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How was my dissertation printed and bound, Canon?

The month of July sees thousands of people graduate from university after three or four years of studying their chosen degree. Many students in their final year also write a dissertation on a topic of their choice. Whilst some stores on the high street such as Ryman or Staples offer dissertation printing and binding, some universities offer printing on-site.

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The Canon Print Centre at Southampton Solent University offers a range of services to staff and students across the year, including dissertation printing and binding

This is the case at Southampton Solent University—the university at which I studied—where they house their Canon Print Centre. Every year, this mini in-house printing firm prints thousands of dissertations for students.
As suggested by the name, the equipment that is used by Solent is all Canon technology.

Dissertations can range from 35 pages long, to 80 pages in length. Compared to high street stores, Solent and Canon have managed to keep the prices for printing very low. Considering the pressure on final year students, keeping their eye on their finances is something that they do not want to think about.

The Canon Print Centre received throughout April and May 2017, via our Web-2-Print solution, cumulative orders to print and bind 2,266 dissertations

I have a confession—I worry a lot. I worked on my dissertation almost every day for the whole of my final year because I believed that I would not finish it on time. In the end, my dissertation was almost 50 pages longer than anyone else’s due to the length of my appendices. I thought it would cost me £20 to print and bind, as we were required to print two to be marked, and I wanted my own copy to treasure.

Overall, the total for three seventy-one-page long dissertations to be printed and bound cost £6.27, which equates to £2.09 per dissertation. Compare this to what a few of my course mates paid to get two dissertations finished on the high street, it was almost £10 cheaper; and I had more products at the end of it.

So how do Canon and Solent University keep the costs of printing and binding so low for students?

Georgina Bowell, proposition consultant, public sector, Canon UK, says: “At Canon, we continually monitor our prices via comparison activities within the education sector and other local print services in the surrounding geographic area. Both staff and students benefit from the same competitive edge pricing, and this complements the price points in our managed print services offering. All prices set are discussed and agreed with the client at contract governance level.

Southampton Solent University's main campus, East Park Terrace homes the Canon Print Centre

“Providing a cost-effective solution with class leading technology to service-based contracts such as Southampton Solent University is essential for our continued partnership with them as well as laying the foundations for contract development.”

Beginning in April and running through May, dissertation and Final Major Project deadlines loomed for many students. This means a higher workload than usual.  Bowell continues: “The Canon Print Centre received throughout April and May 2017, via our Web-2-Print solution, cumulative orders to print and bind 2,266 dissertations. During this period, we were producing on average 58 dissertations every day. May 2nd 2017 saw the largest peak in production, with 250 dissertations being printed and bound.”

When I sent my dissertation to print, I stayed up into the early hours of the morning lining up and perfecting every page, so that it was ready for print. I also submitted it for printing two days before it was due in, believing that it would take a couple of days and worrying that I would miss my deadline.

All three copies of my dissertation were finished later that day and ready to hand in.

So, how do Canon and The Print Centre produce 60 dissertations and roughly 3,500 pages each day? Bowell says: “We have two Canon Vario Print 120s for mono printing, both capable of 123 pages per minute. Colour production is delivered by Canon Image Press c700 and is capable of printing 70 pages per minute. The dissertations are punched with a Magna Punch 2.0; combs are added and closed with a manual closer.”

The Canon Print Centre at Solent uses a Magna Punch 2.0, and combs are added manually to finish the dissertation

My dissertation was special to me, it signified the end of a whirlwind three years and the beginning of another chapter. I worked so hard on those 71 pages about South African cricket and its links to society, and stressed for hours about the printing of it. Little did I know that printing one copy would take less than a minute, and the whole process—from receiving the file to binding it—would only take 57 minutes.

Bowell finishes: “A 71-page book would take less than a minute to print on the Canon VP 120. Of course, you need to add to this the time taken by the Document Services Operator to transfer the file, quality check, punch and bind. The average turnaround time for a dissertation, from order received to order completed and ready for collection by the student, was 57 minutes during this year’s April/May period.”

Canon work with over 50 percent of the universities in the UK, which includes Southampton Solent University. Not only do the students benefit from Canon technology, but also the lecturers and professors who use it to create learning resources.



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