UC Printing wins third ‘Gold Award’

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs


Tom Sanzone

Press operator Tom Sanzone checks print quality on a sheet fresh off the press at UC Printing Services’ Oxford Street plant.
Noah Berger photo

27 February 2002 | In 1450, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, a device so ingenious that its design changed very little over the next five centuries. But in the last 15 years, lightning-quick developments in computer technology have dramatically transformed this ancient communication tool.

Anticipating and adapting to these rapid changes has kept UC Printing Services at the top of its field for many years. As evidence, the National Association for Printing Leadership has, for the third year in a row, honored UC Printing with its Gold Award.

The award honors organizational effectiveness among printing plants across the country, and UC Printing is the only higher-education-based recipient.

“Our success comes as a result of the effort put forth by our 215 staff,” said George Craig, director of Printing Services. “But our technical infrastructure provides a strong foundation for our accomplishments.”

Housed in the vast, low-slung building on the northwest corner of Center and Oxford Streets, Printing Services employs cutting-edge equipment for each stage of the printing process — from planning, inventory and pre-press to the bindery — to produce its work. Its print shop boasts a computer-to-platesetter system and a $3 million six-color press capable of producing up to 10,000 sheets per hour.

“In the past, a major print job might take two to three weeks to complete,” explained Craig. “Now, it can be done in three to five days.”

“The old technology is slow and labor intensive,” said Plant Superintendant Rich Hall. “We can produce higher quality work in much less time with the newer, automated equipment. We have to stay current or we lose our edge.”

Mail services, copy services and two off-site library book binderies all come under UC Printing’s umbrella. Its staff includes book binders, press operators, salespeople, production managers, designers, proofers and prepress technicians. Together, they annually generate $22 million in recharges and 250 million bound and finished documents — among them the Campus Directory and General Catalog, business cards, posters, even campus paychecks and SurePay statements, which the unit prints, folds and mails.

“No one individual makes our success possible,” Craig said. “It’s like the passing of a baton on a relay team; dozens of hands play a part in creating these high-quality products.”


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