But every stage also involves an employee for quality control. Before the pages are printed onto large aluminum plates, experts look at computer screens and printouts to triple-check everything from the spacing to the font. Later, each page is checked with a densitometer, a scanner-like device that measures the density of the color. And throughout the process, machines jam and alarms whistle, prompting workers to divert books and make quick fixes.
Technology has displaced the manual labor involved, Tapella said Friday, as he gave a tour of the printing floor, but technology cannot displace our workers expertise.