City of Portland Water Bureau

Water utility organization increased its print efficiencies while reducing document distribution expenses with the Solimar Print/Director system.


Energy & Utilities


Portland, OR

Business Solution

  • Output Management
  • Device Connectivity
  • Data Stream Conversion

Solimar Products

  • Solimar Print/Director
    • Base system with XIMAGE™
    • TCP/IP Input and Output
    • XCHANGE:: PostScript
    • PostScript::Metacode


  • Enabled mainframe Xerox Metacode applications to be printed on PostScript printers without application programming changes
  • Offloaded centralized printing to decentralized printers that were located near employees
  • Increased employee production
  • Eliminated proprietary output format limitations and restrictions
City of Portland Water Bureau

Solimar® Print/Director Decreases Document Distribution Costs and Turnaround Time

The City of Portland Water Bureau is a rate-financed and city-owned utility, delivering high quality fresh water to the residents of Portland, Oregon and several surrounding communities. Gravity-fed from the pristine wilderness watershed on beautiful Mt. Hood, water in the Portland area is considered to be one of the best in the continental United States for its purity and softness. Solimar Systems interviewed Barbara Streeter, Information Services Supervisor at the City of Portland Water Bureau, to discuss the cost savings and process improvements that resulted from their implementation of the Solimar® Print/Director.

Prior to installing the Solimar Print/Director system, the Portland Water Bureau experienced printing interruptions and work delays whenever their IBM mainframe connected printer was down for service or repair. Since the Water Bureau was limited to printing its mainframe generated print jobs on a single device, all scheduled jobs including internal reports, correspondence, letters, and customer bills were constantly at risk of being delayed or re-scheduled. Printing delays that could affect the distribution of revenue generating customer water bills were particularly worrisome. The printing and distribution of customer bills is the lifeblood of the Water Bureau’s revenue stream and therefore a key component of its operations.

“Print jobs are sent to printers in remote work groups, so employees have their work earlier in the day.”

Barbara Streeter
City of Portland Water Bureau

After carefully analyzing the situation, the Portland Water Bureau identified several critical operational challenges to address:

  • Bottlenecked print operations
  • Lack of automated document distribution and printer access
  • Slow distribution of internal print output
  • High costs of manually sorting centralized print jobs
  • Expensive manual distribution and delivery of print jobs to remote locations.

Due to its robust output management capabilities and feature-rich modular design, the Solimar Print/Director was selected and installed with a Xerox 4890 NPS printer. “We did not consider any other product,” says Streeter. “With the Solimar Print/Director, we were able to connect the mainframe to our network and also automate the conversion of Xerox Metacode print streams to PostScript for decentralized printing.”

By installing the Solimar Print/Director, the Water Bureau was able to integrate its mainframe with a much broader network printing environment, connecting it with centralized printers, decentralized printers, and LAN PCs. The Water Bureau also benefits from an open TCP/IP environment, eliminating a variety of proprietary limitations and restrictions. And, with the additional printing options enabled by the Solimar Print/Director, the Water Bureau’s printing capacity has been greatly increased, solving the problem of limited printer availability. States Streeter, “The entire print operation is less fragmented, more streamlined and far more efficient.”

“With Solimar… employees are able to get more done in a shorter period of time.”

Barbara Streeter
City of Portland Water Bureau

In addition, the Solimar Print/Director system has dramatically reduced labor costs in the data processing area, where the staff is no longer required to manually manage, collate, and deliver printed output to employees. Rather than direct all of the print jobs to a single centralized location, which resulted in huge management and distribution expenses, printing is now off-loaded to remote decentralized printers that are located near the work area of the employee, saving both time and money. By selecting the Solimar Print/Director for its output management needs, the Portland Water Bureau has reduced document delivery time, lowered distribution costs, and allowed its data processing personnel to return to data processing projects rather than managing and delivering printed output.