Schools, colleges and universities use an astonishing array of printed materials ranging from HR and application forms to exam papers, yearbooks, event and display posters, textbooks and report cards.
Today all but the largest educational institutes outsource their print requirements, and for many reasons. In most cases they do not have the relevant equipment, space or staff skills to manage a printing operation, so outsourcing is usually seen as more cost-effective.
Outsourcing print requirements certainly made sense in the days of ‘conventional’ mechanical printing and finishing technology. This equipment requires specialist printing and mechanical skills and dealing with solvent-based pressroom chemicals.
But new developments in digital printing and short-run finishing equipment - which can all be seen at Gulf Print & Pack 2022 - have completely changed the equation, making setting up an in-house print and binding operation much more feasible.
Modern print and finishing systems are more compact, more automated and more cost effective than ever before. In addition, there are direct educational and career benefits for students in learning how these systems operate and dovetail with the digital educational tools they are already using.
Ayman Aly, B2B Senior Marketing Manager at Canon Middle East, points out that the pandemic has already accelerated the move towards in-house automated document processing and digital printing by educational establishments across the MENA region:
“The pandemic has put a strain on the education sector, meaning schools and universities have had to find new ways to operate, teach, and support their students. The Middle East-focused study of educational institutions by Canon, commissioned in September 2021, shed light on the way forward. It revealed that lockdowns have helped to accelerate the speed of adoption of digital transformation and associated technology by schools and universities, including tools for process automation, online exams, and digital diplomas, resulting in faster issuance of digital degrees, quicker processing of documentation, automated real-time exam grading, and easier setup and improved security of e-signatures."
“The adoption of these digital tools has enabled educational institutions to utilize their internal resources and upgraded IT infrastructures to avoid delays, unnecessary costs, and ensure uninterrupted operations. We can expect to see this trend continuing, as institutions continue to see results for their investment objectives, in the form of long-term cost and time savings.”
Xerox Emirates is another major supplier which deploys a range of resources to help the region’s education sector, including customizable digital services, technology devices, document management and production print solutions.
Shahzeen Mir, Commercial Director, Xerox Emirates LLC, points out that modern print production technology allows educators to produce a wide range of customized printed materials for students in-house and on demand.
“Since books can take on many forms - workbooks, booklets, perfect bound books and more - our technology has the flexibility to create a powerful colour print solution that helps students thrive.” Mir points out that the type of print technologies offered by Xerox are no longer limited to simply mono or 4-colour CMYK print. ‘We can increase impact with metallic and neon inks, textured stock and other embellishments that help published content captivate growing minds and improve workflow with personalisation, production optimisation and extensible inline/nearline finishing.”
The Gulf Print & Pack 2022 show, to be held at the World Trade Center Dubai in May, will showcase a wide range of new technologies of interest to in-house printing departments at universities, colleges, schools, and other educational establishments, with big names including Canon, Ricoh, and Xerox.
Visitors will be able to see practical demonstrations of the latest digital print and finishing technology, learning how to produce single, customized copies, to longer runs of fully finished textbooks, exam papers, educational/information posters and much more.
As well as printing and binding of full colour books, exhibitors will also demonstrate document processing systems typically used by HR and other departments in universities, schools, and colleges. ‘There has never been a better time for educational institutes of all kinds to bring printing capabilities in-house,’ says GPP show director Barry Killengrey. ‘The ability to digitally print and bind textbooks fully automatically a single copy at a time is a real game-changer. At the same time, there are wide format printers at the show which will produce full-color posters, self-adhesive stickers, wall maps, and a host of other printed pieces which are used every day throughout education establishments.’
GPP can set up education-focused meetings with equipment and software suppliers at the show. Please see contact details below.
GPP takes place 24-26th May 2022 at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. It is organized by the Tarsus Group, organisers of GESS events.