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FLEXO Magazine : January 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES STANDARD PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE SERVICE Recommended preventive main- tenance programs typically consist of five technical visits over the first year of operations. The first scheduled visit is pre- ventive and predictive and is itself customized to match the customer’s machine and also includes winders, viscosity controls and other compo- nents. Goals include: ?? Assessing the installation ??Checking on the capabilities of the operators and maintenance teams ?? Supervising training of both op- erators and maintenance teams The next four visits are application and tuning of programs which may include lubrication, contin- ued training, meeting with suppliers and complete inspection of the press. The technicians may run simple tests on print stations and will be able to see, for example, if there is additional resistance on a print station and use that information to diagnose a problem and schedule a repair before there is a break down and unscheduled production interruption. The fifth visit is a major checkup that includes oil changes, including gear boxes, recalibration, a complete inspection and additional training where needed. The overall goal of the first year of the preventive maintenance program is to make the customer self sufficient in most ordinary operating circum- stances with an effective, in-house maintenance program in place. WORKING WITH THE OEM Most printers believe they have a good maintenance team and may put too much responsibility on the team. The reality is that the complexity of today’s machine requires coordination of the in-house team with the OEM. The press builder knows each press intimately and, because of the need to protect proprietary information, some important details about a press and its performance are known only to the builder. Also, the manufacturer knows about parts availability and whether a part is going to be discontinued. Perhaps most importantly, the OEM has access to the performance of similar presses all over the world and is able to identify trends of main- tenance issues as they develop and is thus able to effectively anticipate possible problems in other, similar presses doing similar work. Today’s OEM is able to offer service support customized to match each press and is able via the internet to monitor per- formance and provide some services from remote locations. In effect, service agreements and modern technology allow a press builder to match the problem a printer encounters anywhere in the world with instant solutions provided by the most appropriate company expert wherever that per- son or persons may be. A less tangible, but no less im- portant benefit of working with the OEM is that visiting engineers and technicians observe and are able to objectively evaluate overall perfor- mance of equipment and personnel and make valuable recommendations to the customer’s management on ways to improve production and pro- tect the investment in the press. ADVANCED MAINTENANCE PROGRAM Most printers with late model presses from major suppliers can benefit from a contracted mainte- nance program. A quality program effectively increases productivity, optimizes performance, minimizes downtime and extends equip- ment life. It is an effective way to protect the sizeable capital in- vestment a modern press requires. A typical program includes access to experienced engineers at any time from anywhere. It includes secure, high-speed broad- band connections to all subscribed equipment with a high level of configurability to allow for monitoring key data points. A maintenance program ensures accelerated access to spare parts through a customer managed inventory. Critical parts are stored with the customer. Those less critical may be in the build- er’s warehouse or at another site or, in some cases, even shipped from another customers facility. A custom inventory of parts as- sembled for each press is continually tracked and monitored. The internet connection, with cameras located on the press, ensures proper part selection. Because the inventory is closely monitored and parts are readily available, the printer is able to save on stocking costs. Proper management of capital equipment is critical to any and every organization. A properly executed maintenance program will optimize equipment utilization, maximize throughput, mini- mize waste, enhance your quality and increase the profitability of your assets. Caring for your equipment doesn’t detract from your bottom line, it contributes to it. Take the time and effort to increase profitability. Manage your assets with a well executed maintenance program. ? ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Massimo Ardito is technical service manager, Flexible Materials, North America, Bobst Group. He has been in technical service with Bobst for 19 years. Michael Burdy is senior service engineer, Fischer & Krecke, Flexible Materials, North America, Bobst Group. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Villanova and has been in flexographic technical service for 24 years. For more information, contact Ardito at 704-587-2265 or Massimo.Ardito@bobstgroup.com. www. f le xography. org JANUARY 2009 FLEXO 33
End of Year 2008