Printing business waste reduction

Reduce waste during production and finishing in your printing business


Your printing business can reduce wastage throughout the production process, right through to delivery to the customer.

You should make sure that train operators take care when handling and unwrapping paper to avoid damage and creasing - this can cause paper jams and rejects. Make sure they are clear what to do with any leftover paper at the end of a job.

When overprinting digital on litho print, you may need to adjust the position to fit. Reduce waste by using litho make-ready sheets - with the correct position - to set up the job.

Reuse the pallets and boxes that packaged the raw materials to package the finished product.

Digital print is often used for personalised and numbered work. Paper jams or waste in subsequent operations - such as finishing or enveloping - can mean time-consuming make-ups and expensive, confidential destruction of the waste. Delays caused by make-ups can also have an impact on customer service.

Calculate the cost of make-ups including time, materials and waste costs. The results could encourage you to investigate the causes of the waste more thoroughly. Minimising make-ups could be a cost-saving opportunity. Where cost is an issue, set up a key performance indicator of make-ups as a percentage of output and use this to set targets for an improvement project.

Investigate how variable your finishing operations are. If most jobs go through satisfactorily but there is an occasional problem, then high overs allowances are not the right solution - they will increase waste without preventing the problem. Investigate and fix the cause of the difficulty and set a lower overs allowance for the routine jobs.

If finishing waste is routinely high, consider setting up a process improvement project to understand and tackle the root causes.