Recently I was reading the 2009 PRIMIR/NPES “Sustainable Print in a Dynamic Global Market: What Going Green Means,” Executive Synopsis and it reminded me that back in February 2007 I tackled this topic in #68: Sustainable Green Printing. Among other conclusions the PRIMIR study agreed with my #68 post that sustainability is good business. So, knowing that a lot of my readers are looking for ways to make more money with less business these days here are a five tips to utilize color process control in a sustainability initiative that if properly run will result in a more profitable company.
1. Hard Copy Proofing – Fewer proofs in the trash equates to the use of less media, ink and electricity. Electricity you ask? Yes, even electricity. I am sure there are sustainability consultants that have quantified this part of the equation. Ongoing measurement and review of color quality will uncover workflow and mechanical problems before any or a large quantity of bad proofs are produced.
2. Virtual Proofs – Verifying and monitoring the display panel color fidelity insures that the device is used right up until it is no longer capable of displaying color accurately for proofing purposes. The device can then re-purposed limiting and delaying disposal of hazardous materials.
3. Plating – Gary Briney at Hennegan successfully uses ColorMetrix software to monitor and control printing plate production and saves thousands of dollars each year in raw materials and the electricity to produce “bad” plates. The PRIMIR report also makes reference to a company in Washington State saving $5,000 to $7,000 by recycling printing plates. So, even when a “bad” plate is made this company (and many I am sure) makes sure the metal and hazardous materials are properly recycled and disposed of.
4. Pressroom – With paper making up 26% of landfills the pressroom is an obvious area that any sustainability initiative must focus upon. Fortunately, the cost of paper, shorter cut-off presses and initiatives like the War On Waste begun in the 70’s have combined to make most pressrooms in this country fairly efficient from a paper waste point of view. Evaluation of color process control records will provide information necessary to continuously reduce makeready time and to identify when the press is not running at optimum levels and in its sweet spot.
5. Cross-media Control – Late last year I wrote about the fidelity of brand colors across the various mediums and substrates utilized in today’s POP displays. Imagine the environmental impact of a critical brand color not properly matching on multiple pieces of an in-store POP display. With proper color verification techniques the need to scrap and reproduce individual components of the entire display is virtually eliminated.
If you are not sure how to start a color verification and process control program to support your sustainability initiative take some time and review the achieves of JimRaffel.com.