Cal Poly provides litho training for major printing endeavor
Monday, September 28, 2009
Press release from the issuing company
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly was commissioned to conduct offset lithographic training for one of the biggest private publishing houses in the country, Bridge Publications, the printer for The Church of Scientology.
The initial recommendation to approach Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Institute about conducting the training was made by two of the largest printing press manufacturers in the world - Heidelberg and Goss International, because of Cal Poly's expertise in offset printing and training.
With tremendous abilities and knowledge in digital printing, The Church of Scientology is expanding its capabilities into offset lithography. The church purchased two presses: a Goss six-color S2000 Sunday web press and a Heidelberg five-color Speedmaster XL 105 perfecting sheetfed press. The church came to Cal Poly for an intensive two-week training program as a "jump start" to understanding the theories and applications surrounding commercial lithography.
Employing a cadre of nine Cal Poly faculty members and two technicians, 17 designated church staff members were trained in the theory of lithography, color theory, electronic design, prepress, proofing, consumables (paper, ink, fountain solutions, etc.), press (sheetfed and web), quality control (instruments, tolerances and measurements), troubleshooting, plant environment and atmospheric controls, and production management.
"This was an impressive group of very focused and professional individuals," said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department. "After two weeks of training, they are ready to move on to the next phase of training, involving observations in existing printing plants and then to extended in-plant training by Goss and Heidelberg once the presses are installed."
The Cal Poly training included a combination of classroom work and hands-on laboratory exercises in some of Cal Poly's more than 33,000 square feet of graphic communication labs spanning prepress, press, post press, quality control and consumable testing.
Levenson visited The Church of Scientology's existing Bridge Publications digital plant and the proposed site for the litho plant. "The Church of Scientology Bridge Publications digital plant is the most modern, clean, well lit, and organized printing plant that I've ever been to," Levenson said. "I observed some of the finest book printing in dozens of languages that I've ever seen. Its workflow is flawless. The plans are for the litho plant to emulate this environment. If that occurs, the new plant will be a model for the rest of the industry to follow."
The planning for the offset litho plant builds upon Bridge Publications' existing digital facility, said Mollie Hoertling, executive vice president of Project Management for the church. "With the excellent training provided by Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Institute and Dr. Levenson's team," Hoertling said, "our staff members are very well prepared for the rest of the preparatory and implementation actions involved in the establishment of the offset plant. The new facility will produce church promotion and marketing materials in as many as 52 languages."