posted on Jan. 5: New digital colour press will reduce printing costs


[img_inline align=”right” src=”” caption=”Darin Ouellette and Paul Knowles”]McMaster is now the operator of one of the fastest cut-sheet digital colour presses in the world. It is also the only university in Canada to have such an advanced piece of printing equipment.

So what does this mean to the McMaster community? One: Your colour business cards, posters and brochures can be printed more cheaply and quickly. Two: The cost of including colour pages of illustrations and/or charts or diagrams in McMaster courseware packages compiled by instructors will be reduced.

Paul Knowles, director of audio-visual and printing services, says these are a couple of immediate benefits of the new press, which the University has leased for five years at a cost of $360,000.

Called the Docucolour 2060 (Xerox), it was acquired in September, one of only 10 in the country at the time. Knowles says his staff have spent the last eight weeks becoming familiar with the new equipment. Now they're ready to set the campus afire with high quality, quick
turnaround, colour printing products.

“The quality of this sheet-fed press matches that of offset. This
technology will particularly appeal to those people who want to do their own thing and create their own work,” says Knowles. Customers who have already sampled the new technology are “tickled pink” with the results, he adds.

Several years ago, the University purchased its first $350,000 digital
docutech printer — a huge investment for the institution. Now it has
six such machines in partnership with Mohawk College and the Hamilton
hospitals. Knowles believes that the new digital colour press
is yet another technological advancement for McMaster, one that will
yield huge benefits in the years ahead.

“The industry prediction is that by 2003 we'll have five-cent colour
printing and there'll be no such thing as a black and white printer.
This press will help keep us in step with the progress being made in printing technology and enable us to better control printing costs,”
says Knowles.

Knowles says University departments and instructors and students will
benefit from the technological advancement. For example, it currently
costs about 50 or 60 cents for each colour page included in a courseware package; that price falls to about twenty-five cents per page when produced on the new computerized press.

A key feature of the new press is the ability to make every page unique. And there is no need for plates, negatives or colour separations, steps which will make digital printing cheaper than the traditional offset printing. The press prints up to 60 (double-sided) pages per minute in full colour. It can access hundreds of files in a matter of minutes.

And because the work is completely digitized, files can be sent back
and forth from the printing stand to customers' desktops for approvals
and customization in minutes. Flyers, greeting cards, posters,
brochures, can be printed almost instantly, says Knowles.

Demonstrations of the new equipment were provided by printing services during an open house in December. To show the capabilities of the new technology, printing services also printed full-colour, personalized invitations for the event which were then sent to the members of the campus community (see sample at right).

Top photo: Darin Ouellette and Paul Knowles with materials produced by the new digital colour docutech.