April 16, 2004 -- Alongside innovative printing technologies, Koenig & Bauer (KBA) attaches great importance to tailored and comprehensive training programmes, as the foundation for an optimum utilisation of modern printing installations within an overall production process. The list of training options for users covers a whole series of basic and ad-vanced courses, as well as special seminars pinpointing aspects of mechanical and electrical servicing, drive technology, automation and print applications for the whole spectrum of KBA web presses. To enable efficient operation and maintenance of the ever more complex press installations, to facilitate the mastering of new print technolo-gies and to promote comprehensive understanding of not only the presses, but also complete workflows, KBA has further expanded the already broad scope of its training activities. To this end, a new train-ing centre was inaugurated at the KBA works in Würzburg at the be-ginning of the year, offering the latest technical equipment and an ideal environment for learning.
Training programme addressing future demands
"With a broad-based training concept and modern facilities, we are aiming to further improve the customer orientation, efficiency and qual-ity of our training seminars," explains Bernhard Harant, divisional head for newspaper presses, whose responsibilities include customer train-ing for commercial web and newspaper printers. KBA conducts its training in small groups with a maximum of 8 participants, and focuses, beyond necessary theoretical explanations, above all on practical in-struction directly on the press.
"One significant development," Harant continues, "is that the previously external seminars on the digital drive systems (INDRAMAT and AMK) and PLC control systems can in future be held in our new training cen-tre in Würzburg." Training manager Gerhard Knorz comments: "That brings considerable time savings and we can target the training con-tents much better to individual customer needs." Andrea Rothen-bucher, responsible for coordination and organisation, can only agree. "It used to get quite complicated, for example, to combine training ar-rangements for a group at Indramat (now Bosch-Rexroth) in Lohr, at KBA in Würzburg and then also at AMK in Kirchheim/Teck," she re-calls. At the same time, many external courses remained rather gen-eral in nature, as they catered for participants from very different branches. Even with the new facilities, however, customer-specific ba-sic training and practical instruction on the press automation and work-flow solutions will still be conducted externally by the KBA automation partners EAE and ABB.
"We have also complemented our training programme with special seminars on the KBA Cortina, as a fundamental innovation for news-paper printing," adds Bernhard Harant. Theoretical and practical courses acquaint Cortina press crews and pre-press operators with the capabilities of the waterless technology as the key to an efficient and cost-effective print process.
New training centre to cope with rising demand
The demand for training has risen dramatically over the past few years, in line with KBA's considerable market success. In the first three months alone, more than hundred employees and staff from KBA customers met in the classrooms of the new training centre. "It is a noticeable trend that the customers themselves are attaching ever greater importance to training," as training manager Gerhard Knorz has observed. "The continuing pressures of costs and competition are encouraging the customers buying our presses to pay ever more attention to optimum operating and maintenance practices, in order to be able to maximise net output and production reliability. We are here to equip the customer's crews with the necessary know-how and skills," he explains, and adds: "The customer can make use of the KBA training services throughout the lifetime of an installation, for example with regular continuation courses or specific instruction in the case of upgrades, to ensure permanent optimisation of the effi-ciency, productivity and reliability of the press. And it goes without saying, that we are also pleased to accommodate the individual re-quirements of our customers."
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