business opportunities, Donahue says. He also intends to add a new banner feeder capable of feeding a 26˝ sheet.
“It will give me the ability to do a three-panel, 8.5x11˝ trifold,” he says. “That gives me another dimension that I can offer customers.”
The C6100 has already brought in new work. The shop just ran 27,000 brochures on it — a job that he would have outsourced in the past.
“We wouldn’t have been able to push it through the 8000 because of the speed and also because of issues with registration,” he says.
The C6100 isn’t the only new piece of equipmment at Franklin. In July the in-plant installed a Mimaki UJF-3042 MkII EX UV hybrid flatbed printer to complement its Roland True VIS VG-540. It can print on rigid substrates up to 6˝ thick, Donahue says.
So far the in-plant has used it to print on leather, wood, acrylics, glass and even on golf balls.
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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.