Production waste ultimately affects the bottom line of a company in a negative fashion. Waste should first be minimized by looking at where it is generated and identifying ways to reduce or ideally eliminate it.
Recycling should be a secondary solution to waste management. Although recycling diverts materials from the landfills and reduces the use of virgin resources, it still costs the company in the amount of money necessary to purchase the material and if the waste has no value, the amount of money required to dispose of it. There is also a cost to the environment in terms of the use of raw materials and energy necessary to manufacture the input material.
Waste is eliminated through a variety of good manufacturing processes such as quality systems, equipment specifications (roll widths, die layouts, equipment maintenance, etc.), employee training, clear customer communication, input material substitution, input material elimination, and other pollution prevention measures will help increase profitability through waste minimization. (See below)
Wastes that cannot be completely eliminated through engineering and controls should be recycled in-house if possible. If this is not possible, the material should be recycled off-site. The last resort in the life cycle of an input material should be disposal into a landfill.
Best Management Practices & Pollution Prevention
Printed Trim & Waste
Film waste that has been printed on can also be melted down and remanufactured into pellets. Because the ink components have not been removed, this material can not be printed on, but can be sold to be used in the manufacture of a variety of products, including flower pots, garden edging, park benches and flexible plastic pipe. Some facilities direct film scrap to a central location, compress it and ship it to a local recycler.
During press operation, product rejects can be minimized by automated monitoring technologies that monitor press performance and detect tears in web. Video inspection devices detect flaws in the print job and reduce the amount of unacceptable print. Video web inspection devices detect spotting, streaking, misregistration and inconsistent ink coverage, among myriad other on-press mishaps. These systems allow presses to run expensive and challenging flexible substrates -- such as plastics, transparent films and foils -- at high speeds, thus helping the printer meet the productivity requirements necessary to ensure customer satisfaction, while minimizing waste. Also see video inspection section
For access to vendors who may supply alternative materials and equipment, see the PNEAC Vendor Directory.
Health & Safety
Trim scrap and other small pieces of printed substrate commonly accumulate underneath finishing equipment. This material should be cleaned up regularly in order to prevent equipment malfunction, due to material getting caught in moving parts of the machine, as well as potential fire hazards.