NOPA, Stockholm; LEAN-production live

Commentary written by Lasse Krogell:

In a few weeks from now the NOPA annual meeting will take place in Stockholm 10 – 11 of April. The working group has again built up a very interesting seminar program and two exciting company visits. I feel that we once again have succeeded to build up something you must not miss.

The seminar on Wednesday the 10th

At the afternoon seminar we will hear about cyber security. What happened at the NOPA member printing company Fagtrykk when their system was hacked? What are the cyber threats and how to avoid them? Also, the panel discussion covers cyber security. Another very interesting topic will be about developments in the advertising market. Advertising has a big influence on print volumes. There has been a big drop in printed newspaper circulation. We will learn about the situation for regional and local newspapers. In 2012 we had 34 newspaper printing plants in Finland. Today, after the latest announcements there will be only 11 left. A similar development has happened in Sweden. From Brussels Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf will give us an international outlook and talk about Intergraf activities on EU level. As a regular item on our seminar agenda, we have the report of, this time, the Swedish printing industry.

The company visits on Thursday the 11th

At our meeting in Germany, I heard some doubtful comments about sitting in a bus for several hours to see a sheetfed plant and a press manufacturer. But I think everyone was really satisfied with what we experienced. This time we have to sit in the bus for less than an hour to visit Scania, the lorry manufacturer. In the automobile industry Lean manufacturing was initially introduced by Toyota and is today widely in use. Also, at Scania the focus of our visit will be how Lean has a central role in their operations.

In the printing industry Lean is something you seldom hear about, but there is a huge potential in it. Often print managers think that you have to build a huge reorganizing project to introduce Lean. But you don’t have to start your Lean journey like that. I think the easiest way is to start in small steps. Lean is very much common sense. From my time as production manager in magazine printing I remember some typical cases when we had not implemented Lean. How often did it not happen that a pallet of supplements to a magazine was missing, when stitching was to start and 5 – 7 persons had to walk around the plant to find the pallet, instead of running the stitching production. Lean is to keep everything clean and tidy. Every tool must have its own place. All work instructions must be so clear that no misunderstanding is possible. At a Lean seminar at Drupa long time ago the presenter talked about a case at a big newspaper plant where they measured the number of footsteps that were taken by the press crew during makeready in a normal situation before Lean was introduced and after that. The result was that after the introduction of Lean the number of footsteps fell to one third of the previous situation. There is a lot to gain in our industry.

At Scania we will see and hear how they implement Lean. I am really looking forward to the visit at Scania.

In the afternoon we will visit Bold printing. The biggest newspaper printing company in Sweden. In the turbulence of newspaper printing, they have certainly been forced to change a lot of routines that we can learn from. As late deadlines is not anymore so important working hour schedules in newspaper printing are developing in the direction of commercial printing.


As always, NOPA seminars are free of charge for member companies. And don’t forget that up to three persons per company are welcome.  Hope to meet you in Stockholm 10 – 11th of April.