printservices stands for services and support that guarantees total customer care for the entire life cycle of printing systems. It covers solutions for project management, training, spare and wear parts supply, maintenance, process analysis, upgrades and retrofits, as well as press relocations.
1. Dr. Hoffmann, what does printservices offer your customers?
We see ourselves as a partner to our customers and support them proactively for the entire life cycle of their printing systems. In other words, not only when they have a problem. We work together with customers in a farsighted manner to avoid problems by discussing their needs and goals and, depending on the situation, then offering services such as inspections, check-ups, maintenance contracts, upgrades and retrofits, TeleSupport, workflow analyses, training, and process-related technical assistance. The basis for this is always the availability of spare parts and technicians.
2. Which services are aimed at productivity and production reliability?
The essential aspects for customers are production reliability and the press productivity coming along. TelePresence and Monitoring are online services that solve problems very fast. With process optimization that is fed from the services just mentioned, we can most immediately identify production potential. This is supported by our regional system service technicians who are in regular contact with the press operating personnel. Basic contracts for support by regional system service technicians, TelePresence, and also regular audits, contracts for spare parts supply and systematic maintenance show advantages. The trend is towards individualized service contracts over a term of two to five years. So planning and production are getting even more reliable.
3. Can you give us any concrete examples of changes in the industry?
These can already be recognized by rather smaller service products like ink roller management. Printers are realizing more and more that regular checks and replacement of inking rollers having to withstand up to more than one billion load changes per year can avoid cost-intensive press breakdowns. Many companies replace inking rollers every two years as a preventive measure because this is better than to wait until the individual rollers fail. Complete roller replacements are more efficient and less expensive than replacing individual inking units. manroland has formed a professional team dedicated to this task.
4. How do you ensure flexibility and rapid response in service?
manroland has a large base of highly-qualified staff in the factories plus a global network of service companies. Furthermore, we intend to expand the network of regional system service technicians. We also cooperate with our suppliers as well as with service partners. This ensures customers of high flexibility and rapid response all over the world.
5. Are you providing customers worldwide with printservices?
We are set up very well with highly trained service technicians for the webfed sector stationed worldwide in seven new service bases and at forty Market Organization locations. These days we are closer to the customers in the regions than we were with our former Sales & Service partner. In many parts of the world, such as Australia, South America or Southeast Asia, we have opened up new regional manroland Sales & Service organizations.
6. How does this optimized service in the regions actually look like?
The technicians in our global organization are regularly trained in new developments. Some of these specialists come from our factories and work medium- or long-term in our Market Organization. We also send factory specialists to our customers, mostly in Europe. These operations are planned and coordinated via a networked planning tool that shows capacity available on a global scale. This is how we ensure a fast, professional and efficient customer service.
7. 24/7 service is demanded these days. What does manroland offer here?
Numerous specialists are on telephone standby for all problems 24/7. Our TelePresence performance package, which is made up of the principal service TeleSupport plus TeleLink, TeleInspection and TeleConsult, is available for presses up to 17 years old and in some cases even older. The Monitoring function provides continual press surveillance, thus saving on personnel and reducing unplanned press downtime. Spare parts are identified and ordered via TeleSupport outside office hours. Besides that, very many customers already have the possibility to order what they need at any time online from the manroland STORE. However, these are only partial aspects. The decisive factor is regular presence of technicians at customers’ premises where they help the printing company not only to improve the performance and availability of the press, but also to reduce repair costs and preserve the value of the entire printing system.
8. You have developed the online platform manroland STORE for ordering wear and spare parts. What’s behind this?
Our customers appreciate using our manroland STORE. This is undoubtedly because press specifics are covered in detail, and the STORE has a wide variety of functions that makes it easy to use. Previously only wear parts were available but also spare parts are being added gradually. Besides easy part identification plus a convenient and fast ordering procedure, the manroland STORE offers a wide range of parts and fast delivery.
9. What is planned for further development of the manroland STORE?
The range of parts is a substantial aspect. Once spare parts supply is implemented, a spare parts catalog is displayed at the same time and is being updated online when necessary. The same applies to operating instructions. At the start page, our customers are regularly informed about current offers and smaller upgrades or retrofits. We are gradually adding more business processes, whereby continuous dialog with our customers is extremely helpful and forms the basis for ongoing development of this platform.
10. How do you optimize production processes?
Process optimization is an important step towards increasing press productivity. printservices supports printing companies with advisory services and provides solutions to boost efficiency. Highly-qualified process technicians examine the entire production process from prepress to finishing and analyze the production data that is gathered via TeleSupport functions. With the help of extensive evaluations, we pinpoint potential and offer solutions that increase productivity. While costs are rising and with the need to keep them under control, this service has become increasingly important and a significant element of our LifeCycleManagement concept. We offer these consultancy services in close cooperation with our subsidiary company EUROGRAFICA.
11. Can an analysis result in an upgrade or retrofit?
Yes, definitely, whereby retrofits are often part of a long-term plan. Upgrades provide the press with new functions that surely make it more suitable for the present or future needs of a printing company or its customers. Upgrading to the latest technology can be a catalyst for creative solutions or production flexibility. This often entails additional press automation through closed-loop systems such as cut-off and color register control, ink density and color balance control, along with automatic blanket washing systems and optimized press acceleration and deceleration sequences to reduce paper waste. Even with presses already equipped to a large extent with such systems, retrofits are worthwhile in many cases because of the relatively short ROI period. With the dynamic cut-off register control system CutCon plus for example, paper waste when changing press speed or following washing sequences is reduced considerably. New, automatic blanket washing systems also significantly reduce paper waste compared with older systems. Our color balance control works many times faster than customary systems and is fully integrated in PECOM. Presetting for every production can be carried out via printnet PressManager. Highly dynamic control and short cycle times are further features and, with corresponding start sequences, even more paper waste can be avoided. TeleSupport is of course also available for these functions. Retrofits such as stitchers, inkjet applications or a format change can make a newspaper more attractive. Besides the press as such, software upgrades result in better networking between the pressroom and the publishing house. We analyze and advise individually which upgrade or retrofit makes economic sense.
12. How do you support customers in further training of their staff?
manroland delivers efficient and highly productive presses which imposes new demands on the operators. manroland’s training program takes this fully into account. We provide training and continuing education in our Print Technology Center in Augsburg, but also at customers’ premises or in our local Market Organization company. Further training is not only necessary when a new press is installed or when there is a change in operating personnel. The results of the production process analysis can also imply that this is necessary.
13. Has the Print Technology Center proven to be worthwhile?
Yes, we have considerably expanded the web offset course program in Augsburg. In particular, courses in topics like process optimization, process technology or quality assurance are well attended. Also very popular are courses on maintenance and on locating faults in order to reduce maintenance costs and press downtime. Some highlights are our PraxisSeminars and seminars we conduct together with IFRA. In the future, refresher courses or further training measures may well become even more important to make sure operating personnel learn to tap the full potential of printing systems.