Ricoh Americas Corporation and California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) officially opened the Ricoh Digital Printing Laboratory in conjunction with the university's celebration of International Printing Week commemorating Benjamin Franklin, an early pioneer of printing technology.
As part of Ricoh's strategic focus on the digital production printing market, the company has partnered with Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department to benefit students and the industry alike. As the cornerstone of the laboratory, Ricoh donated a fully configured Pro C900S digital color production printing system to the university's Graphic Communication Department, with on-going service donated by IKON, a Ricoh company. The partnership was first announced at Print '09 in September of last year.
The Ricoh Digital Printing Laboratory will provide benefits for students, printing professionals, and the industry as a whole. Students enrolled in Cal Poly's Graphic Communication curriculum are exposed to Ricoh technology via the school's experiential "learn by doing" approach to education. The Pro C900S is also central to Cal Poly's student run and managed printing and publishing company: University Graphic Systems (UGS). This exposure to both digital printing technology, and the business of running a print shop, helps prepare students for industry leadership positions. The Digital Printing Laboratory will also play a role in special student projects, offering research and testing capabilities, such as allowing senior-level students and faculty to provide product evaluations on system performance related to quality, productivity, color management, and substrate and toner handling. Seminars and workshops will also be made available to Ricoh customers, providing the ability to explore emerging trends in digital printing markets and applications.
This alliance further supports Ricoh's strategic commitment to the graphic arts industry to continue as a major player in the production printing space. Ricoh's Production Printing Business Group worked closely with Cal Poly to establish the partnership, refining the goals and offerings over the past year.
"Our vision was to align with a leading educational institution focused on our industry, and to provide value to students and the graphic communication industry as a whole," said Carl Joachim, vice president of Marketing, PPBG, Ricoh Americas Corporation. "Giving back to our industry, and ensuring our customers prosper, is a social responsibility we are deeply committed to. It was clear from our first meeting together, that Ricoh and Cal Poly hold shared values."
As part of the agreement, Ricoh will also work with Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Institute (GrCI). GrCI focuses on services for the industry including research, laboratory testing, product evaluations, consulting, training and development, seminars, workshops, and conferences. In addition, Ricoh and IKON will serve as key partners within Cal Poly's intern program, guest lecturer opportunities, and equipment benchmarking tests.
"The establishment of the Ricoh Digital Printing Laboratory plays a major role in Cal Poly's commitment to expose our students and the industry to the latest technology advancements redefining how printing is occurring now and will continue in the future," said Dr. Harvey Levenson, Department Head of Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department. "The Ricoh Pro C900S Color Production System is a perfect example of such technology which is why we selected it as a standard part of our academic curriculum."