Nine Central Lakes College Graphic Arts students and instructors traveled to Chicago on April 9-11 for a visit to Heidelberg USA.
Heidelberg, whose parent company is in Germany, manufactures equipment for the printing and publishing industry. The firm has a reputation worldwide as the "Mercedes" of printing equipment.
Upon arrival, students gained hands-on experience in the pre-press area with image manipulation and color correction software using scanners and software, some of which was still in Beta format. These images were then digitally proofed and plated before being printed.
The afternoon saw students print a number of jobs on a variety of stocks. They also had working demonstrations with other types of equipment.
"Our students are fortunate in that we are the only school to which Heidelberg has donated this kind of experience ," said Mary Belanger, electronic pre-press instructor.
"It takes a lot of trust on any company's part to let eight to 10 students loose on a piece of equipment worth a couple million of dollars, and to say, 'Hey, go at it, have fun, print!'" said Jon Belanger, graphic arts press instructor.
The following day was spent at a Quad Graphics, West Allis, Wis., plant. This location, one of eight print-production plants, is known as Quad Graphics' Print Demand Center. It houses services for four-color book publishing. Services include concepting, imaging, binding, encasing, individual cartooning and distribution all under one roof.
Unique to any company, employees at Quad enjoy numerous on-site amenities, including a full service medical, dental and optical clinics; a pharmacy; fitness center; and volleyball and racquetball courts.
"We enjoyed the opportunity and our hosts also enjoyed having us at Quad," said Belanger.
Students participating in the experience were Alexi Peck and Jessica Buck of Brainerd, Jenny Crimmins of Pillager, Troy Hochsprung of Clear Lake, Tina Westhoff of Perham, Kelly Mumm and Trisha Jasmer of Staples, Jesse Ponsness of Rice, and Lisa Blexrud of Outing.
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