In-Plants and Wide-Format: A Perfect Match
Bob Neubauer, the Editor-in-Chief of In-plant Graphics, opened the “In-Plant Breakfast & Wide-Format Discussion," on Oct. 19 at the 2018 SGIA Expo, by presenting the findings of a study conducted by In-plant Graphics and SGIA. The survey covered trends in wide-format installations at in-plants.
According to the results, 72 percent of in-plants are using wide-format. The 28 percent of shops that have not invested in this technology may be relying on outsourcing for their current needs. But as Neubauer noted, “this is a great opportunity to pursue.” The survey also said that 32 percent of respondents have two wide-format printers, and a majority reported increases in wide-format volumes in the last 12 months.
He presented a variety of equipment and technologies used for different applications by in-plants run by Colorado School District #11, University of Texas-Austin, Sacramento State (for its SGIA award-winning wall graphic) and Villanova University.
Neubauer then introduced the panel of in-plant managers: Rick Maisonneuve, Production Manager, Pearl River Resort, Choctaw, Miss.; Brian Hindal, Print Production Specialist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; and Adam Broadfoot, Business Process Officer, World Bank Group, Washington, D.C. Each began their remarks by talking about their background in the industry, before moving on to the capabilities and equipment used in their shops, and the products that they’ve created.
Maisonneuve, for example, heads a new in-plant that has produced eye-catching graphics for a hospital’s elevator doors. And for a restaurant with windows facing the sun, window graphics cut heat while still allowing customers to see out.
Hindal’s shop supports many Mayo Clinic campuses and hospitals with dozens of employees producing directional signage, paper and fabric posters, among other things. Wide-format work he showcased included a reproduction, using stainless steel as a substrate, of a U.S. postage stamp honoring the Mayo Brothers for an installation at the Rochester (MN) Civic Center following a recent renovation.
“We noticed how much work was going outside and we realized we had to keep up with the trends,” said Broadfoot of his operation. Recent purchases, like a hybrid flatbed in June 2018, have created “an immediate increase in efficiency,” he noted. Jobs like producing a banner for a catwalk that used to require 3-to-3-1/2 hours are now done in 1-to-1-1/2 hours, he said. The in-plant is still in the early stages of finding out about future capabilities and opportunities, and possibly new business lines.