The Great Lakes Graphics Association’s most widely used and insanely popular service is its Member-Ask-a-Member listserv service. Completely anonymous, members are able to ask and answer questions to better understand complex issues, benchmark their business and implement best practices.
I think we’re saving too many plates. Do you save plates for jobs that will rerun? How long do you store them?
It’s all based on frequency of repeats. From what I see, most companies keep plates 6 months if they know there is a repeat possible. Run length and usage left will also determine how long to keep.
We no longer use metal plates and we discard the poly plates after each job. When we used metal plates, we stored them for 2-3 years.
We do save plates for project that we will rerun. We do charge a small fee for plate cleaning and storage. We charge a small fee to retrieve the plates for a reorder. It is less half the price of a new plate. We keep the plates on file for 2-3 years.
We recycle all plates, never rerunning.
Every time we studied the cost to register bent plates on press, we found that it cost less money to make new plates. We do not save any litho plates.
Several years ago we made the decision as a company to not save plates. This decision was based on the labor necessary to maintain the plate storage, the plates that had to be remade due to scratches or poor gum jobs, and the low cost associated with new plates.
GLGA members may download the complete compilation of answers from the Members Only area of this website.