Ich Bin Ein Printer

As I developed a printing company, I became an accomplished pressman on AB Dick printing presses. I developed a setup process that became a "loop" around the press so that I setup the press the same way each time. It was not only faster but promoted increased quality control, for new subtleties were detected that would otherwise have not been noted without the loop method. Another benefit was the number of sheets that would run without having to make water or ink adjustments. Fifty percent of the times, the first sheet was a customer presenter--good color and good registration. Runs of 5,000 and 10,000 were common before having to adjust ink. The record was 200,000 sheets on an ABDick 360--Not many printers can claim that stretch.

A few things of which I was proud that were shared with other good pressmen.

  1. I could hear when a press had too much or too little ink. This is a common quality of a good pressman.
  2. I could also hear a double sheet pull from anywhere in the building. Did not endear me to the hired pressmen when I would tell them that they were pulling doubles which yielded blank sheets.
  3. One thing that I could do which I found only one other printer able to do. I could tell by sound when an image was going crooked on the press. Pressmen liked me even less when I walked up and said, "The image is crooked." BS would be their response only to find that the registry had shifted when they pulled a sheet to check. One pressman said the funny "F" word and then the dumb "IQ" words--I Quit! Another example of how most human beings' egos are so insecure that they prefer to make a little wrong worse with a worser wrong than admit the first wrong--double stupidity.

The benefit of the loop was that all problems could be prevented. Every time I had a printing problem it was because I had failed to complete a step on the loop. Adherence to the loop allowed me to focus on subtle problems that the vast majority of paper printers never noticed or understood because they kept tripping over and responding to repeat little problems. As paper printers, they often found a printed sheet alien to my job experiences, a pink slip.

The "Do the Loop" was a classic example of how a methodical program to prevent problems allows one to encounter new problems from which to learn and profit rather than repeat profitless old problems. Those who can't or won't solve the little problems should never expect to rise to the profits from solving a large problem. People who avoid rather than embrace problems merely have more problems in their lives. Problems, as the Latin origin implies, are an opportunity to dance better on the stage of life during the brief, fleeting moment when one is allowed to dance.

An ill-managed small press is a microcosm of America's general existential meltdown--problems compound faster and faster, wasting resources while the problem-solvers are increasingly overwhelmed. 

As Ben Franklin could say, so can I: " Ich bin ein printer ."

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05-22-2015 @ 07:32:34