I try to visit in-plants whenever I have an opportunity, such as when I'm attending an event in another city. In April, for example, I stopped by the Western and Southern Financial Group’s in-plant when I was in Cincinnati for the ACUP conference. During Graph Expo in Orlando last fall I toured Lockheed Martin's in-plant. In my 20+ years here, I've managed to visit 155 in-plants. (Don't believe me? Here's a list.)
But sometimes I forget there are in-plants right in my backyard here in Philadelphia. So Monday I decided to walk across the street to visit the closest in-plant to my office: the Community College of Philadelphia. I've been to this shop at least five times over the years, but this was the first time under the watch of new Business Services Manager Todge Sutkowski, whom I met at ACUP.
Todge is a friendly guy who was more than happy to show off his operation. The in-plant's main press is an HP Indigo 5500, which it uses to print a variety of brochures, booklets, calendars, magazines and more. Todge proudly showed off some samples.
The shop recently started printing and addressing direct mail pieces on the 5500 — instead of outsourcing the addressing and IMB barcoding — after Todge added Satori Bulk Mailer software, which enabled the shop to prepare USPS-compliant mailpieces.
His latest project is implementing PaperCut software to begin tracking student computer lab and fleet printing. Once he has data on usage, he can begin to determine how much "free" printing each student should get per semester. (Currently there is no limit.)
In the months ahead, Todge is hoping to get a new bookletmaker to replace the in-plant's 22-year-old Duplo bookletmaker, and also add some new mailing equipment. He's very interested in Web-to-print software, but for now that's one project too many for him to take on.
We also talked about a plan hatched at ACUP to share work between other Philadelphia in-plants. This hasn't happened yet, but he's hopeful that partnerships like this will eventually bear fruit.
I spent a nice hour chatting with Todge, and then he was off to visit two of the college's other campuses to assess print terminal locations as part of the PaperCut implementation. Then I walked back across the rainy street into my office and got back to my busy day.
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.