Productivity/Process Improvement

Lean manufacturing is just the latest catch phrase for maximizing production efficiency
in a printing plant by instituting process control procedures and measurement metrics.

The Latest
Cohber Tries Performance Plus

Cohber Press in Rochester, NY, saw a boost in capacity and a 25 percent increase in sales after using Performance Plus from Heidelberg.

RIT Formally Launches Printing Standards Audit Certification

By attaining PSA Certification, printers can objectively demonstrate that they have mastered the use of standards in the workflows they operate. PSA’s development began more than a year ago when professor Robert Chung of RIT’s School of Print Media surveyed standards assessment practices with international leaders.

Sheetfed Offset, Web Offset, Digital : Defining Crossover Points

In static sheetfed, web offset and digital printing, the term “crossover” denotes the number of impressions at which a per-unit cost advantage can be gained by switching a job from one process to another. Technological advancements continue to enable companies that offer all or most of these processes to be competitive over a wider range of jobs, extending the run length crossover between processes.

Step by Step - Standard Work Reduces Errors & Downtime

To overcome the “best I can” mindset, management, staff and operators need standards and accountability—the establishment of standard operating procedures (SOPs). SOPs are only a component of what is known as “Standard Work.”

Standard Work is documented and followed best practice methods and procedures, as well as optimized operational metrics (setup and cycle times, downtime, waste and spoilage). It is developed in a team culture and followed by the people operating equipment or executing processes. Standard Work takes SOPs to a more tactical level than the ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard. Advantages of applying Standard Work include:

Spanning the JDF Generation Gap

In this blog, I will discuss my prediction for the future of the print production workflow powered by JDF (Job Definition Format) and how this will reshape the way companies structure their workflows—from start to finish—in the near future.

Chicago Tribune Recycles Production Waste and Cuts Costs

The Chicago Tribune has reinvented the way it gets rid of its post-production waste by implementing a recycling program, saving the company money on garbage removal and generating revenue by selling its recyclable waste. With a daily circulation of 762,342, the Chicago Tribune, and its commercial printing division, generate a large amount of waste.

“We started looking at our post-production waste containers, and we noticed that we had containers that had good cardboard and good paper, but it was mixed with plastic, potato chip bags, pop cans—we really couldn’t do anything with it because it was contaminated with garbage,”

A Student’s Perspective on RIT’s Printing Applications Lab

As the new school year begins, I could not be more excited to return to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). The campus is alive with students and the school year promises to be a busy one. As I meet people throughout the industry, I always find it interesting to hear how familiar they are with the school.

Get Up to Speed: Improving Your Print Management Skills

Manufacturing. That's a difficult concept for some print managers to grasp. As proud as we all are of our arts and crafts roots, times change and so must we.

Printers procure raw materials, expedite them through specific equipment and processes and then package and ship the end products. Effective manufacturing requires efficient, economical and cost effective managers.

Progressive print managers understand that manufacturing is a process. When it comes to problem solving, they don't let personal or personnel biases cloud their judgement.

Getting Production to Flow

JDF's potential is yet to be realized, but there is another pathway for integrating MIS and production—shop floor data collection and direct machine interfaces (DMIs).

Technology Provides Edge

Rex Three's customers benefitted from exceptional service and faster turn times on projects due to its istallation of LithoTechnics Metrix software.

Integrating the Enterprise

WHEN WALSWORTH Publishing set out to find software that would modernize its system and increase the consistency of its printing processes—without eating into its bottom line—little did it know that it was in line for a bonus. Not only did the system the company choose achieve efficiencies throughout its commercial printing runs, from sheetfed to webfed to digital, it was also the basis for integrating and updating the entire enterprise.

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Without Vision Systems, Printers Perish

In honor of Oct. 23, which was originally scheduled to be National No-Print Day but turned into Yes Print Day!, Dead Tree Edition offers this update on printing-related technology and what it means for print buyers.—Recent developments in postpress technology underscore the importance of looking beyond price when choosing a printer.

The Printer’s Hidden Factory of Waste from PIA/GATF

The Printer’s Hidden Factory of Waste
Ken Rizzo, PIA/GATF Director, Consulting Resource Group



Typically waste is thought of in the context of paper waste, such as makeready waste, roll slab waste, print waste, etc. However, according to Lean Practices, Waste is the $$$ cost of time and materials that consume resources, but don’t add any actual value to the product, or result in product that is unacceptable to the customer. These waste activities are also known as non-value-added activities. There are Eight Issues of Waste in what is known as the Hidden Factory.



Waste from Overproduction: Overproduction is when the amount produced by one process is more than the next process needs or can handle. The result is large amounts of product spending long periods of time in WIP. Typical symptoms of overproduction include pulling jobs off a machine in the middle of a production run to make room for another job, production overtime that customers don’t pay for, large amounts of floor space clogged with skids of WIP, process bottlenecks, and warehouses filled with finished goods inventory.



Waste from Waiting: Processes and people waiting for other processes to complete activities, the curse of downtime, machine breakdowns, and failures are all non-value-added waste.



Waste from Unnecessary Transporting: The time spent and extra equipment utilized to frequently valet tooling, materials, and WIP loads around the plant is non-value-added waste.



Over-Processing Waste: The extra time spent on processing jobs due to long equipment changeover (makeready), continually quick-fixing quality-related print problems, redundant actions and activities required due to poor job planning, inadequate materials, and sudden mechanical problems from substandard press and equipment conditions.



WIP and Inventory Waste: The cost of floor space, associate time and materials waiting in queues for further processing, and warehousing finished goods prior to delivery to customers then waiting for payment is waste.



Waste of Motion: Includes time spent searching for and retrieving tooling and materials, process layout poor, waste from component installation and settings due to outdated technology and poor component conditions; waste from increased adjustments due to poor operation of equipment mechanisms, quick-fix quality activities due to unacceptable materials (paper, ink, coating, plates, etc.) and job components (production schedule, job tickets, and proofs, etc.), lack of poorly functioning tools and equipment, lack of teamwork and process organization.



Waste from Product Defects: Time and materials wasted producing defective product. Waste from product defects includes employee time spent, materials, and equipment utilized inspecting and sorting defective product, and in identifying and handling non-conforming product.



Waste of People: Includes not utilizing people’s mental, creative, and teamwork abilities. Waste through the existence of antiquated thinking, department politics, resistance to change (not invented here), fear of repercussions to new ideas from a not-invented-here culture, lack of timely feedback, poor hiring practices poor, and little or no investment in effective training.



Non-value-added activities are where we must target our process improvement initiatives to reduce costs, eliminate waste, and increase capacity. Once non-value-added activities are identified and defined, we can really begin our quest in the elimination of true waste and spoilage. Remember, waste and spoilage are like Hidden Inventories; they are costs that we will never be reimbursed by our customers.



“With market pressures to reduce prices, printers today have no choice but to reduce and control all their costs”



Ken Rizzo, PIA/GATF Director of Consulting.
PIA/GATF Consulting Resource Group