An intimate view of the Driveline production
Did you ever wonder how this newsletter – Driveline – is produced? Well, as the Editor of the Driveline, I really did not know what was involved in getting this newsletter into your hands once I sent off the electronic copy to the publishers. So I took a trip to VI DataPrint in St. Charles, Illinois to take a tour of the facility and find out what goes on “behind the curtains”.
Manager/Customer Service mid-morning to get a preview of the printing process used. Joe explained that they are one of the premier developers in the area of Variable Data Printing (VDP)/Variable Information (VI) digital print applications, (thus the name: VI DataPrint). Their company provides everything that is needed for very cost efficient deployment in direct mail communications. The facility is primarily a Xerox shop utilizing some of the latest digital press technology as well as a full direct mail and bindery operations.
After I spend a few hours assembling the draft version of the Driveline incorporating all the photos and experiences gathered from various monthly tour and event participants, I send the electronic MS Publisher file over to Laura at VI DataPrint. She peruses my work, and if there are no blatant or file transfer errors, she prepares the copy for printing.
There are several steps taken before the Driveline issue reaches your mailbox. First, the critiqued file is sent to the Production Printers. Since the Driveline has both color and B&W pages, the file is sent to two different devices. The color page is sent to the Xerox Docucolor 8000 while the B&W pages are sent to the Xerox 4127 EPS B&W Production Printer. The Printers can process at 80 and 125 pages per minute respectively. Joe noted that even though the Xerox Docucolor 8000 can produce B&W pages,
it is more cost effective to utilize the Xerox 4127 EPS B&W Production Printer and merge the two outputs together during binding process. Any personalization of the newsletter (mailing address, unique notes, etc.) is incorporated in this step. This eliminates any need for address labels affixed to the finished document – saving time.
Trays of output documents are then moved over to the Standard Stitcher & Folder by Dan Vann, Pressman/Bindery Technician. Here is where the two stacks of pages are merged, stapled and folded. The output is then moved to a unit that attaches the wafer tag (mailing seals) to the folded newsletter making ready for mailing. Joe explained that by mailing in the folded format we are able to realize a reduced first class mailing rate for our newsletter.
The entire process takes a couple of days and barring any mailing difficulties, your copy of Driveline is in your hand the first week of each month.
VI DataPrint has always provided fast and supportive service in producing a quality newsletter for us and maybe someday we will be able to have them produce a full-color Driveline for your reading pleasure.
~~ Victor L’Heureux