A Cooperative Project
between the
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
and the
Printing Trade
August 1996
EPA 744-F-96-001
                                                                           LITHOGRAPHY PROJECT CASE STUDY 2
 > Consolidating Chemicals
 > Evaluating Fixed Costs
 •Reducing Wasted Ink
          how COnSt3.nt 3,ttCntlOn to pollution prevention can save
       money while reducing the environmental impact of your business.
                                    6> how  eanrWX)rK! among employees, vendors, and chemical
                                      suppliers can lead to successful prevention.

                                    •> how looking at the big picture, not just at meeting
                                      regulations and cleaning up spills, can point out more ways to prevent pollution.

                               To improve worker health and safety, as well as the enviroment, many companies
                               have started creative programs to look for more prevention opportunities. One such
                               company is CuStOm Print Corporation in Arlington, Virginia
                               Custom Print employees have found that starting with a "process evaluation" is one
                               of the best ways to find new prevention methods. A process evaluation is a step-by-
                               step review of your printing process. To  conduct such a review, follow these steps:

                                    E> Take a critical look at each step of your printing process, from
                                      purchasing raw materials to shipping finished product.

                                    E> Draw a diagram of the process and mark down every point where
                                      materials are used and where wastes are generated.

                                    E> Remember to include the steps in your operation that are not directly
                                      part of the production process (such as waste disposal and electricity use).

                                    6> Where wastes are generated, estimate the cost associated with lost
                                      raw material, and with collecting, tracking and disposing of the wastes.

                               When your diagram is done, take a closer look at the points where wastes are
                               produced. There may be ways  to reduce each of these wastes. Remember,
                               wastes indicate lost profit as well as possible environmental problems.

Company Background
Preventing Pollution through Chemical Consolidation
Custom Print is a sheetfed,
offset lithographic printer
of commercial color products
including brochures, folders,
and booklets. With one
40" 5/C presses, two 40"
2/C presses, and an 11"x17"
2/C press, the 22 year-old
company employs 30 people
and realizes $4 million in
annual sales. Custom Print
has found that its efforts
to prevent pollution have
made it a cleaner and safer
workplace and have resulted
in cost savings.

Custom Print started its
pollution prevention program
more than 8 years ago. The
program's initial successes
led management to look for
even more ways to prevent
pollution. Today, the company
is recognized as a pioneer.
Many of its pollution
prevention methods are
now becoming common
in the printing industry.
As Custom Print started looking for ways to reduce its waste, a team of employees
took stock of the number of chemicals the company used. Inventory and purchasing
records showed over 80 different chemicals on-site. Often, the less frequently used
products would expire. The money spent on them was wasted, and by law they had
to be properly disposed of — another expense. Many more were product samples,
often used once and left to clutter the stockroom until they too passed their expiration
dates. In addition, the large inventory created extra labor costs. Employees had to order
and track each chemical, and ensure compliance with government regulations.
To address these problems, Custom Print assembled a team of press operators,
purchasing staff, and maintenance personnel. This team not only looked at the causes
of the large inventory, they recommended several ways to reduce it. The solutions
they found included:

     D Use multi-task chemicals. Working with their suppliers, the team identified
       chemicals that can be used for more than one task. Using these products
       reduced the stock of infrequently used chemicals and of expired chemicals.

     £3 Eliminate duplication. The team found that in some cases two or three different
       chemicals were being bought for the same task. To eliminate this duplication,
       employees who used similar chemicals got together and reviewed all products
       in use.  As a team, they selected only one chemical for each task.

     EJ Give unused  samples back to the vendors. Custom Print asked vendors to pick
       up their unused or partly used samples each time they dropped off new ones.
       Custom Print continued testing new, promising products while getting rid
       of half-used bottles and cans.
These changes reduced the number of
chemicals on-site from over 80 to just
24 — a 70% decrease. This has cut pollution
and waste (by reducing the amount of expired
chemicals), potential liability, inventory, and
related costs resulting in an estimated $5,000
savings per year.
E3 Design for the Environment

Don't Overlook the Pollution Prevention Opportunities in your Fixed Costs

Five years ago, Custom Print had problems with unpleasant odor and employee-reported
headaches associated with isopropyl alcohol in their fountain solution. To reduce the
odor, the company installed an air conditioning system with a high-volume fan. A year
later, Custom Print switched to an alcohol-free fountain solution. While this change
removed the source of the odor, the air conditioner kept on running at the high
volume that had been needed when the alcohol-based solution was in use.
That air conditioner continued working at maximum capacity until an employee
accidentally turned off the fan. This flip of a switch completely changed the ventilation
in the shop. It reduced the air exchange rate and led to a fortunate - and profitable -
discovery: now that the alcohol-based fountain solution was gone, less air exchange
was needed.  Cutting the air exchange rate had several benefits:
     5> The air conditioner was able to keep the shop cool more easily, saving energy
        and reducing the electric bill by 40%.
     J> Since the air conditioner was no longer running at maximum capacity. Custom
        Print was able to renegotiate their service contract at a lower price.
     J> The slower system held the temperature and humidity in the press room more
        constant, leading to more consistent print quality.
     5> During the winter months, the press room could be heated with just the heat
        generated by the operating presses, conserving energy and reducing heating
        fuel bills. The heating system was only used on Monday mornings to warm up
        the shop as the presses were starting up.

