In late December 2022, a winter storm of epic proportions wreaked havoc on large swaths of the Eastern United States. The Buffalo area, in particular, was severely impacted, with some parts of the region buried under more than 4 feet of snow.

On Friday, Dec. 23, Artur Ziaja, director of operational planning and development at Personalization Mall in Bolingbrook, Illinois, was ready to go home for the weekend when he received a call from someone at CPower, an energy management company. The caller had a request: Could he curtail the energy use at the production facility for the next couple of days to help reduce the chances of a widespread power outage?

No problem, Ziaja replied. “We were closing up shop for the holiday season, so the timing was perfect,” he says.

If we can help somebody, why not? Let’s do what we can for the community.”

Artur Ziaja, director of operational planning and development at Personalization Mall

Ziaja was able to do this because PMall is enrolled in CPower’s Demand Response, a program that asks businesses to reduce their electricity consumption during times when the power grid is under strain.

To ensure viability in the program, participants are tested annually to make sure they can reduce their energy load if called upon. PMall, for instance, uses between 800 and 1,400 kilowatts at a given time, and each summer, on a designated day, CPower asks it to lower that number to less than 300 kilowatts for one hour.

For its participation, PMall gets a small monthly payout — but the satisfaction of knowing it is contributing to the greater good is the biggest benefit of the program, Ziaja says.

“It’s not about money; it’s about what we can do to help each other, help a neighbor,” Ziaja says. “If we can help somebody, why not? Let’s do what we can for the community.”

Helping the environment through print technology

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as gases that are emitted from certain solids or liquids that include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Inks used in printing processes are one source of VOCs. As part of Personalization Mall’s dedication to safety and reducing its environmental impact, the company recently added two Canon Colorado printers to its fleet of more than 60 wide-format printers, says Hector Morales, print technician manager at Personalization Mall.

energy conservation canon colorado printers
The two Canon Colorado printers at the Personalization Mall manufacturing facility in Bolingbrook, Illinois.

These printers, which are used to produce the majority of PMall’s custom wrapping paper, employ UVGel ink that is Greenguard Gold certified, meaning it meets the strictest emission standards and is void of almost any VOCs. “This technology can help PMall introduce new products to the market, products that can be utilized indoors, such as in schools, and hospitality and healthcare environments, without the need to apply a film lamination,” Morales says. “If we continue to expand on Canon, we would be able to produce our vinyl products (such as this growth chart wall decal) on this printer, eliminating the need to use our eco-solvent printerand laminate those products.”

While the company is using the new printers only for gift wrap at the moment, Morales foresees it expanding to more products in the future.

“We can utilize this print technology on a variety of substrates for indoor and outdoor usage, such in wall, floor, and window graphics,” he says. “If the need arises, we can utilize this printer to produce other substrate media, like canvas and vinyl.


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