COVID-19 Special Update: Print Added as Essential Workplace
In these unprecedented and uncertain times, Printing Industries of America is committed to providing the printing community with the most up-to-date resources on the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Below is the current state of print related activities as of April 17, 2020.
VICTORY! Printers Added to CISA Essential Workforce Guidance
Following a major advocacy effort by PIA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) released guidance on April 17 officially listing printers and packagers as part of the nation’s essential critical infrastructure workforce. Specific mention of printed material, packaging material, specialty signage, and references to print media in relation to communications, election services, and postal/shipping services are also contained in the guidance. Earlier versions of the CISA guidance implied printing and packaging companies were essential as part of critical manufacturing supply chains, but absent an explicit definition, PIA member companies have faced confusion or work stoppages as individual states and municipalities issued a patchwork of stay-at-home orders. In several cases, print was excluded by certain states, and the industry was forced to petition governors to amend the original order. This process has created havoc for the industry, its employees, and customers.
Importance of the New CISA Guidance
Over 40 states and numerous localities have enacted stay-at-home orders, many of which direct closures of non-essential businesses. While CISA’s guidance is not law nor a binding government regulation, it serves as an important benchmark by providing a standard definition of essential workers and encourages adoption by governors, county officials, and mayors. CISA estimates that approximately 75 percent of states have adopted its guidelines to create a more harmonious approach to determining which types of businesses remain open.
This clarification will help keep print production providing support to multiple critical infrastructure sectors. Many states are extending stay-at-home orders through May or June. Localities have enacted stay-at-home orders in conflict with their own states. Additionally, President Trump has called for a gradually phased-in, state-by-state reopening. All of these moving parts makes having clear CISA guidance on essential workers even more vital. This guidance is also helpful as it sets a precedent for any future declarations by CISA in times of national emergency.
It is important to note that the CISA guidance does not supersede stay-at-home or essential business definitions issued by states and localities. If your state or locality has issued such an order that excludes printing, the updated CISA guidance will serve to support the industry’s plea to revise the order to match the federal guidance. If you have questions about where printing stands under your state or locality, please contact your local PIA affiliate for information.
Employer Tools for Essential Work Designations
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, PIA has encouraged its member companies to strike a balance between remaining operational while also protecting public health and ensuring workplace safety. Even if your state or locality has issued an official order including printing as essential, your employees may have concerns or questions. Additionally, public safety officers may seek to enforce state and local orders by questioning employees traveling to and from work or to and from child care locations. While state and local orders may differ and PIA does not provide legal advice to its members, we have created sample templates of letters you may choose to use to address the concerns above. These templates may be customized for your use and printed on your company’s letterhead. For other questions related to workplace safety or employee sick leave laws during this time of pandemic, please see PIA’s Frequently Asked Questions for Employers.
Help Show that #PRINTISESSENTIAL & #PRINTPOWERSAMERICA
Let’s amplify CISA’s guidance! PIA has heard from hundreds of companies over the past six weeks sharing stories about the essential printed products they are manufacturing during this time of pandemic. Let’s continue to share that message publicly. Post pictures of essential print your company is producing to social media TODAY. Be sure to use the hashtags #printisessential and #printpowersamerica to spread the word.
America relies on print in times of national emergency, and print will proudly support our nation’s infrastructure and economy as we look hopefully toward recovery.
Stay safe, stay vigilant, and stay positive.
New Flash Report Available!
Updated Economic and Print Outlook: Profiling the Recession and Recovery
Printing Industries of America’s Center for Print Economics and Management just released its newest Flash Report,
Updated Economic and Print Outlook: Profiling the Recession and Recovery.
In this Flash, we provide answers as best we can in these historic and uncertain economic times. Of course, in this uncharted environment, economic forecasting is even more difficult than usual. However, it is still helpful to have some sense of future developments for planning purposes.
In this issue we cover:
– A profile of the recession and possible patterns of the coming recovery
– The economic path over the next 12 months
– Projections for print sales and profits in 2020
– Thoughts on managing chaos
Here is the Alberta Government link to COVID-19 info for Albertans:
Please contact us at [email protected] with any comments, questions or concerns.
Economic and Print Market Update: Projecting a Path Forward
Printing Industries of America’s Center for Print Economics and Management just released its newest Flash Report, Economic and Print Market Update: Projecting a Path Forward.
In this Flash Report, we review what has occurred in the economy thus far as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and what print owners and managers can do during these tough times.
In this report, we cover:
– Updated Economic Scenarios
– Historical Recession Recovery
– The Effects on the Printing Industry
– Tips to Stay Positive and Stay in Control
PIA Testing Services
Materials and Product Testing
Printing Industries of America lab services staff have over four decades of industry experience evaluating materials used in the graphic arts industry. In addition, they also have access to a plethora of other industry professionals including but not limited to the areas of prepress, digital, pressroom, process controls, color management, JDF, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, and many others!
Printing Industries of America lab services evaluates paper and ink characteristics using established standards, such as Technical Association of the Pulp & Paper Industry (TAPPI), the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI).
We evaluate materials proactively by providing quality control evaluations for printers, suppliers, and vendors around the industry. Many customers submit materials on a regular basis as a quality control measure to ensure the products they are providing are consistent and reliable. In addition, Printing Industries of America’s lab services provide analytical evaluations of jobs that did not go as planned. Often when conflicts arise concerning “jobs gone bad” customers will send the materials to Printing Industries of America for an unbiased, third-party evaluation to determine what went wrong and how to prevent it from occurring in the future!
Paper Strength Testing
What We Evaluate
– Inks, substrates, coatings
– Binding properties
– Material interactions – surface tension, drying times, ink/coating adhesion, etc.
– ISO 2846 Ink Conformance testing – offset, flexography, rotogravure, screen
– Conflict resolution
– Legal work
– Absorptivity (K&N, Croda
– Ash Content (TAPPI T-413)
– Basis Weight (TAPPI T-410)
– Brightness (TAPPI T-452)
– Burst Strength (TAPPI T-403)
– Caliper (TAPPI T-411)
– CIE Whiteness (TAPPI T-562)
– Color (TAPPI T-424)
– Curl (TAPPI T-466)
– Folding Endurance (TAPPI T-511)
– Gloss (TAPPI T-480)
– Internal Tearing Resistance (TAPPI T-414)
– ISO Brightness ISO 2469
– Moisture Content (TAPPI T-412)
– Opacity (TAPPI T-425)
– Parker Print Surf Smoothness (TAPPI T-555)
– Sheffield Smoothness (TAPPI T-538)
– Stiffness (TAPPI T-489)
– Surface pH (TAPPI T-529)
– Tensile Strength (TAPPI T-404)
– Tri-pick test (Consolidated)
– Other standard TAPPI and ASTM tests can be performed upon request
– Duke Emulsification (ASTM D4942-89)
– Fineness of Grind (ASTM D1316-87)
– ISO 2846 ink conformance
– Laray Viscosity (ASTM D4040-81, Laray)
– Setting & Drying Time
– Sutherland Rub Test
– SWOP Verifications
– TA Rheometry/Viscosity
– Tack & Stability (ASTM 4361-89)
– Tinctorial Strength (NPIRI Bleaching Method)
– VOC Content (EPA Method 24)
– Other standard TAPPI and ASTM tests can be performed upon request.
For rates and information, contact Lindsay Ferrari at Printing Industries of America by phone at 412-259-1785 or email [email protected].