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Jun 1, 2009 12:00 AM
Nobody likes to talk about that subject, but we should review estimating standards every six months. Life should be getting better in a pressroom and not worse. We should be constantly striving to improve productivity, and today we find more can be done. Recently, I visited a plant and reviewed its estimating standards for the pressroom as they felt they were losing work to 40-inch equipment. (They only had 29-inch sheetfed presses.)
They were indeed losing work. On a 29-inch 6-color, the makeready sheets (clean white) were estimated at 120 sheets per color. That's 720 sheets for a 6-color job, for each form. The total job with four forms takes 2,880 sheets of makeready. Four weeks prior to that visit, I visited another firm with virtually the same press (5 years old), and for a 6-color job, 75 sheets of new paper were used per form. What a difference. When you find a substantial difference it is indicative of serious problems and it is not just paper waste. For a 40-inch 6-color press, the makeready waste should be under 400 sheets per form. With new presses it is even less.
It is not just paper waste — it is wasted time and motion. Let's look at the killers of makeready:
Now you know the first step in what to look for in the area of improving makeready time and reducing waste. The next area to look at in improving your numbers would be to evaluate the work area.
Finally, please post the targets for makeready waste, makeready time and running speed.
Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and
operational issues. He is vice president and senior consultant,
operations management, NAPL (Paramus, NJ).
Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.