By Angela Chen, Archna Patel, and Jack Young, UC Press Production and Editorial Staff

Last month while in Detroit attending the annual Association of University Presses conference, we made a side trip to the Sheridan printing plant which is only 1 hour outside of the city. Tim Kennard, Production Manager, and James Rodriguez, Sales Manager, took us on a 2-hour tour of their facility. 

We were very impressed by the scale of the machinery and equipment needed to make a book, and how busy they were. They produce roughly 2 million books per month. Tim very proudly pointed out many efficiencies that he had added to the workflow, such putting a vacuum tube directly under the paper trimming machine to take scrap paper directly to the shredding room. Or asking the fabrication department to build a special lift so that one person could load extra wide (and heavy) plates into the etching machine. Most impressive of all Tim greeted each and every employee we passed by name. There was a real feeling of family. 

And most of all we were excited to meet Kim Beck, our customer service rep. She has been helping with all of our print projects for quite a few years and it was great to finally meet her in person.

Here are a few photos from our tour:

Paper storage, Sheridan
Paper and printing plates, Sheridan
Paper loading on to offset press, Sheridan printing plant
Wet paper on offset press, Sheridan
Digital web press, Sheridan
Wet ink kept off rollers with puff of air, digital web press, Sheridan
The team (L to R): Kim Beck, Sheridan; Archna Patel, Jack Young, and Angela Chen, UC Press