Replacing pre-printed forms

A bank wants to reduce the amount of paper that it stores. If the bank eliminates some of the pre-printed forms that they use by printing some statements on a color printer, they can use the same type of plain paper for various applications.

Over the last five years, the bank has purchased ten smaller banks and is in negotiations for several others. The parent bank uses an AFP system to print statements in-house on pre-printed forms. All the pre-printed forms contain color logos. Some of them also contain background images or blocks of color that divide the page into regions. The existing system consists of:

  • InfoPrint Manager, including the Page Printer Formatting Aid (PPFA) feature
  • Three duplex InfoPrint 4000 lines
  • Two duplex InfoPrint 4100 lines
Print jobs are submitted as line data and InfoPrint Manager transforms them into AFP. AFP resources are stored in a central location. There are no color production printers in use.

The banks that were acquired handled printing in different ways. Some of them had their own print shops; some of them outsourced print to other companies. The print staff at the parent bank has spent a significant amount of time moving the printing operations of the acquired banks to their in-house print operation, starting with the ones that outsourced their print. Five of them have been converted. The print shop administrators are starting to face some interesting issues:

  • The increased workload for the in-house operation means that they need to increase their print capacity.
  • Each of the banks that the parent has purchased has maintained its own logo and branding. Each time one of the banks has been integrated with print operations, it has brought with it at least five different pre-printed forms that need to be ordered and stored.
  • Even though each kind of pre-printed form comes from the same vendor, the colors vary noticeably.
  • The acquired banks will eventually replace their old logos and forms with the logo and forms of the parent bank, but the dates are not yet planned.

With the increase in the number of forms that must be stored, space is becoming a problem. The team knows that they have to expand printing capacity, but they do not have space for a new duplex line. If they could eliminate some of the paper that they have to store, they could use that space for the new line.

The solution

The Ricoh team proposes an AFP color solution to:

  • Transform their pre-printed forms to simple color statements and eliminate the need for pre-printed forms, thus reducing the paper that needs to be stored.
  • Streamline the process of moving the acquired banks to the parent bank’s logo and forms.
  • Optimize resource management to maximize throughput.
  • Make the colors more uniform from job to job.

The solution adds a duplex InfoPrint 5000 line and AFP Resource Installer to the existing system and updates the other components to add AFP color support. The bank can choose which applications to move to the color workflow, taking into consideration the fact that the throughput of the InfoPrint 5000 line is less than that of an InfoPrint 4100 line. In addition, those print jobs cannot be run on the existing InfoPrint 4100 or InfoPrint 4000 printers, since those printers cannot print the required color elements.

As the printing staff becomes proficient in using the system, they can start to prepare more applications for an eventual move to color by migrating them to use the high-quality grayscale function available on their InfoPrint 4100 printers. Then, when they are ready to add another color line (either by eliminating more paper storage or by replacing one of the InfoPrint 4000 lines), they can move those print jobs to the color printers.

Solution diagram for adding AFP Resource Installer and an InfoPrint 5000 printer

The image shows a flowchart of the solution described in the text.

Implementation

To implement the color solution, the bank printing staff works with the Ricoh team through several phases:

  • Planning the color solution
    • Determine where the resource library should be located so that it is accessible to all the applications that need to use it.
    • Determine which types of resources can or should be saved on the printer for reuse. For example, signature files should probably not be saved on the printer; company logos and background images probably should be saved.
  • Installing and configuring the system
    • Install the InfoPrint 5000 printers.
    • Apply service updates to InfoPrint Manager and PPFA to add color support.
    • Install AFP Resource Installer.
  • Configuring resource management for optimal performance
    • Use AFP Resource Installer to install the CMRs for the InfoPrint 5000 printers.
    • Get the PDF file of the pre-printed form or use graphic art software to create a full page image to use as the background image.
    • Use AFP Resource Installer to install the PDF or image as a data object resource and associate a color conversion CMR with it.
    • Configure InfoPrint Manager to recognize the resource libraries that AFP Resource Installer uses and to send print jobs to the new printer.
    • Use PPFA to create a form definition and page definition that calls the new data object resource.
      Refer to the object using the ID that you specified when you installed it.
    • Copy any new form definitions or page definitions that you created into an existing resource library.
  • Testing system operations
    • Create a print job that calls the form definition and page definition, and that points to the new resource libraries.
    • Submit the print job.
    • Check the color output.
 
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