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Church of Scientology Opens New In-plant

By purchasing its own presses and starting a brand new in-plant, the Church of Scientology is now free of the restrictions (and extra costs) imposed on it by commercial printers.

March 2011 By Bob Neubauer
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WITH CELEBRITY practitioners like Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its members, Scientology has gotten its share of media attention over the years. The growing church, founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, boasts more than 9,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups worldwide.

To keep its millions of members informed and fulfill its social improvement goals, the church generates a tremendous amount of printed materials—millions of magazines, brochures, direct mail pieces and educational materials each month.

For many years those publications were printed by commercial printers. That all stopped in August, though, when the church opened a massive, 185,000-square-foot in-plant in Commerce, Calif., 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Called the Church of Scientology International Dissemination and Distribution Center, the new 60-employee in-plant features large web and sheetfed presses, bindery and mail capabilities and even a garment manufacturing operation. It is staffed entirely by church members working two 10-hour shifts.

"It was really a must to set up such a facility that could cater to the scope of the church's activities," remarks Jamie McClintock, senior project manager. "No commercial printer had the scope or the range to do all these different products efficiently and cost effectively."

A Shipshape Shop

Inside the impressively clean and orderly in-plant, employees clad in gray uniforms maneuver skillfully around the large equipment. Around them, the walls are decorated with banners depicting the magazine titles they print, along with artwork showing the different churches around the world.

McClintock says wearing uniforms fosters a team environment, while presenting a more professional look. And the extreme cleanliness of the plant is a direct reflection of church teachings, he says—as well as a productivity enhancer.

"The better organized one is, the more one is capable of producing," McClintock notes. "The cleaner the shop, the easier it is to produce more and move product through the workflow."

Time is set aside each morning for the study of church scriptures. It's time well spent, McClintock maintains.

"I think it has a positive effect, considering that a lot of the success in establishing the new facility comes from implementing an organizational methodology established by the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard," he observes. "So in many regards the study [of scriptures] directly relates to increasing efficiency and proficiency of the staff to perform their assigned duties."

In-plant Snapshot

Church of Scientology
International Dissemination and Distribution Center

Commerce, Calif.
Employees
: 60
Facility
: 185,000 square feet

Key Equipment:

  • Agfa Apogee computer-to-plate system
  • Five-color Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 sheetfed press with coater and Prinect Inpress Control
  • Six-unit Goss Sunday 2000 web press with PCF folder
  • HP Scitex XL 1500 grand-format plotter
  • HP DesignJet z6100 plotter
  • HP DesignJet 35500 UV plotter
  • Two Heidelberg Polar 137 XT cutters with Compucut software
  • Heidelberg Stahlfolder TH 82
  • Heidelberg Varimatrix 105 foil stamper/die cutter
  • Sakurai silk screen UV coater
  • Autobond laminator
  • Muller Martini Primera E140 saddle stitcher
  • Muller Martini Acoro 7 perfect binder
  • Buhrs 4000 polywrapper
  • Buhrs BB300 envelope inserter
  • MHM S-Type T-Shirt printer 14-color silk screen press
 
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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Noel Ward - Posted on April 15, 2011
I've been in the Bridge Publications operation a couple of times and the attention to detail of every single element is astonishing. This new operation is clearly the offset version of the digital shop at Bridge. They are quite an example of what can be done with a clean sheet approach.
David Diaz - Posted on April 02, 2011
Wow, what a fantastically modern and efficient operation they have going!
Tad - Posted on April 01, 2011
The attention to detail on this plant is just staggering. Although the scope of this plant boggles the mind, one can tell that each piece of it was done with quite a bit of forethought in terms of predicting needs for the future, and working to be able to produce the Church's materials in all of the various languages and requirements needed and at substantial cost savings. I'd love to get a tour of the place, just to watch it go.
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Noel Ward - Posted on April 15, 2011
I've been in the Bridge Publications operation a couple of times and the attention to detail of every single element is astonishing. This new operation is clearly the offset version of the digital shop at Bridge. They are quite an example of what can be done with a clean sheet approach.
David Diaz - Posted on April 02, 2011
Wow, what a fantastically modern and efficient operation they have going!
Tad - Posted on April 01, 2011
The attention to detail on this plant is just staggering. Although the scope of this plant boggles the mind, one can tell that each piece of it was done with quite a bit of forethought in terms of predicting needs for the future, and working to be able to produce the Church's materials in all of the various languages and requirements needed and at substantial cost savings. I'd love to get a tour of the place, just to watch it go.