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Advanced Printing Technology Assessment

Solicitation Number: GPOAPTA2009
Agency: Government Printing Office
Office: Acquisition Services
Location: Acquisition Services
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Sources Sought
Added: Aug 05, 2009 4:43 pm Modified: Aug 17, 2009 4:32 pmTrack Changes


This Request for Information (RFI) is issued for market research, budgetary and planning purposes only!

 The United States Government Printing Office (GPO) is developing a proposal designed to identify the emerging print technology that is best suited for the GPO. The opportunity expressed in this RFI is referred to as the Advanced Printing Technology Assessment (APTA) and is envisioned as a print solution that incorporates modern printing techniques and will enhance GPO's capabilities while improving overall efficiency.

 The proposed print solution will use advanced printing technology to produce Congressional and Federal agency publications in a timely and efficient manner. It will provide cost-effective solutions to short and medium-run jobs while reducing production paper waste and increasing utilization. The solution must meet or exceed the production windows required for GPO's core products and should either incorporate with current industry binding equipment or integrate with GPO's existing equipment and processes. The proposed system will offer high-speed, high-volume printing and should include flexible multi-solution capabilities including Print on Demand and Variable Data Printing.

 GPO is requesting industry assessment of our documentation as well as information to determine the capabilities of vendors to provide all or a portion of the services required for APTA, including printing technologies as well as bindery solutions that compliment these technologies. This information will be used to help define our Requirements and to revise, if necessary, our Concept of Operations (Conops) documentation, Implementation Plan and Acquisition Strategy in order to deliver a world-class printing technology solution.


GPO is the Federal Government's primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, and preserving published U.S. Government information in all its forms. Since its inception, under the authority of Title 44 of the U.S. Code, GPO has provided all three branches of the federal government with a set of centralized services that enables our Plant Operations to efficiently and cost effectively produce both printed and electronic documents.

Throughout its history, the Government Printing Office has been organized to carry out its mission in a traditional printing craft setting with its emphasis on extensive capital investments in heavy metal equipment operated in a large factory environment. In general, the GPO dedicates its in-house printing equipment to produce overnight publications for Congress and The Office of the Federal Register. In total, this accounts for thirteen core products which GPO prints using a combination of seven conventional web offset presses.

Traditional web presses have fulfilled Congressional and Federal Agency needs for the past four decades but they have become less efficient as print volumes have grown shorter. GPO web presses are designed for press runs of minimum 20,000 copies in order to reach desired efficiency.  Since the mid 1980s, GPO has witnessed a decrease in publication quantities where currently not a single core GPO product averages more than 8,000 copies. This decrease in quantity has led to an increase in the production paper waste percentage as make ready quantities can be nearly as high as the required delivery amounts.

In addition to the traditional web presses, some digital printing equipment is utilized at the Government Printing Office. GPO operates a digital print center that primarily uses toner based sheet fed equipment. These toner based printers are used for low-volume, short run jobs due to capacity constraints (i.e., speed and bindery limitations) which restrict throughput.


GPO is seeking to identify a vendor(s) that can provide an advanced printing technology solution best suited for its current and future needs. The ultimate objective for the project will be to identify the printing technology that will be incorporated into a cost-effective and flexible printing solution and will meet the expectations of the proposed technology as defined in the APTA Concept of Operations (Conops).

 Contractor responsibilities may include:

  • Assisting in the selection of Bindery components for APTA

  • Assisting in the integration of any 3rd party equipment

  • Assisting GPO in testing the system

  • Training GPO personnel

  • Providing short and/or long-term support for the system once operational.

 Informational Meeting (Industry Day)

On 24 September 2009 from 8:30 AM until 11:30 AM (prior to the release of any formal request for proposal), GPO will be conducting an informational meeting (Industry Day) at its headquarters in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to any interested vendor who has products or services that are in direct support of the expectations identified for the APTA. Space for the event is limited to 80 people and pre-registration is required. Vendors are allowed no more than two (2) representatives total for an entire company and GPO reserves the right to reduce that number to one (1) in order to mitigate overcrowding. Individual divisions or groups of a single company are considered a single parent company. It is strongly recommended that at least one (1) of the participants be from one of the vendor's technical division(s).

 All wishing to participate in Industry Day must pre-register by providing the names of attendees and indication of interest via email to (subject heading "APTA Industry Day Pre-registration") no later than 12:00 (noon) eastern time on 2 September 2009. The session will be open to only those vendors who have pre-registered. NOTE: Accessibility for persons with a disability is provided, but must be noted in the pre-registration email. Please include the type of accommodation required in the email.

 Vendors are also encouraged to submit questions about APTA to GPO prior to Industry Day. These questions will be addressed by GPO personnel at Industry Day. All questions must be submitted in writing via email to (subject heading "APTA Industry Day Questions") no later than 12:00 (noon) eastern time on 17 September 2009.

 Background Material

It is strongly encouraged that all attendees be familiar with the following document:

 APTA Concept of Operations V1.2 (PDF) - The document provides a high-level conceptual vision of APTA.

 Requested Information:

Vendors should furnish the following information (Word or PDF file) to GPO:

 Capability Statement

  1. White Paper: Comments on APTA Conops

 Capability Statement:

Keeping GPO's goals in mind please identify the printing technology you would advocate and outline how your organization would incorporate this technology into a complete printing solution.

 Vendors are hereby requested to submit a capability statement (10 pages or less and no marketing material) that addresses their ability to deliver the expectations proposed in the APTA Conops document. Vendors who are interested should also identify Bindery components that would integrate with the proposed printing technology to deliver a complete printing system. Please also list company points of contact and GSA Schedule number (if applicable).

 White Paper: Comments on APTA Conops

Vendors should submit a separate document (20 pages or less) that summarizes the vendor's comments on the various documentation provided by GPO on APTA. Vendors should identify any gaps in the documentation and approach, including areas requiring further technology development or solutions, missing or ambiguous requirements, and any other general comments or concerns. Feedback in the white paper should also include specific comments and suggestions for refining the documents to reflect clear guidance to industry and industry best practices.

Capability Statements and Comments on APTA Conops must be submitted in a singular email by noon on 15 October 2009, to (subject heading "APTA Industry Day RFI Response: YOUR COMPANY NAME"). Faxed copies are not acceptable.

 Questions (post-industry day)

Questions regarding capability statements, white papers and other documentation must be submitted to (subject heading "APTA Industry Day RFI Question: YOUR COMPANY NAME"). Faxed copies are not acceptable. Questions must be submitted to GPO by 1 October 2009 NOTICE: This announcement is a request for information only and does not obligate the GPO in any way. This is not a request for proposal and the GPO will not pay for any information submitted or for any expenses associated with providing information. Any information submitted by respondents to this RFI is strictly voluntary. Material submitted will be deemed proprietary to the extent permitted by applicable laws and regulations if so marked by the respondent.

Please consult the list of document viewers if you cannot open a file.

Responses to Questions

Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Responses to Questions
Posted Date:
September 22, 2009
Description: Responses to Questions received in response to this notice.

Special Notice

Other (Draft RFPs/RFIs, Responses to Questions, etc..)
Special Notice
Posted Date:
December 15, 2009
Description: Special Notice - Advanced Printing Technology Assessment
732 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20401
732 North Capitol Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20401
United States
Herbert H Jackson,Jr.,
Chief Acquisition Officer
Phone: 202-512-0952
Fax: 202-512-2066
Beverly L. Williams,
Contract Specialist
Phone: 202-512-2010 x 31200
Fax: 202-512-0975