In-plant Graphics March 2009
Two interests from early in Tom Tozier’s life have continued into adulthood: a love of music and a dedication to the graphic arts industry. Tozier, director of Imaging Services at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has carved a niche as a leader in the in-plant printing community while keeping his passion for the guitar alive. Born on a U.S. Army base in Nuremberg, Germany, and raised in California, Tozier got his first taste of the printing industry at age 14, when he went to work at a print shop east of Los Angeles owned by his stepfather. By tackling menial tasks like sweeping and helping out in the bindery, he learned a craft while putting spending money in his pocket.
IT WAS with a sense of dread that I opened the e-mail from Richard Griffin last month. Griffin, manager of Central Piedmont Community College’s in-plant (and occasional writer for IPG) had graciously and enthusiastically volunteered to host the 2009 Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) conference. He and his co-hosts had made grand preparations for the event in Myrtle Beach, S.C., lined up excellent speakers and brought in strong vendor support. Then, after months of promotion, came this e-mail: “We regret to tell you that, in consultation with the ACUP Board, we’ve postponed ACUP 2009.” With one click of the send button, the hearts of past attendees around the globe were broken. For you see, ACUP did not wither away due to lack of interest; rather it met its fate due to economy-related travel bans instituted at hundreds of schools around the country. University managers who hadn’t missed an ACUP in ages were told they could not attend.
For Dale Wymore, earning chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was the most natural thing in the world. “One of our strategic priorities on campus is a sustainability initiative, and so really [we were] just trying to follow the guiding principals of the university,” says Wymore, manager of Printing Services at California State University-Chico. Across the country at Messiah College, in Grantham, Pa., the view is a bit different.
AbitibiBowater has been taking action to help combat climate change for several years. Since 2000, the company has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent per ton. The progress to date can be attributed to a company-wide focus on improved efficiency and to switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In 2008, AbitibiBowater was 46 percent self-sufficient from renewable sources for its total energy needs. A new biomass boiler at the Fort Frances, Ontario, mill produces 46 MW of “green” electricity. In fact, 66 percent of the fuel used in the company’s boilers is supplied by carbon-neutral biomass such as sawdust and wood residues.
You don’t always have to wait until you get new equipment to start finding work for it. That’s how Bill Neff managed to bring the printing and mailing of county tax and revenue statements into his in-plant—a major job comprising more than 230,000 pieces a year. “I sold [the job] as a package, and as soon as I got a guarantee that it was going to come in, I went right out and bought the Maximailer,” says Neff, printing manager for the General Services Division of Arlington County, Virginia.
The printing division of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses a great deal of electricity. To conserve energy and save money, the 450-employee Salt Lake City in-plant wanted to flatten out its extreme peaks and valleys. “We typically experience a peak [in terms of usage] at 7:30 a.m., for example,” notes Director Craig Sedgwick. Fortunately, the in-plant’s power company has been a friend both to the environment and to the in-plant.
As companies and organizations catch “the green wave” and start looking for ways to improve their sustainability, they rely heavily on the initiatives of their individual departments. In-plants can play a major part in the overall green success of their organizations. One in-plant that’s leading the way is the Reprographics department at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), the nation’s largest regional education agency. Thanks to an equipment upgrade, the shop’s Océ digital printers now reportedly discharge up to 90 percent less ground-level ozone, consume up to 45 percent less energy and emit a much lower operating noise level than ever before.
In case you missed this in last month’s in-plant salary survey, the average salary of those who regularly attend educational conferences is 21 percent higher than the average salary of those who don’t. What’s more, the conference whose attendees earned the highest average pay was the On Demand Conference. Whether or not the show really helps boost salaries is unclear, but one thing that’s certain is that the conference is making an obvious effort to focus on in-plants. A quick glance through the program reveals 11 sessions with in-plant managers as speakers.
When an in-plant “goes green,” recycling paper waste is typically among its first initiatives. After all, the waste has to be removed anyway, recycling doesn’t require a large capital outlay and, in the words of many, “it’s just the right thing to do.” Plus, once upon a time, shops found that it really paid (literally) to recycle paper. “It used to be that you could take your trimmings to a recycler, which would weigh the waste and pay you for it,” recalls Joe Morin, manager of Production Printing for Colorado Springs School District 11’s Business Services division. “Later, the recycling plant would give you a big dumpster, pick up [the waste] and still pay for it.”
Even successful digital printing operations need a little offset sometimes. Take Simon Fraser University Document Solutions. In 2006, IPG detailed how this in-plant had moved from antiquated offset equipment to state-of-the-art digital printers like a Xerox iGen3. The shop didn’t completely abandon offset, though. It retained a four-color 20x29? Heidelberg Speedmaster 74. Now the in-plant has replaced that press with a five-color Heidelberg Speedmaster 52 with a coater. Not only has the shop’s productivity soared, the in-plant is keeping more work in-house as a result.
Sustainability starts at the corporate level. Several vendors are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, use alternative energy sources, recycle and more.
As a leading builder of luxury homes, Toll Brothers knows that just building a home isn’t enough. You have to sell it too. So the Horsham, Pa.-based firm keeps its marketing department very busy creating flyers, postcards and other glossy materials to promote its homes. Until recently, those materials were all printed by outside vendors. Then the company looked into the actual cost of outsourcing.