26.04.2022 / James Blom

Earth Day Concerns Everyone

April is the month when we celebrate Earth Day. This has got me thinking about how my industry, Graphics Arts Finishing Equipment, fits into the broad ecological picture.

Commercial Printing’s use of paper – whose basic raw material comes from trees – has gotten a bad rap over the years as being bad for the environment, especially our forests. The Digital world has taken advantage and has portrayed itself as an eco-friendly information distribution solution versus physical print.

But they are not telling the whole story. Even though their product itself does not have a carbon footprint, digital information distribution infrastructure and storage is not without its environmental impact. The huge server farms that house data centers and power search engines and provide streaming consume enormous amounts of electrical energy (please also read the blog by journalist Knud Wassermann from October 2019 on the Muller Martini website). Electricity still comes from sources that are not exactly environmentally friendly, such as coal, oil and natural gas. Some estimates say that the Internet infrastructure accounts for 10 % of the world’s electricity consumption today with that figure increasing to 20 % by 2030! This is quite a large carbon footprint!

Only 2 percent
In an excellent article written by (the) Garage Staff at HP "Printing can be more sustainable than you think" from September 2019, you can read how the print industry has been a contributor to forestry management and other programs which have done their share to keep our planet sustainably healthy. Rather than squandering natural resources, the graphics arts industry has been a significant contributor in the campaign to preserve natural resources. 

And, the finishing phase of printed material is only approximately 2 percent of a commercially printed product’s carbon footprint. But, this doesn’t give Muller Martini a reason to be less eco-conscious. Everyone in the printing world is accountable for our efforts to keep the world as healthy as possible…it goes way beyond trees.

We protect the environment
Starting with design and manufacturing, Muller has does its part to be a good environmental citizen. Our machines are manufactured in Switzerland and Germany. These two countries are in the top ten in the rankings of Environmental Performance Index

Our factories adhere the European REACH standards regulating the use of chemicals harmful to the environment or to humans. We really do think about the earth’s health.

Energy saving machines
Once produced, our versatile line of machines can be integrated into an environmentally conscious commercial finishing operation. We incorporate power saving electronics and intelligent controls into all of our modern equipment. We precisely regulate the speeds of our motors to match production rates. 

We use IE3 rated energy efficient motors to drive our machines to cut down on energy consumption as they are running. We put power hungry devices like glue pots into an eco-mode when production is idle. We offer book-of-one solutions like Vareo PRO binders and InfiniTrim trimmers managed by our Connex workflow system product to eliminate the need to overprint products thus reducing waste.

Fewer travels
We even try to cut down pollution related to travel of our employees. With MMRemote, our remote diagnostics system, we reduce the number of field trips needed by our service engineers. They are able to troubleshoot a variety of problems without the need to get on a plane or travel by car. If our customers wish, we offer professional online demonstrations of our machines. This way, they can get to know our solutions without having to travel far.

So, even though we still have more opportunities for improving the environmental impact of our machines and we are not perfect, I am proud of the commitment Muller Martini has to preserving our natural resources while serving our economic business objectives.

James Blom
Manager Electrical Engineering, Müller Martini Region North America
26.04.2022 James Blom Manager Electrical Engineering, Müller Martini Region North America