American Printer's mission is to be the most reliable and authoritative source of information on integrating tomorrow's technology with today's management.
Jul 1, 2007 12:00 AM
I visited a plant that had many quality problems, in particular, slow ink drying, scuff issues, chalking, low gloss, burn out, excessive dot gain, ragged dot structure and a host of others. The pressroom was clean and orderly, prep was immaculate and pressmen seemed knowledgeable. So what was causing all the problems?
After looking over the plant, I found the ink room and what a surprise — 30 brands of ink, some of which dated back to 1992. A can of ink for conventional sheetfed has a shelf life of one year, web offset inks about six months, and EB and UV about three to six months if kept in plastic containers. Ink that is vacuum sealed from the manufacturer has a life of about five years in an unopened can.
To top it off, the printer stored all the old inks for his duplicators in cardboard boxes — this is not good. The tragic part of this visit was that all the leftover ink was never expensed to the job but was returned to the ink room at full cost. No wonder they did not wish to throw out any ink.
Here are a few ideas for managing ink:
When you manage your ink well, many problems will go away.
Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and operational issues. He recently joined NAPL (Paramus, NJ) as vice president and senior consultant, operations management. Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail RaymondJ.Prince@aol.com.