Mark Hall ING Vice president Regional Manufacturing Director postmedia Network

N&T: What do you see as best-in-class solutions in the market now?

The three that I see now are:

• Technical support partnerships that provide an important skill and depth of knowledge to production operations at a time where it’s increasingly difficult to attract and retain electrical mechanical staff that is critical to keeping presses and mailroom equipment running in full production. 

• Thermal “no process” plates are a significant step forward and sites that have moved to this are questioning why they didn’t do it sooner. The benefits of not handling chemistry and doing processor maintenance coupled with the significant reduction of health and safety and environmental risk make it a no-brainer. 

• The reusable plastic stackable skids have been around for many years, but I see a much greater importance and relevance of this. The analysis of cost and benefit when taking into account equipment damage and space utilization quickly show it’s more favorable than wooden skids and is more environmentally friendly

N&T: What may be on the horizon for emerging solutions?

Newspapers need to build on their solid foundation of “trusted, true and respected” source of news and information. The rapid rise of technology should be embraced and leveraged to assist the relevance of traditional media. Augmented reality and artificial intelligence are technologies that are maturing and need to be researched, tested and encouraged to engage the younger generation.

Waste recovery and technology are going to become more important and relevant as environmental and social acceptance becomes more stringent. Adopting and developing processes that help reduce consumption, reuse/repurpose products has multiple benefits. Such as reduced transportation, less handling, lower cost point, less hazardous waste removal or discharge treatment.

N&T: Is recycling currently being viewed as a revenue stream or a cost of doing business? Please explain your response.

There is a significant opportunity as a revenue stream if you are in the recycling business. However, this depends on the type of materials handled and process. Aluminum and paper are easier and more attractive, but I believe with new or adopted technology from other industries, liquid waste can also be a hidden gem. 

On the production side, it is more a cost of doing business. However, there is a significant cost recovery that can be achieved depending on your control process along with the rates and terms you negotiate with your recycling partners. Larger volume sites should be managed internally to negotiate a higher price point, and smaller sites may opt to arrange the control with the recycler. 

Chemical waste treatment and neutralization systems can be a significant cost benefit compared with waste removal. Production sites should always be looking for ways to improve in this area, although it’s often overlooked. 

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