MELVILLE, N.Y. - Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., today announced that the Houston Independent School District (HISD) successfully installed the Océ VarioPrint i300 as part of its mission to further enrich the educational experience throughout its prestigious district. This latest inkjet investment by HISD illustrates a commitment to embracing new print technologies to help meet its goal of more efficiently producing a larger number of small-run print jobs of teaching and learning materials designated for the classroom.
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States. It serves approximately 215,000 students at 283 campuses and is one of the largest employers in Houston, with about 29,000 team members. Each year, the 334-square-mile district looks for ways to enrich the teacher and student experience by adopting new technologies that can help build on its reputation of becoming the only two-time winner of the Broad Prize Award, which recognizes the public school system that has made the most substantial gains in student achievement.
Over the last three years, HISD has turned much of its focus to the permanence of print in the educational environment. With a sizeable department of over 45 people managing the print output and presses that produce all school-related documents, the district recognized the growing impact of print and color on the overall student and learning experience. After significant research and analysis, the district chose to invest in a press that could offer a full-featured inkjet operation and take an already robust toner fleet that was distributed school-wide to new heights. This pivotal business decision led to the addition of the Océ VarioPrint i300 color digital press from Canon Solutions America.
"Our embrace of new inkjet technologies has given us the ability to produce unprecedented amounts of work in color," said Chuck Werninger, senior manager of Administrative Services at HISD, who is responsible for overseeing the printing services and operations for the district. "Our culture at HISD is built around developing innovative solutions that help both our teachers and students exceed their goals. With our newest installation, we will fundamentally change the look and feel of our learning materials which will no longer be limited to black and white."
The importance of color was not the only factor that led Werninger and HISD to Canon's leading inkjet press. Noting that a tremendous amount of offset work was being done while the industry moved rapidly toward more cost-effective inkjet solutions, the district prepared for a paradigm shift built around the prioritization of turnaround time, quality, and a press capable of handling significant volume. This, coupled with the mission of ushering in color to enhance teaching materials, has since become a core objective of HISD as it looks to unleash a new era of education throughout its storied district.
"As seen in districts around the country, a great majority of copies were produced by our teachers, taking them away from the classroom," observed Werninger. "Why keep them in the copy room when they can be doing what they do best – educating the youth. More than ever, we are producing high-quality, engaging learning materials that support our fundamental objective: Allow our teachers to focus on their teaching while we focus on the printing."
Launched in 2015, the Océ VarioPrint i300 digital press has redefined the inkjet movement with output technologies that help enable a white-sheet-in, finished-application-out workflow required to meet the demands of today's shorter run, fast turnaround print market place. The game-changing press's proven and reliable high-speed inkjet production is powered by Océ iQuarius technologies, which were designed to offer a range of innovations that allow for robust, high quality prints on sheets of paper at high speeds. Through advanced features designed to maximize uptime, the i300 has proved to be a great fit for the educational and government industries – where deadlines are constant and critical – with automated maintenance routines which help secure uninterrupted production, simultaneously helping maintain print quality, productivity, and uptime.
"By putting such an emphasis on research and development as we readied the industry for the Océ VarioPrint i300, we were able to immediately meet the needs of organizations like HISD that needed a cost-effective solution capable of running high volume monochrome and color jobs on one engine," said Mal Baboyian, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions/Large Format Solutions, Canon Solutions America. "Additionally," he observed, "it's by listening to customers like HISD that allows us to develop products that can open the door to unprecedented opportunities for businesses and organizations of all sizes."
"The new VarioPrint allows our division to become a strong service provider to our teachers and greatly helps us realize our goal of producing materials that can have a profound, gripping impact on the student body," added Werninger. "Our digital initiative was propelled forward by our new installation, and we could not be happier with the results as we prepare our students for a bright future."