A unique cross-industry collaborative project has been launched to bring together expertise across the entire paper supply chain from the mill, through transport, storage, handling and printing. Its goal is to establish a common best practice tool and global reference for suppliers, transporters and printers to improve their efficiency.
Paper and other printing materials are the highest single cost for all printing applications and any reduction in damage and waste improves both economic and environmental impact to give combined "Lean and Green" benefits.
The new initiative will address the complete value chain to collect, structure, share and promote best practices for paper handling and logistics for publishing and packaging applications, and for most print processes (offset, flexo, gravure, digital), using rolls and sheets of paper and board that share many characteristics.
The goal is to optimise quality, productivity, environmental and safety performance. The new guide will also provide a common communication tool, define procedures, and can be used a training aid.
"To achieve these benefits requires only a small investment shared across the industry because no organisation, company, country or continent can now do this alone," said Manfred Werfel, Deputy CEO of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). "This collective approach will deliver cost effective international synergies to answer needs in both mature and emerging markets."
The core project was launched in June 2014 and is expected to be complete within a year. It was initiated by the Print Process Champion Group and WAN-IFRA, joined by the European Rotogravure Association, IDEAlliance Paper Transit Group, and Nordic Offset Printers Association. The initial sponsor companies include ABP, Bolzoni Auramo, Earthpac, Goss International, KBA, LHG, Sonoco-Alcore, Stora Enso, Times of India, and UPM. The project is expected to draw more participation from other companies across the supply chain who also wish to share their competencies and values.
"The project brings together shared interests that cross process, application and geographic boundaries," said Nigel Wells from the Print Process Champions platform. "Our goal is to identify and communicate global best practices as a reference manual delivered at no cost to users".
The manual will include modules on: transportation by rail, road, sea and in containers; storage; roll and pallet handling; preparation for printing; inspection, diagnosis and reporting. Much of this information already exists. "In the WAN-IFRA committees we have discussed for a long time how best to update the 'Newsprint and Newsink Guide' from the early 1990's," said Martin Schorn from UPM, one of the project's initial sponsors. "This new best practice guide brings all the existing information together – UPM is contributing with the content from its cargo handling manual, and we invite other companies to do the same to help improve our collective performance".
The project will produce a free 132-page E-Book financed by participating organisations and companies. Digital print-on-demand, or classic printed versions are also planned where users will pay only the production and delivery costs. The initial language will be English and other languages will be added.
"The ROI is very simple as the avoided waste of 3 or 4 rolls of paper will pay back a company's sponsorship — all subsequent savings go to the bottom line indefinitely," said David Steinhardt, President of IDEAlliance, and leader of their Paper Transit Damage Working Group. "A cross-industry manual reduces costs to an individual company, helps avoid confusion and duplication, simplifies training and supervision, and allows a better vision across the entire value chain".