SOP application in printing companies

Quality is the life of an enterprise. Producing products that meet the quality requirements of customers can be said to be one of the goals that every printing company dreams of. However, how to achieve this goal requires the printing company's management personnel to seriously think about it. The SOP (Standard Operational Process) tool provides printing companies with continuous, stable print quality, ensuring that product quality and the company's services are recognized by customers.

This article briefly analyzes what is SOP, how to establish the role of SOP, SOP, the possible drawbacks of SOP, and the application status of SOP in China's printing enterprises, and takes the procedure of start-up operation of web printing press as an example to illustrate The specific application of SOP in printing companies.

1 SOP (Standardization Workflow)

For manufacturing companies, the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure, SOP) is an operation guideline or operation specification that is formulated by the company for the characteristics of the internal production process of the company. The SOP can be in the form of an operation manual or a guidebook, which may contain production records, related forms, graphical operation instructions, and evaluation reports. The SOP is the basis and guarantee for a correct, consistent, and stable operation.

The purpose of SOP is to enable operators to obtain uniform actions through the same operating procedures and create stable quality products. The printing industry is a typical manufacturing industry. For printing companies, some of the basic goals of SOP implementation include: ) The safe production of personnel and equipment; 2) Maximizing the efficiency of operational processes; 3) Coordinated interactions between different operations processes; 4) Minimizing waste of resources; 5) Balancing the distribution of skills within the organization; 6) Definitions acceptable Product quality (including color, specifications, packaging, etc.).

2 Examples of printing companies SOP

Take the standardization of the start-up workflow of printing presses in web printing as an example to illustrate the application of SOP in printing enterprises.

In the boot process of the printing press, the printing company should pursue two basic goals: to ensure that the boot phase is short enough and as little waste as possible; to ensure that the desired print quality requirements are achieved in a relatively short period of time.

Before starting the printing press, the operator of the printing press needs to check the preset paper roll tension, the ink zone preset value, etc., and then press the start button to accelerate the printing press to a preset value and adjust the color and overprint of the printing product. As well as some other settings, the final quality of the printed matter will be achieved at the press's preset speed.

The cumulative waste of resources should be measured in some measurable way (such as copies, copies, copies, etc.) before the print product reaches the predetermined requirements. There should also be a clear definition of the first print product that meets the customer's quality requirements. , measurable standards (such as SWOP, GRACoL, or customer-accepted acceptance criteria, etc.). Or take the web press printing machine as an example. In this boot process, at least the following SOPs are needed:

1) Check the SOP before starting the machine (mechanical); 2) SOP for paper take-up and unwinding; 3) SOP for ink according to the characteristics of the print; 4) Quality parameters (such as density, color difference, etc.) for the print ) SOP.

3 How to create the required SOP

When establishing an SOP, there is a principle that must be followed. That is, all personnel involved in the SOP should be involved, especially those who work in the field (because it is they who work in the front line and they know their jobs the most). To listen to everyone's opinions, of course, professional knowledge plays the most important role here. In addition, the printing company may also need to set up an SOP working group to be responsible for the implementation of the SOP in the enterprise. This includes ensuring that the SOP is properly implemented, regularly discussing the SOP, and updating the SOP if necessary (flexibility features of the SOP. )Wait.

The establishment of SOP may require enterprises to invest certain resources, including human resources, financial resources and material resources, but these are all intended to make better use of corporate resources and achieve greater benefits in the future. Printing companies must not make short-term shortcomings. .

4 Printing companies should pay attention to 2 characteristics of SOP

When creating a SOP, a printing company should pay attention to the following two characteristics of the SOP: 1) Quantification of the SOP. When creating an SOP, it should be as comprehensive and thoughtful as possible, but it is also very important, that is, the detailed quantification of the SOP. For example, the rewinding tension SOP should clearly specify the amount of adjustment each time, so as to avoid adjustments. It happened or not.

2) The uniqueness of the SOP. Different printing companies do not have the same level of equipment, production materials, and operators. Therefore, their SOPs should also have their own uniqueness. It is not always feasible for SOP to B printing companies of A printing companies. .

5 SOP may bring "trouble"

In the practical application of SOP, due to the differences in the quality and ability of the organization, the team, and its members, due to the different amount of resources invested by the organization, the application effect of SOP is not the same. In addition, the implementation of SOP may also cause some "trouble."

First, the SOP may inhibit employee creativity. For an operation process, some employees may have better ways to greatly improve production efficiency, but these practices are not available in the SOP. If the SOP is always strictly followed, it will result in The employee's creativity cannot be translated into productivity, employee creativity is frustrated, and the printing company has not been able to further enhance the benefits on the original basis. Therefore, in order to overcome the possible inhibitory side effects of SOP, it is required that the printing company management can listen to and collect employees' ideas and ideas. Another "trouble" that the SOP may bring is that people are prone to over-reliance on the SOP and lose their enterprising spirit. This is exactly the opposite of the SOP-inhibition mentioned above. It is impossible for the SOP to include all possible events in the workflow. Therefore, we believe that the SOP should have some flexibility. When the company's internal and external environment (such as process, equipment, and market, etc.) changes, or something (such as employee's creativity) can cause the environment to change, the SOP should also make corresponding changes, which is a rigid SOP Should have the flexibility. Of course, before the new SOP is proved to be effective and put into practice, the original SOP must be strictly followed, otherwise it is easy to cause confusion.

6 Application Status of SOP in China's Printing Enterprises

For printing companies, it is necessary to establish corresponding standardized operation procedures in pre-printing, printing, post-printing, and finished product shipment processes to ensure that the quality of printed products and the services of enterprises are recognized by customers.

The application of SOP in some of China's larger printing companies has achieved initial success. However, due to various reasons, there are still many printing companies that have not reached the level of awareness of SOPs. Although some printing companies have SOPs, their execution is not in place and they are in name only; some SOPs are not perfect enough, and some are not perfect. Years ago, but it is still in use today (in fact, employees are probably not operating on these SOPs); while some printing companies do not have any SOPs at all, they still hold the "experience first, experience based" Attitude, thinking that experience can solve all problems, such enterprises often have a characteristic that is insufficient attention to the development of employees, rarely inject fresh blood, because for them to recruit new employees, especially college graduates almost "waste".

For those printing companies that have not yet realized the importance of SOPs and have not implemented SOPs, they should change their concepts in a timely manner and begin to establish their own SOPs and implement them. After the SOP, do not just “hang on the wall”. Or on the plane, "Formalism is not good for businesses."

7 Conclusion

SOP can be said to be the product of quality management. Enterprises must not only produce qualified products, but also need to continuously obtain stable quality. The SOP is providing guarantees for this. But at the same time, it should also be noted that rigid SOPs should also be flexible. SOPs should be relatively developed, rather than absolutely static. SOPs should be implemented to maximize production efficiency and meet the goal of pursuing maximum profits. It is believed that when printing companies implement SOPs, they will certainly enjoy the benefits of quality and efficiency.

Reprinted from: Chinese Packaging

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