Color Printing Proves Prosperous
Four-color jobs, both offset and digital, make up half of the Exxon in-plant's workload.
AFTER THE Valdez oil spill leaked almost 11 million gallons of North Slope crude oil onto the Alaska coastline in early 1989, Exxon admirably wasted no time diving into the cleanup and recovery effort.
During that process, communicating with government agencies and other outside interests was of crucial importance. Houston's Exxon Print Center was the ready for the task.
Boasting 27 employees and a wealth of sheetfed presses, digital printers and bindery equipment, the in-plant printed manuals and brochures filled with four-color pictures chronicling the three-year process of resurgence for all to witness.
"At around the same time, our print shop was in the process of reorganization," says Don Blome, who's been the supervisor for two years. "We started printing more four-color work, which increased our capabilities."
Working for an oil manufacturer keeps Blome's shop very busy. It's not out of the ordinary for the in-plant to run 2 million impressions on its two DocuTechs and 4 million on its four mainframe printers. But even with that much work, there is still a small number of jobs that have to be printed outside.
"On occasion, we outsource some of the larger sheetfed work that may have to be run on a web press or a job that may have a very large run," says Blome. "We want to keep from tying up our shop so we don't penalize ourselves by not being able to respond to the shorter run work." Digital printing, he adds, has helped with that. The shop has become more efficient due to its ability to electronically store material and drive run volumes down.
"It helps make things quicker for one thing," admits Blome about his digital color equipment. "It provides quality, control and speed, and with the number of changes constantly being made, it produces less waste."