Dickinson Press Chooses Prism Qtms iQ For Shop Floor Data Capture
Press release from the issuing company
WILMINGTON, MA, February 6, 2007 — Dickinson Press Inc, a leading high-quality book manufacturer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has selected Prism’s QTMS iQ intelligent network shop floor data capture system (SFDC) to provide real-time information that will significantly enhance production control of all sectors of its enterprise-wide operations. The QTMS iQ system, comprising machine monitoring modules and sensors, is being installed on all of Dickinson’s web and sheetfed presses and bindery lines.
Paul Heroman, vice president of operations for Dickinson Press, an engineer by education with extensive experience in systems and methodology, notes that the decision to install the QTMS iQ system was the result of an intensive analysis of several data collection technologies in the marketplace.
“Our criteria was that the system had to be simple, accessible and understandable for the people on the shop floor and our Customer Care staff who would be using it every day,” he says. “And yet from an analytical perspective, it had to contain the detail that would help us manage our business better. The technology also had to have the architecture for our future needs such as JDF compatibility. In every area of our criteria, QTMS iQ was hands above the others.”
Heroman notes that he expects two primary benefits from the QTMS iQ system. First, Dickinson Press will be able to provide its customers with accurate, real time information about the status of their jobs in progress. Second, the company will have instantaneous data to analyze where operational downtime is at any point in the production flow. With that critical information supplied by QTMS, they will be able to isolate and solve problems quickly to optimize productivity.
“QTMS means we can get information as it’s happening,” he says. “We’ll be able to determine immediately where we are on any job, and not try to predict its status by some sort of crystal ball or gut feel. The system will assist us in gaining control over the entire process and is integral to the continuous improvement process we have in place at Dickinson Press.”
He points out that the unique pallet tracking capability of the QTMS iQ system also has critical importance for book production, a cornerstone of Dickinson’s business. The company is one of the largest producers of Bibles in the country. Many of the components of Bibles are printed in advance, but are not bound into finished books. Consequently, it is critical to have the ability to track pallets holding individual components so that when a customer orders Bible texts with specific covers, the components can be assembled quickly to meet expectations for both timely delivery and quantities.
Heroman observed that the ability of QTMS to measure paper usage, or yield, is another key feature that puts the system well ahead of its competition. “Prism has incorporated a device into the system that measures paper as it is being fed into the press. We can know what’s going into the press and what’s coming out. The other systems we looked at all try to do it, but QTMS actually accomplishes it.”
Training has already started for the Dickinson workforce that will be working directly with QTMS on the shop floor. “We have a very involved, dedicated workforce here,” Heroman noted. “Their response has been great. They recognized immediately that QTMS methodology makes it easier and much faster to input data into our MIS system.”
He observed that the Prism organization has been a tremendously supportive partner throughout the entire planning, training and implementation phases. Underscoring their responsiveness, he cited a situation following a training session. Dickinson operators posed 25 probing technical questions about QTMS to Prism, and received all the answers, with full explanations, in just a few hours.
Installation of QTMS on the presses at Dickinson is currently under way. The company will have the system operational on 90% of its main line hardware, presses and binders, by the end of February. Installation on smaller equipment will be completed by April. Heroman says that from the start, when he did the research on shop floor data collection systems, his intent was to have universal data collection within the entire Dickinson facility. It represents a major commitment for the company, and he has the enthusiastic support of the technology from Dickinson’s Board of Directors. It represents a major advance that will further differentiate the company from its competitors. “We want to get the best return on our investments in new technology and we want to get it as quickly as we can,” Heroman says. “We fully expect to get it from QTMS.”
Leland Morgan, GM of Prism-USA, stated, “Dickinson Press is an innovative company that through the years has embraced new technologies to serve its customers. We’re very pleased to have the opportunity to be a part of their advance into intelligent networked shop floor data capture. We’re looking forward to a long, productive relationship with the company.”
Introduced in 2006, QTMS iQ is a modular system with more “intelligence” and user friendly features, and new pallet-tracking modules using TCP/IP technology. The system provides an extraordinary level of highly accurate business management information and control to keep profitability and operational performance clearly in sight at every stage of production. QTMS iQ and all other Prism MIS solutions support the JDF standard.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.