Guild Runs Silver Anniversary Mill Tour

An event twenty-five years in the making, the annual Book Industry Guild of New York’s annual paper mill trip took place May 21-22. This edition of the trip visited Pixelle Specialty Solutions (formerly Glatfelter) and Maple Press. Twenty-four participants from across the publishing community came along to learn about the paper making and book manufacturing processes.

The two-day bus trip made its first stop at the Central market in York PA, where the group was able to mingle, stretch, and sample the local lunch cuisine. After that, it was a short trip to Pixelle, where the tour began with a visit to the wood yard. There, the group learned about forest stewardship and the hard- and soft-woods needed to form paper. Debarking and chipping were examined, but the size of the group precluded seeing these processes in person.

From there the group went to the paper mill. Before going through the mill, Mike Kinney gave a condensed paper 101 session to review the basics and the process of making paper. Then it was on to the mill where everyone was treated to a first-hand walk through the paper-making process and shown the paper machines, mammoth rolls of newly made paper at the end of he machines, right down to slitting and sheeting.

The group next spent the evening at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York PA. There, many spent the rest of the day mingling and dining together enjoying the beautiful spring weather, taking photos of the scenery, or playing mini-golf or table-top shuffleboard.

A visit to Maple Press was on tap the next morning. There, after a greeting from Jim Wisotzkey, Maple’s president and CEO, the group divided into smaller tour groups and followed the book through the plant, from customer service, to prepress, platemaking, and the main offset and binding processes. A comprehensive look at digital printing also came into part of the tour, offering a complete overview of process to the group of mostly newcomers to the publishing world there to learn about those processes.

Kudos to all involved that made this twenty-fifth anniversary Guild-run spring plant trip such a huge success. Launched twenty-five years ago with the premise of teaching industry newcomers process and meaning in a hands-on way it was a grand continuation of the tradition. With the younger fall trip, now in its eighteenth year, the Guild has now run 42 plant trips for industry newcomers, bringing hundreds to plants and mills to see and learn.

The Guild’s education committee will be hosting more events this year. Watch for a one-day Basically Books seminar late in the summer or early fall. This one-day event with offer basic for beginners overviews to follow the book from manuscript and design, prepress and color, P&Ls, Paper 101, printing and binding, to the digital world. And then, slated for October 22-23, we will present the fall trip to Ecological Fibers and Superior Packaging and Finishing. Announcements for the fall trip should appear midsummer for sign-ups.