Ken Rizzo, Director, Technical and Lean Services for Printing Industries of America, passed away suddenly Tuesday, February 15, while on a consulting assignment.Ken started as an apprentice press operator for Sherwin-Williams in the late 1960s and ultimately became a well-known author, workshop leader, speaker, and one of the world's most knowledgeable people for production efficiency and excellence.
He joined Graphic Arts Technical Foundation in 1990 as a technical consultant, left for several years to work as a process engineer for a large paperboard and packaging company, and returned to the organization (now a part of Printing Industries of America) as director of consulting services. He was a highly-experienced process improvement specialist, teaching companies the concepts of Lean manufacturing before the term was popular in the industry. Ken exhorted management to provide employees with information, tools, equipment, and materials that are correct, function properly, and are easily accessible. He planned and facilitated numerous 5S, quick changeover, total productive maintenance initiatives.
He authored one of our best-selling books, Total Production Maintenance: A Guide for the Printing Industry, now in its third edition, and recently authored a series of Operational Excellence workbooks. He wrote dozens of articles for both our magazine and many other industry publications.
Ken was a contributor to many conferences, especially the Continuous Improvement Conference, serving on its advisory committee, moderating the 2009 conference and teaching numerous sessions and preconference workshops over the years. As an experienced trainer and educator, he instructed on such topics as Extreme Offset Production, Printing UV, Troubleshooting Printing and Production Problems, and 10 Steps to Operational Excellence.
His talents and energy will be sorely missed by Printing Industries of America and the printing industry.
Ken was sixty-one years old. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, sister Corinne Adamonis, father Earl Rizzo, three sons Douglas, Craig, and Brian, and daughter-in-law Kathryn Rizzo.