Business Profile

Large nutritional supplement manufacturer and retailer streamlined their internal document production through multiple platform printing and flexible print queue management.




Pittsburgh, PA

Business Solution

  • Output Management
  • Device Connectivity
  • Data Stream Conversion

Solimar Products

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


  • Provided printer load balancing and eliminated backlogged jobs
  • Seamless printing from mainframe Metacode legacy applications to either PostScript or PCL without programming changes
  • Enabled flexible printer access to all networked employees
  • Increased control and management of print output

Datastream Conversion, Connectivity, and Print Management

Pittsburgh-based General Nutrition Centers (GNC) is the largest corporation in the United States solely dedicated to vitamins and nutritional supplements. Originally, GNC was printing 1.5 million pages per month from an IBM mainframe to two online Xerox production printers. However, vigorous growth resulted in the introduction of additional operating systems and platforms, creating a compatibility problem with their mainframe printing system. That’s when IKON Office Solutions was called upon to help GNC find an answer.

Rich Latshaw, IKON Digital Systems Specialist, says, “We wanted a seamless transition from the mainframe format to the new printers we installed. Solimar offers a transparent solution in converting the Xerox resources to either PostScript or PCL, so the customer doesn’t have to tweak their data or reprogram. With Solimar, we were printing mainframe applications within one day of installation.”

“With Solimar, we were printing mainframe applications within one day of installation.”

Rich Latshaw
IKON Office Solutions

Initially attracted by the integrated channel connection capability of the Solimar® Print/Director, Latshaw soon realized the power of this print server. “Not only can GNC convert from the BUS/TAG mainframe connection, but they can now print from all of their operating systems and networks: mainframe, Novell, Windows NT, Unix, and the IBM AS/400. From one terminal they can run everything!” says Latshaw. “Drag-and-drop, that’s the key here,” adds Gary Edmondson, Operations Analyst for GNC. “We have the flexibility of simply moving jobs to where we need them.”

“Everything feeds into the Solimar server, and from there we decide where we want to print it.”

Rich Latshaw
IKON Office Solutions

GNC is also saving time and costs on print job recovery with the Solimar Print/Director. Jobs are retained in Solimar’s print queue during the printing process, allowing immediate restart if there is an interruption. This invaluable feature economizes Edmondson’s programming time. “Before we had a problem recovering jobs. Now the recovery is instant,” states Edmondson.

Solimar’s expert Technical Support has also provided Edmondson and his staff with quick and accurate answers to their printing questions. “Results and turnaround were really quick,” Edmondson notes. “They solved every one of our problems.”