During a typical ``day'', the Lansing State Journal sells 74,000
It would be reasonable to ask why 2,000 extra papers are printed.
The answer is more complex than one might imagine and partially appears
in a study of how a modern printing press operates.
The process of printing a newspaper is a continuous one, from largerolls
of ``white paper'' at one end to finished and folded papers at theother.
Starting the press typically produces 50 spoiled papers before the
first salable copy appears.
Stopping the press is even more costly, 75 to as many as 300 spoiled
Depending upon the edition, day of the week, and other factors a press
may start and stop several times per ``day''.
These factors, as well as expected demand, are built into the
pressperson's daily ``manifest'', i.e. the total number and kind ofpapers
that are to be printed.
However, this is only the beginning of the story, since unpredictable
counting and loading errors, handling damage, etc. all add to the number
of papers that are needed.
Typically the latter problems result in several hundred --- up to 500
--- missing papers per day.
The project has two aspects.
The first is to determine if it is possible to reduce number of missing
papers --- and then describe how.
The second is to perform a statistical cost-benefit analysis of
printing the newspaper that seeks to minimize the manifest count (the
total number of papers to print).
The ideal completed project deliverable for the former is a set of
recommendations for new equipment and/or accounting techniques along
with evidence of their effectiveness. The latter deliverable couldbe a
parameterized production model that minimizes cost --- again,
along with the evidence of effectiveness.
This summary prepared with the assistance of M. A. Alford,K. Swanson, and
C. Syjud of the Lansing State Journal.