Sewickley, PA., February 15, 2008 - Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) has announced Robert Birkland, president of Cirrus Consulting Group LLC in Dallas, Pennsylvania, as the recipient of its 2007 William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award.
Mr. Birkland's involvement in the printing industry spans over twenty-five years. He started his career as a mechanical engineer, installing and troubleshooting web offset presses. His success as an engineer resulted in his recruitment to become vice president of engineering for Arcata Graphics in Baltimore, Maryland.
During his time at Arcata Graphics, Mr. Birkland participated in a committee that wrote regulations for the printing industry; these regulations were the basis for the Clean Air Act. Recognizing the need to educate groups on the various processes that the EPA was planning to regulate under the Clean Air Act, Mr. Birkland partnered with Dr. William Schaeffer and Gerald Bender to write a chapter in the 1992 book, Air Pollution Engineering Manual. This manual continues to be an outstanding technical and educational reference guide for the industry.
Later in his career, Mr. Birkland served as general manager for US Label Corporation in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he successfully changed the company's quality philosophy from end-of-line inspection to a real-time one based on ISO 9000 standards. This change improved plant morale and reduced defects by 11 percent. He also implemented cross training programs at US Label that allowed the plant to operate more efficiently and balance the workload, which ultimately saved the company over $450,000.
Mr. Birkland's other environmental efforts include replacing alcohol in fountain solutions in several companies, installing paper recycling equipment in a number of organizations, and installing closed-loop color control systems to minimize paper waste and improve efficiency. He also participated in local and national educational and environmental organizations such as the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the Graphic Arts Association environmental committee, and the Hamilton Township Industrial Advisory Committee where he served as chairman.
Mr. Birkland will be honored at a luncheon during the National Environmental Health and Safety Conference, Tuesday, March 11, 2008, at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana. The engraved Schaeffer Environmental Award plaque will be presented to him at this time.
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