Paul Kilker, CEO of $15 million GGS Information Services, in York, Pa., was about to perform the last rites over two Hewlett-Packard laser printers. The manufacturer had confirmed the sad truth: after five years of faithful service printing everything from catalogs for Mack-truck parts to children's books, the units were unsalvageable. Then quality control employees Linda Reed and Vicki Edwards asked if they could attempt a resurrection. They duct-taped some straws to the hose of a small vacuum cleaner and steered the device through the printers' innards, eradicating a decade of toner buildup. Both machines went on to run millions more copies, and the invention is now used on all office printers that are no longer covered by service contracts. "They're pretty ingenious," says Kilker of Reed and Edwards. "We saved the cost of two new printers."
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