Overall savings associated with using  a more appropriate air  exchange rate included:
     g> An electric bill reduction of $2,000 per month (from $5,000 to $3,000)
     5>  A renegotiated service contract, for savings of $200 per month
     5>  A reduced heating bill, for savings of $400 per year
     J>  A total savings estimated at $26,800 per year

Conserving energy and natural resources is a pollution prevention method that is
often overlooked. The lesson learned here is that there may be opportunities for
pollution prevention in some of your fixed cost operations, such as ventilation,
heating, and air conditioning.  Remember, when making changes, it is essential to
have enough ventilation to keep the press room safe.
According to many printers,
one of the greatest obstacles
to preventing pollution is
resistance to change.
People are especially slow
to change a familiar process.
Also, the daily demands of
production often make it
hard to step back and
evaluate the production
process itself, no matter
what benefits might result.

By taking an objective view
of its operations — and by
asking for input from both
company employees and
vendors - Custom Print
made its facility environmen-
tally safer and saved money
too.  By conducting regular
evaluations and working as
a team, you too can realize
the benefits of change.
                                                                                                          Design for the Environment E3

What You Can Do
   Be aware of possible pollution
   prevention opportunities

   Use teamwork in preventing pollution

   Look for opportunities in all parts of
   parts of your process, including your
   fixed costs such as electricity
Conduct a process evaluation by:

U Looking at each step of the printing

Q Drawing a diagram of the ENTIRE
  process marking materials and waste

U Eliminating costs associated with
  lost raw materials, collecting,
  tracking, and disposing of that waste
Practice chemical consolidation by:

Q Using multi-task chemicals

Q Eliminating duplication

U Giving unused samples back to
   the vendors

 Reducing Wasted Ink
 Later, Custom Print turned its attention to improving its ink room operation.
 Ink was being wasted: colors not often used would expire before they were needed
 again. And with hundreds of ink cans on the shelves, it was hard to locate the ink
 needed for the job. The company worked with its ink vendor to change the entire
 operation of the ink room:

      5> Custom Print bought a scale and trained employees to mix the ink from
         base colors, rather than ordering premixed PMS colors.

      5> The company also purchased an inexpensive MixMaster computer program.
         This program, licensed by Pantone, gives formulas for mixing inks from colors
         in the company's existing inventory.

      5> Through a consignment agreement with its ink vendor. Custom Print began
         to pay only for the ink it actually used. Even though Custom Print continued
         to store ink on-site, until a can was opened it remained the property of the vendor.

 Custom Print's ink room is now a more organized and cost-effective operation.
 They are  saving approximately $8,000 per year.  And they have reduced waste
 and pollution by dramatically reducing  the amount of expired ink.
Reduce waste ink by:

U Mixing ink from base colors with
  the help of computer programs

U Paying only for ink that is used
Don't forget to:

Q Review pollution prevention methods
  through workplace practices

Q Look for new opportunities
Partners in the Design for
the Environment Lithography
Project: Printing Industries of
America, Graphic Arts Technical
Foundation, the Environmental
Conservation Board of the
Graphic Communications Industry.
The University of Tennessee, and
individual printers and suppliers.

H Design for the Environment
About the Design for the Environment Lithography Project

The goal of the Design for the Environment (DfE) Lithography Project is to provide lithographers
with information that can help them design an operation which is more environmentally sound,
safer for workers, and more cost effective.

Concentrating on the process of blanket washes, the partners of the DfE Lithography Project,
in a voluntary cooperative effort, evaluated 37 different blanket wash products. Information was
gathered on the performance, cost, and health and environmental risk trade-offs of the different
types of substitute blanket wash.  For more details on the evaluations,
please refer to the "Evaluating Blanket Washes: A Guide For Printers."

In addition to the Lithography Project, similar DfE projects are currently
underway with both the screen printing and flexography industries.
        To obtain additional copies of this or other bulletins and case studies, or for more
             information about EPA's Design for the Environment Program contact:
                 EPA's Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC)
                                         U.S. EPA
                                 401 M Street, SW (7409)
                                  Washington, DC 20460
           Phone: (202) 260-1023                    E-mail: ppic@epamail.epa.gov
           Fax: (202) 260-4659                      DfE Web page: http://www.epa.gov/dfe