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Deakin University rationalises print shops

Thursday, 02 November 2006
By Print21

The geographically separate campuses have undergone a process of converting their three print shops into one “virtual enterprise,” shedding nine staff positions in the process.

In conjunction with Océ Australia the university has revamped all three locations, upgrading printing equipment, disposing most of the offset presses and e-linking facilities.

Craig Gibbs, Operations Manager for the newly created enterprise, says shops had operated a combination of digital and offset equipment but with little central control so that new presses were added on an ad hoc basis and quality was essentially a local issue.

“As this meant the quality was patchy, large quantities of printing were outsourced, particularly high quality work ordered by Deakin’s commercial arm DeakinPrime, which prepares study material for a variety of commercial clients,” he says.

“A great deal of the output, including the colour work, was printed offset, which meant we were usually printing more materials than we needed and storing them. Time was also a factor. Offset jobs would routinely take three or four days to produce and wastage was a big concern.”

Workflow map and almost complete digitisation

To set up the virtual enterprise, Océ conducted a detailed survey into the way documents were ordered and produced to provide a comprehensive workflow map as the basis for its recommendations. It advocated almost complete digitisation of the print shop to allow for shorter print runs and faster turnaround times in line with the university’s actual requirements. Out went most of the offset presses and in came Océ VarioPrint 2110 and 2105 digital black and white presses.

The digital presses took up less space and, as print rooms were now operating on a print on demand basis, there was no further need for run-ons and storage. Physical work space has increased and wastage has dropped by a remarkable 90 per cent. The new equipment is easier to operate and requires less human intervention so fewer operators are required.

“Before the rationalisation we had 23 staff at the three facilities,” says Gibbs. “Since we installed the Océ technology, we have reduced that to 14. That’s a very modest staffing level for an organisation producing more than 90 million images a year,”

To handle its colour requirements, Oce recommended two CPS 800s digital colour presses, which are based at the Burwood and Geelong campuses with Warrnambool obtaining a smaller CS 180 colour press.
Replacing a two-colour press, the CPS800 produces exact quantities to order, in a fraction of the time. Its quality is readily accepted by all departments on campus, and meets the high standards required by DeakinPrime.

The three printeries are linked through Océ DocWorks workflow software which allows team leaders in each of the three outlets to see the workload for any press in the University. Work can be shuttled from one printery to another to utilise any unemployed machine.

Additionally any department in the university can now send work to the print room electronically by filling out an e-form and dispatching it straight from their desks.

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