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HonBlue Signs Up For Heidelberg's Web-Based Remote Service On Prinect

Press release from the issuing company

KENNESAW, Ga., August 18, 2004 - Heidelberg has announced that HonBlue, Inc. of Honolulu, Hawaii, recently installed a Prinect Printready prepress system anchored by a Prosetter computer-to-plate (CTP) device and supported by Heidelberg’s Web-based Remote Service option. Since the Printready workflow installation almost a year ago, the system’s consistency and reliability have been such that HonBlue has appealed to Heidelberg’s highly regarded Remote Service Help Desk only twice. “We will continue to buy Heidelberg because the service is so good,” said Matt Heim, president of HonBlue. “The products are of such high quality and reliability that there’s hardly a need to call on Heidelberg to fix any problems. But in the few times that there has been an issue, their service experts have responded so quickly that our downtime has been next to nothing.” Heidelberg’s secure, multi-stage Remote Service option is based on a globally structured Internet platform that makes distance a non-issue – even for companies that are surrounded by water. Heidelberg Remote Service enables customers to connect their systems back to Heidelberg experts, using a web-based internet portal to analyze equipment, correct faults, solve problems or access online help and guidance directly on screen. The Interactive Remote Service can be broken down into two parts: • Diagnostic functionality. The web-based function desktop view allows the Heidelberg expert to view the customer’s screen. After analyzing the fault and its likely causes Heidelberg service technician experts will either explain how to make the adjustment, or alert the appropriate Heidelberg service engineers. The result: - Faster responses and shorter downtimes - Cost reduction - Minimal press downtime - Higher output • Help functionality. The web-based function desktop control allows the Heidelberg expert to guide the customer and help him solve the problem he had. As HonBlue has discovered, Heidelberg’s courses and instruction programs make sure operators receive the best training. For problems that do come up, Remote Service provides fast, effective support. The customer establishes contact with a service operative over the Internet and allows the service operative access to his production system. The result: - Faster problem-solving - Improved productivity and quality - Improved abilities of system operators Prepress manager Jason Furuta has been with HonBlue for six years—long enough, he says, to appreciate the superior performance of Heidelberg’s Printready prepress system. Less than a year after its installation, Furuta pronounces the system “very stable.” Meanwhile, he says, the company’s Prosetter CTP device “runs essentially error-free, is very fast, and has no trouble keeping up with the presses.” On the few occasions since the installation when Furuta has appealed to Heidelberg’s Remote Service Help Center, he says, the necessary adjustments have been addressed virtually. “Heidelberg opens up a session and I log in. Sometimes Heidelberg takes control of the computer, and sometimes they’ll walk me through what usually turns out to be a minor software issue or a patch,” Furuta says of the rare occasions when he has run into a problem. “Migration to Printready was easy, due to the amazing training and support we received from Heidelberg,” Heim says. “We’re finally in our comfort zone with the equipment we have.” HonBlue became a Heidelberg customer in 1998, in the midst of a metamorphosis from commercial typesetter to service bureau to provider of small-format color, variable data and direct-imaging services. HonBlue later acquired West Coast-based Electric Pencil, which operated a Heidelberg Quickmaster-DI, Quickmaster two-color press, and a Heidelberg prepress system at its Culver City, Calif. facility. Now, HonBlue/Electric Pencil’s pressroom complement includes a six-color Speedmaster CD 74 with coater and a four-color Speedmaster 52. Both presses are networked with the Prinect Printready prepress workflow, including the Prosetter CTP device. The Printready system replaces a competitive workflow product, which HonBlue had operated for several years. Heim describes the Printready system as “consistent and reliable,” as well as virtually error-free. “We have no issues once a job is on press,” Heim explains, with perhaps “one in 1,000 plates” displaying a problem in terms of content. The company also upgraded from its PREPS imposition software to Heidelberg’s Signa Station, a move that “has made a significant difference in how smoothly our prepress system interacts with our presses,” Heim adds. HonBlue’s postpress department includes a pair of POLAR 92 cutters that are “networkable” via Printready for when the time is right for Honblue to extend its connectivity into the bindery. Thanks to Printready, Heim says, HonBlue requires just two operators to feed two eight-hour press shifts per day, five days per week. “Printready enables us to keep a lean workforce,” Heim says. “Heidelberg,” Heim said, “sent two or three of its best people from the West Coast to oversee the Printready installation and start-up the new prepress system. Afterwards, Heidelberg personnel stayed for another two weeks to calibrate the presses and bring operators up to speed. It’s incredible how there has been no lack of training.”