Scientology Church to Launch Second Massive In-plant

The church’s digital in-plant is full of Xerox iGen3s, HP Indigo 5000s and more. The new offset plant will be even larger.

The black-and-white digital printing operation.

The warehouse area.

The Church of Scientology was so pleased at how well its digital book printing operation has worked out, that it is about to open another 
in-plant, this one with large sheetfed and web offset presses.

AFTER STARTING up an extensive digital in-plant almost three years ago, the Church of Scientology has decided to replicate this success with an even more ambitious in-house printing operation. Just a few months from now the church plans to open a new offset printing plant in Commerce, Calif., 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.

Among the major equipment being installed in the 180,000-square-foot facility are a five-color Heidelberg XL 105 with a coater and a six-unit Goss Sunday 2000 web press. The church plans to bring all of its magazine and direct mail printing in-house.

The decision to start an in-plant, rather than continue to send this work to commercial printers, came about after extensive analysis of current and future volumes. The church now prints between two and three million magazines a month but estimates that could reach six million a month within five years. In addition, magazines are printed in 17 languages, and the church plans to expand that to 52 languages.

“No commercial printer had the scope or the range to do all these different products efficiently and cost effectively,” says Jamie McClintock, senior project manager. “It ended up saving us a significant amount of money to build a facility that produced our products. We then get total control of quality and total control of scheduling.”

The church learned the benefits of in-house printing from its digital in-plant. Located in a 135,000-square-foot facility about five minutes away from the new plant, the digital shop houses two Xerox iGen3 digital presses, eight DocuPrint 1050s, four HP Indigo 5000s and an HP Indigo ws4500 web label press. The in-plant can turn out 20,000 hard-cover books (up to 450 pages in length) in two or three days, McClintock says. These books, all penned by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, are printed in 52 languages.

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.
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