It could be called the wall of shame but we have all had things that just went wrong. What was your worst production problem and how did you resolve it.
Scratch off promotions or the NO SCATCH OFF PROMOTION
The customer was a confectionery company selling a jumbo halloween pack with a promotional scratch off ticket to win $40,000 in the package. Here is how I learned how to make a scratch off that will not scratch.
Half way through a press run, the midnight shift plant manager told the press crew to add a varnish as he thought that a varnish would make the scratch off less transparent. He did not know that the varnish and latex based material would coalesces into a solid - never to be removed latex material.
As an in-pack the marketing department did not care about the show-through.
What does a customer do when the scratch off does not scratch off? Well some of them send their tickets to the president of the confectionery company and ask "if am I a winner please let me know".
Great Insert - Wrong Bank
One of the most challenging bloopers I had was when we had to send crews into two bank lettershops to go through every single insert in the entire lot of skids we had shipped in - to make sure they did not have another bank's version in their shipment.
How it happened was we ran multiple bank and language versions of 2-panel statement inserts on one press form to gain efficiencies. When it went into bindery the form would be cut into 2-up 'version' blocks which would then go to the folders. The folders had slitters that split the two inserts apart and sent each version to a packing conveyor stream to either the left or right. The left was English Bank A and the right was English Bank B version.
During a night shift, a folder operator was tired and packed the left stream into the same boxes with the right stream thereby intermingling bank versions. After a serious panic audit we determined the mixup only occurred during a 3 hour window on one (of the 8) folder of a 2 week / 24 hour job with 19 versions. Knowing it was contained to only two banks we were fortunate to only have to hand inspect each insert - it could have been 11.
Key learning: only allow single versions of a component (it can be multiple up of same language version) of a trimmed press sheet to ever ever ever get on a folder.
There is always time to do it right after the RUSH to Deliver.
Just had to retrieve from the warehouse, open 30,000 envelopes, remove vinyl decals, tent card and wobblers that are being reprinted as the ink was scratching off.
Same old story, too little time to do it the first time but always enough time to reprint. So now we are reprinting all three components with the envelopes to do it right. Problem, there was no UV coating on the UV ink and it was scratching when scuffed. So at the press approval today I scratched like no tomorrow!
Note to self - never print UV inks without a coating.