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Tech Thought No. 1

Jan 1, 2007 12:00 AM

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Proven productivity boosters

By Raymond J. Prince
Working harder and faster isn’t necessarily the best way to improve pressroom productivity or capacity. The following ideas might not fit your plant, but I have seen them work! Stay-open inks. | For large multicolor presses, the Friday night washup or final night shift washup is time consuming. Moreover, filling ink fountains the next day and getting the ink flowing takes time. On a large, 64-inch press, the washup time was 35 minutes and the startup time the next morning was 20 minutes. Using a stay-open ink, which dries neither in the fountain nor on the rollers, enabled one printer to gain 55 minutes of run time per week.

Careful scheduling. | Try to keep all process work running on one press to minimize washups. Start the day printing large-size sheets and then move to smaller sheets. If you must run solid-color jobs, run those jobs with the lightest colors first. This makes the washups easier.

Combo runs. | If you have a newer press with open-loop color and have carefully print quality tested the press, try combination runs to increase sheet counts. This will save on makeready.

Spot color software. | If you run many different spot colors and have a modern CTP unit that can produce a 20-micron dot, consider software that will let you produce spot color matches using six or seven special color inks. You are building a solid color match from stochastic screen tint builds. For many clients, this works great. On a large press, you could produce 50 different colors easily. Look at all the washups saved. No pressman enjoys washing up a press.

Clean as you go. | Keeping a clean and orderly pressroom is imperative. I have seen the worst and I have seen the best. Large or small, sheetfed or web, it can be clean.