A Digital Reinvention in Grand Rapids

Published Wednesday, 9 February, 2011
Picture Gallery
   

In-Plant Graphics - February 2010

The demand for high-quality color printing was growing by the day at Grand Rapids Community College. The school’s 20-employee in-plant had been trying to keep pace using its two-color Shinahara press and Konica Minolta C6500, but print quality was not quite where Danelle Sedore wanted it to be.

 “We have a full staff of designers here that want to be creative, but couldn’t run it on the equipment that we have,” says Sedore, director of Printing, Graphic and Mailing Solutions.

She knew the in-plant had to make a move. So in September, after months of investigating various digital presses, the in-plant installed a Meteor DP60 Pro multi-substrate digital press from MGI Digital Graphic Technology. It was purchased from Graphco, an MGI distribution partner.

“Compared to other digital options, the Meteor DP60 Pro won hands-down in terms of value for the price and the flexibility of the machine,” reveals Sedore. “We produce our own stationery, and the departments on campus needed to be able to rerun their letterhead through their laser printers. The Meteor DP60 Pro was the only digital press that was laser-safe and offered envelope capabilities, so the choice in that regard was easy.”

The new digital press represents a sweeping transformation for this 27-year-old in-plant.

“We’re actually reinventing the whole department,” Sedore explains. “We decided to convert our offset production area to a full digital production workflow.”

At the same time, the shop is implementing Six Sigma Lean Manufacturing methodologies. It is revamping its entire production area to create a smoother workflow.

Sedore says the new digital press will enable the in-plant to produce new types of jobs. In addition to traditional applications, such as brochures, envelopes, posters and flyers, Sedore and her team are excited about exploring new project opportunities such as variable data-driven direct mail campaigns and unique digital pieces, such as pocket folders.

Also, the Meteor DP60 Pro’s range of sheet sizes (up to 13x40˝) and substrate versatility will open up new product opportunities. She says a local commercial printer has already approached her after getting requests from customers who want to print on plastic. The in-plant has ordered the plastic substrate and plans to test it for the printer.

The in-plant is also awaiting installation of a DF360 multi-function paper finisher from MGI. It can laminate, cut, crease and perforate. Sedore says it will allow the in-plant to handle work it previously couldn’t, such as laminating book covers and slitting tags—time consuming on a conventional cutter.

“We’re really excited about getting that in here,” she remarks.

 “Overall, we’ve been very pleased with the Meteor DP60 Pro,” concludes Sedore. “Installation was much less complex than other devices we researched; we were in production within a week. Our operators have been impressed with the ease of operation and functionality, and we’ve received top-notch support and training from Graphco.”