King Faisal Centre embraces digital printing
When the KSA-based research and learning institute wanted to improve print quality and efficiency, Canon approached it with a digital printing solution
Book publishing and manufacturing is undergoing a rapid transformation globally as both manufacturers and end users embrace digital technology. The printing industry in the Middle East is no different.
Faster turnaround times, qualitative, shorter print runs and more effective control and security of the printing architecture are crucial factors shaping this trend and, in turn, causing organisations to adopt digital solutions.
The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies is one organisation seeing the benefits to this type of transformation. Founded in 1983, in line with the vision of the King Faisal Foundation, the Centre aims to support and promote research and studies pertaining to Islamic studies, politics, sociology and inheritance through a variety of publications including books, brochures and booklets. Faced with increasing costs and with a focus on creating efficiencies, the Center turned to Canon, which implemented a three-step approach that increased productivity and efficiency at the philanthropic organisation.
This three-step approach saw Canon introduce Canon technology to the Center, and was followed by the supply of work and demo applications. The final stage involved direct and live demonstration of the hardware and software and a complete tailoring of the solution to meet the Center’s ongoing needs as well as future objectives.
“As an organisation that has always heavily relied on offset as a medium for printing, moving to digital was a huge step for us as it meant a significant change in our business model,” said Ibrahim Mohamed Hassanien, account manager at King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.
“The time-consuming process of making and mounting offset plates, and the makeready involved in getting the job right, was simply not cost effective for short runs. Digital print, on the other hand, had the potential to reduce our costs significantly. By producing shorter, more targeted runs, the potential for returns would be lowered dramatically,” he continued.
“We knew that digital would also open up creative opportunities for in-line customisation, personalisation, and real-time marketing activities such as cross-selling or promotional material inclusion. Canon Middle East analysed where our business was, how we could streamline our work and where new opportunities may lie, comprehensively explaining the concept to us, and helping us mandate our move to go digital,” says Hassanien.
Following initial liaison between Canon and the team at the Center, Canon Middle East then offered work and demo applications to the Center for each of its magazines, brochures and booklets.
“The work and demo applications proved to be a very a good exercise as this was the first instance where we used the technology and were able to directly test if it fulfilled our business needs,” confirmed Hassanien.
“We were impressed with the versatility of imagePRESS C800 to print across a huge variety of media, with an impressive production speed of up to 80 impressions per minute. The Océ VarioPrint 6000, on the other hand, with its outstanding print quality, and flexible mixed-media feeding ably supported our on-demand and digital book printing needs. Both the machines helped us achieve great results even in this trial run.
“Further adding to the benefits, was the Océ PRISMA prepare solution, which took care of our prepress needs. From cleaning up pages and enhancing documents, to checking and correcting colours, as well as preparing documents to accommodate staples, fold lines or punch holes – the all-in-one solution enabled the operator to prepare documents for booklet-making or perfect binding, thereby automating all repetitive jobs.”
As a last phase of the three-step approach, Canon Middle East invited Hassanien and members of the organisation’s management team to Dubai to attend the Canon Insight Live event in 2013. Insight Live is a regular event hosted by Canon consisting of targeted seminars aimed at customers, enabling them to take advantage of market potential and unlock new business opportunities.
“Though we were aware of what the technology could do, getting familiar with it in person and see how it could streamline our processes, produce more quality content and add more value to our offerings convinced us to officially sign the deal,” says Hassanien.
The past three years have been deemed positive for the Center and the organisation has succeeded in achieving stretch targets.
“Since implementing digital printing in conjunction with Canon, we have been able to print two million colour pages and five million black & white pages annually, which means we have been able to increase our productivity by 20%,” revealed Hassanien.
“Another contributing factor to this increased productivity was reduced paper jams and less loss of paper which consequently, helped to free up time, enabling our staff to focus on more important tasks at hand.”
Additionally, due to the greater uptime, the print department is now able to serve more departments at the Center. “The past three years have been very fruitful for us and much credit goes to Canon and its revolutionary technology. We’ve had such a successful experience that we are now considering our options in relation to bigger colour production printers, for which talks are underway,” discloses Hassanien.