Ohio Northern University broadens service offerings with MGI Meteor digital press

Published Thursday, 26 July, 2012
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With the addition of a MGI Meteor multi-substrate digital press, Ohio Northern University has been able to streamline their operations, improving overall efficiency and keeping the majority of their work in-house.
Founded in 1871, Ohio Northern University (ONU) is a selective, private, comprehensive university, comprising five colleges (Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law) with nationally ranked arts, sciences and professional programs and enrollment comprising approximately 3,611 students representing 42 states and 20 countries.
The Printing Services department at ONU is the main source for all printing needs on campus, serving not only all academic departments, but the Office of the President, Admissions, and the Board of Trustees, as well as Development activities.
In terms of equipment, ONU previously had an assortment of 1-and-2 color offset presses and several digital duplicators (color and black and white) with inline finishing. However, parts for their offset presses were becoming scarce. So Anita Stanley, Manager, Printing Services at ONU, decided to start the search for a new solution that could not only replace their aging offset presses, but would also eliminate the need for a CTP.
“I initially started out looking at a DI press, but quickly realized that DI technology wouldn’t allow me to offer the new range of services I wanted to provide the university with, including variable data and the ability to print short runs of four-color work quickly and cost effectively,” said Stanley.
Her search led to an MGI Meteor digital press from Graphco, MGI’s distribution partner for Ohio. Stanley was impressed by the quality of the Meteor’s output and that it would allow them to offer new digital applications, such as sheet sizes up to 40” and short runs of four-color envelopes, two key criteria for ONU.
Another major plus that the Meteor offered ONU was its relatively small footprint and that it didn’t require any major facility modifications, such as additional power, HVAC, water, floor reinforcement or external venting. This was a key in gaining approval to acquire the press because no additional funds needed to be requisitioned. The Meteor also didn’t require any chemicals or plates like their old CTP did, plus makeready time was eliminated, resulting in a much more streamlined and environmentally- friendly workflow.
ONU’s typical applications include postcards, posters, envelopes, business cards, brochures, letterhead, fact sheets and a host of direct mail projects for Financial Aid and Admissions. In fact, variable data postcards are one of ONU’s key applications, with typical batch sizes of 1,000 to 12,000.
One particular project involved producing a mailing of 13,000 full-color, variable data postcards for a region-specific event Financial Aid was hosting, with a turnaround time of just a few days. Not only did the project go without a hitch, RSVPs started coming in immediately and Financial Aid was able to easily fill all their allotted slots for the event.
ONU’s administration has been very enthusiastic about the addition of the Meteor. Not only are their projects completed quickly and in much higher quality than they had been previously, but now the majority of jobs can be produced in-house.
“By keeping their work in our facility, we can maintain an aggressive pricing structure that still makes it a win-win for the college and eliminates any added costs as a result of having to outsource the work,” added Stanley. “Thanks to the Meteor, I’ve been able to handily follow through on the promises I made to the administration when I asked them to approve this press.”