As the new school year begins, I could not be more excited to return to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). The campus is alive with students and the school year promises to be a busy one.
As I meet people throughout the industry, I always find it interesting to hear how familiar they are with the school. I have come across many alumni and other individuals who have completed training at RIT. If it has been a while since you have visited the school or if you are looking to learn more about it, I invite you to read on as I would like to share with you my reflections on RIT’s world renowned Printing Applications Lab from a student’s perspective.
Located on the far side of campus in a large brick building is a hidden gem loaded with full-scale commercial printing equipment, laboratory instrumentation and RIT’s incredible faculty and technical staff. To most students, “Building 78” is just another regular brick building on campus. But little do they know that inside lies an invaluable resource that helps support the powerful worldwide printing industry.
The Printing Applications Lab serves the industry tremendously through an array of digital media certification programs, product/process auditing, competitive benchmarking and assistance with product development, along with providing a range of both open-enrollment and customized corporate educational programs. Most recently, PAL conducted a printing standards audit survey to capture the views of printing companies on the role of printing standards, workflow and procedures from data reception to printing, and color workflow issues.
It is extremely important for me to be at the forefront of the latest trends and technological advances in the industry. When on campus, I will find any excuse to swing by the building to spend time and work on projects. Currently this fall at PAL, I am learning how to fully operate a Heidelberg SM 74 press in a lithographic course, working as production manger for the school’s weekly 32-page magazine printed on the Goss Sunday 2000 press, and will be soon completing work on the Kodak NexPress S3000 for our TAGA (Technical Association of Graphic Arts) student chapter.
I think it’s incredible and extremely important that the Printing Applications Lab exists for the printing industry. To be able to offer approaches to control and improve the quality of printed products—while expanding knowledge to students and industry professionals—is essential to the development of an ever-changing industry.