Case Study: Printability and Graphic Communications Institute (ICI)
How the ICI-Ricoh partnership for cutting-edge production printers advances ICI's training, consulting and research capabilities
About the customer
Located in Montreal in the Canadian Province of Quebec, the Printability and Graphic Communication Institute (ICI) is a major influencer in the commercial and industrial printing space. This nonprofit serves as an integrated centre for innovation and expertise that provides technical training to students and industry employees as well as consulting and applied research services.
Through its training program, ICI conducts seminars, skills assessment and customized training in-house or at a printer's location. Its consulting services help solve problems around printability and formulation to improve efficiency and optimize processes — while also helping companies acquire new technology for strategic projects. ICI's applied research service conducts in-depth performance analysis of paper types and consumables (inks and plates) and provides chemical and physical analysis to elevate print quality on a wide range of in-house printing presses including offset, flexography, digital and screen technology.
Need to elevate capabilities with cutting-edge digital technology
Limitations with traditional four-colour production printers
Serving an industry undergoing great change
Need for high-end printer for short-run ICI marketing projects
To continue delivering on its mission to provide innovation and expertise in graphic communications and printability, ICI needed to be equipped with the latest cutting-edge production print technology. Emerging applications and the push for reliable, high-end colour printing were limited by existing digital technology.
As digital printing continued to rival offset quality, more printers were adding digital technology to their offset fleet or swapping traditional printing technology for digital systems altogether. This trend made training on the latest digital technology even more imperative to ensure students and employees at area printing companies had the skills to run the equipment. And, with consulting and research a significant part of ICI's offerings, they needed the latest digital technology in-house to continue delivering key insights and findings to the companies they serve.
ICI also produced its own marketing materials for events it hosted such as its annual Oyster Party and the Gutenberg Gala for the printing industry. They needed in-house access to printing technology suited to short runs and high quality so their hand-outs and other marketing materials reflected the status of these prestigious events.
Ability to provide unique training
Capabilities to stand out as consultants and researchers
Equipped to produce high-end materials in-house
Reliable, expert partnership for ongoing innovation
With its digital colour production print technology, ICI is now able to provide unique introductory training and ongoing skills development for the students it serves. As more printing companies upgrade to this cutting-edge technology, their new hires and seasoned employees alike will be fully capable of leveraging the equipment to create distinct business advantages. In turn, ICI's consultants and researchers have innovative digital production print technology to deliver new insights and resolve problems for the commercial printing operations they serve.
ICI is now equipped to produce high-end, short runs of its marketing materials for internal use and high-profile events alike. They can embellish printed materials using the fifth colour station on the press — rather than relying on offset technology better suited to longer runs.
The Ricoh-ICI partnership also paves the way for ICI to remain a major influencer in the commercial and industrial printing space. As new technologies become available, ICI will have access to the latest tools and expertise to continue to advance the printing industry.
How We Did It
"The Ricoh team's support is just wonderful. If we have technical questions on a specific project, our Ricoh technician always has a solution for us."
Hélène Pageau, Marketing, Conference and Event Manager ICI
Provided a unique digital production print unit
Conducted training for team members and instructors
Delivered timely, expert service
Forged an enduring partnership
We were introduced to ICI through our partnership with print technology manufacturer Heidelberg, to which we provide digital production print technology. When our latest digital colour printer was launched, we installed a unit at ICI so its students and team members would have access to this unique technology with a fifth colour station for applying white, clear, neon or security pink to printed material. The system also came with the latest colour management software and in-line finishing.
After installation, we trained ICI team members and instructors to use the technology and leverage its unique features, in particular, the fifth colour station. We also made our service team available to provide a quick, expert response to any questions or technical issues ICI had.
As a result, Ricoh and ICI have a partnership agreement that is mutually beneficial. ICI receives the latest digital colour production print technology for its training, consulting and research endeavors. And Ricoh, in turn, is able to demonstrate its cutting edge production print technology to other printers looking to enhance their capabilities or expand their offerings.