North Andover, Mass. – For San Bernardino Valley Community College (SBVC), when their old platemaker decided to discontinue support — and plates — for their equipment, it meant they needed to evaluate all the options on the market today for something that would be able to support both their two-color and four-color offset presses. After looking at all of the choices, they decided the CRON-ECRM 26H package was right for them.
The bundled solution includes the CRON CTP Model 26H fully automatic platesetter; the Blackwood Emerald UV, low-chemistry plate system; and the WPT70 low-chemistry wash-out unit, and SBVC hasn’t looked back. “It’s a lot faster and more efficient,” said Dennis Winters, Printing Operations Specialist. “Like 5 times faster than the old one — we went from 6 plates an hour to 22 plates an hour.”
Another major difference they are finding, said Kevin Sutton, Printing Operations Specialist, is the speed. “A big difference is the plate loader,” he noted. “It loads by itself one at a time and keeps the press going — it’s continuous, which is a big savings on man hours, as much as a couple of hours a day. So right off the bat it was so much more efficient — just push a button and let it go.” But, he said, “The best part is slip sheet removal — this thing removes the sheet between each plate that comes from the factory, so saves us time. There are a lot of little features like that, which are unique to this CRON-ECRM platesetter.”
Time isn’t the only savings either, with the shop noting that they used to pay $600 per box of 100 plates on their old platesetter; now they are paying just $200 per box of 100 plates. “We saved $400 a box right off the top with this equipment,” said Winters.
Service is a benefit SBVC wasn’t expecting to be as big a positive as it turned out to be. “[Our service guy] is always there when you need him,” said Sutton. “We can call any time, anywhere and he’ll answer. And he can take control of the machine on the Internet — that’s been great. We used to go round and round with service with the old one, but this one hasn’t needed to be serviced at all — everything has been figured out or done over the phone.” One example he gave was when they were having an issue and their service technician was able to log in and see that the cover wasn’t on correctly. He had them adjust it, and they were back up and running in seconds. “That has saved us not only service time, but has limited down time.”
SBVC does the printing work for two colleges, and Anna Mendez, Printing & Graphic Services Supervisor, noted that they have not had any jobs returned or rejected since installing the CRON-ECROM 26H system. In fact, it has been so successful, that another inplant came in to see it, and is now planning on upgrading their own equipment as well. “We’re on a roll, which makes our job easier and better,” she noted.