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Local printing slashes textbooks costs by 94%

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Bytes Document Solutions is saving up to 94% on the cost of textbooks and study guides for students at the University of Limpopo by supplying the campus with the Xerox Nuvera 144 Digital Production System. 

Aimed at book publishers and companies which print manuals and textbooks, the Nuvera 144 halves the time taken to complete large commercial print jobs as the machine simultaneously prints documents on both sides.
"Xerox continues to raise the benchmark for product innovation and quality," says Keith Knott, divisional manager: production systems group at Bytes Document Solutions. "Through its constant innovation the company remains ahead of the competition."
By printing its own textbooks and study guides internally, the University of Limpopo has reduced the cost of textbooks from R200.00 per book imported from Europe to R12.00 for the locally-printed version. This represents a saving of 94%.
"There are 16 000 students at the university, most of whom can't afford the high prices that imported textbooks demand," says Jacques Nell, CEO of Xerox Data Master, the dealer that supplied the high-volume digital printer.
"This is the first printer of its kind in South Africa and it has revolutionised the way the university functions."
Students are able to receive their own textbooks and study guides with their names printed on them to reduce theft. If only a few chapters of a book are needed for a module, then students needn't buy the entire book as only the required chapters are printed, and royalties are paid to the author by the university, which costs much less.
"This is an African solution to an African problem," says Nell. "There is a major demand for education in Limpopo and by creating cheaper textbooks we are able to meet that demand."
The Nuvera 144 print-on-demand system has reduced the textbook creation process from 15 steps to three, boosting turnaround time. When it was decided that the ANC conference last year would be held in Limpopo, the party was concerned that the province would not have the capacity to print all the documentation needed. However, with the Nuvera 144 in place, all the conference's printing needs were met.
"Currently the Department of Education is spending R5-billion per annum on textbooks to supply two grades," says Nell. "There is enough money in South Africa to supply all schools and tertiary education institutions with textbooks, but it is not being spent effectively. We must begin to use technology to our advantage.
"Only R2-billion is needed to cover all textbook costs if the government were to go the technology route and supply each province with its own Nuvera 144. The University of Limpopo understood this and thus followed this route."
Textbooks can also be printed in indigenous languages to help students learn and to boost comprehension.
"Education is the basic price for any strong economy. By enabling students to receive an education it allows them to obtain, jobs which ultimately lowers crime," says Nell.