Cal Poly Acquires Digital Web Press, Diecutter Valued at More Than $350K

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Professor Howard Vogl instructs students on the use of the department’s HP Indigo ws4000 series variable-data digital web press.

Cal Poly graphic communication students watch a demonstration of the department’s new Esko Kongsburg iCut variable data diecutting system.

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA—Feb. 22, 2012—Through a partnership with Hewlett Packard and Esko, Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department has installed new equipment that will give students hands-on experience integrating the technologies of digital printing and commercial printing and packaging. HP donated an HP Indigo ws4000 series web press valued at $188,000 and Esko provided a Kongsberg iCut variable data diecutting system worth $179,000.

These additions will be used by graphic communication students in advanced digital printing classes and by professionals attending industry seminars and workshops conducted by the Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly. The workflow resulting from the two systems allows press runs of one or multiple copies and moves the pieces to the iCut for variable diecutting of individual or multiple final products.

Cal Poly graphic communication Professor Malcolm Keif and Department Head Harvey Levenson led the effort to bring this digital web press and diecutting workflow together.

“The Esko team has been very supportive of our program,” Keif said. “They are involved in educating our students, working on industry outreach, collaborating on research, and hiring our graduates. Esko epitomizes our industry/education partnership.”

Levenson, who coordinated the HP partnership, said, “Since HP acquired Indigo in 2001, we’ve been working together to educate students and companies in how to market, sell and integrate digital printing technology into commercial printing and packaging. The ws4000 series press compliments our Indigo sheetfed press and expands our capabilities to teach a workflow representing present and future opportunities for the graphic communication industry.

“Capturing, printing and diecutting digital images—static or variable—in a closed-loop workflow represents a direction that will keep the commercial printing and packaging industries viable in the years ahead,” he noted.

About Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department
The department was founded in 1946 and is one of the largest and best-known programs of its kind in the nation. It includes concentrations in graphic communication management, web and digital media, design reproduction technology, graphics for packaging, and individualized study. The program is strongly supported by industry with grants and endowments and with equipment, supplies and software for the department’s more than 33,000 square feet of modern laboratories. The department is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications. The Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly ( focuses on services for industry, including research, testing, product evaluations, consulting, training, seminars, workshops, conferences and publishing.

Source: Cal Poly.

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