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Low-Cost Color Inkjet Brings High Value to Omaha Public Schools

Steve Priesman was convinced that printing more instructional materials in color was critical to ensuring the best possible learning experience. But the in-plant he led as Omaha Public Schools (OPS) Manager of Printing and Publications Services could afford to use color only sparingly given their aging press fleet.

Moreover, expanding use of color was only one of the shop’s needs. Priesman’s difficult challenge was to upgrade the pressroom for greater capacity and faster turnarounds without increasing spending, and he hoped that a new generation of inkjet presses could help.

In June 2018, Priesman replaced half his presses with a Xerox® Brenva® HD Production Inkjet Press. Because its color printing costs were about the same as traditional monochrome, color orders exploded. That led OPS to replace its remaining equipment with a second inkjet press, the Xerox® Baltoro HF Inkjet Press, boosting shop capacity by 60 percent in the process.

Just as their Baltoro on-boarding and training began in March 2020, the solution was tested with perhaps the most demanding job of Priesman’s career. The shop was asked to produce more than 50,000 instruction packets comprising 1.25 million double-sided sheets in just six days—work that would normally take two months. This work was critical to support the initial move toward at-home learning during the coronavirus pandemic.

OPS quickly dedicated their two Xerox Inkjet Presses to 24/7 production and, with some supplemental outsourcing, met the deadline. It was trial by fire, Priesman said, “and we’re real proud of our response.”

Now color orders continue to grow. “I don’t think it’s possible to quantify that a color document is X percent more effective than monochrome,” he said. “But I’m confident the improved comprehension is there.” Add in the in-plant’s faster turnarounds and 60 percent boost in capacity and, Priesman said, “That’s a winning combination.”

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