Alvin B. Griffin, director of the Graphic Production Center at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, can hardly contain his excitement about the Fujifilm Acuity Advance Select flatbed printer that his in-plant installed in June. And rightfully so, since the printer has already cut production time of 8x4-foot panels from four hours to seven minutes.
In six locations across the country, in-plants have been gathering over the past month for one-day networking forums. Coordinated by the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association, the regional meetings were designed to bring in-plants together with others in their areas while spreading the word about the benefits IPMA can bring to them.
For Alvin Griffin, director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools' Graphic Production Center, numbers don't lie. So when the opportunity arose for Griffin and a group of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools staff members to get trained by North Carolina State University professors on how to implement a Lean Six Sigma philosophy, he jumped at the chance to improve his in-plant's efficiency and save money for the district.
In-plants have introduced scores of new services in just the past two years, ranging from new types of printed products, like vehicle wraps, foil security printing, magnets and envelopes, to data management services, such as mail list cleansing, transactional scanning and records management.
After its cancellation last year due to low registration numbers, the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference was back with a vengeance this year. Attendees this year hailed from as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Scotland, and included managers from all over the U.S., from Oregon to New Hampshire, with a large contingent from Texas.
IT'S CONFERENCE season again, which means that in between writing and editing articles for this issue, I've been dashing off to in-plant events around the country. In the past two weeks I've been to two in-plant meetings (plus the On Demand Show) and talked with dozens of managers about what's happening in their shops.