During the pandemic, manufacturers of equipment have been under pressure to reduce stock levels of parts & spares for their older equipment, often leaving end users with reduced levels of support. Some manufacturers have taken the decision that they will no longer provide service or parts for equipment long since out of production. Some specialist parts such as electrical control boards can no longer for found or are uneconomic to repair.
For current high-tech technology, the situation is little better. In recent months the ability to source even the most basic of spare parts normally available within days has become critical with lead times now stretching to several weeks or months. The conflict situation in Europe has added even more pressure with regard to energy, raw materials prices & supply. This is putting a tremendous strain on the service & supply chain.
From the consumables angle in recent months, we have seen problems in the supply of Inks, both conventional & digital due to raw materials shortages or technical processing problems. The continued Paper shortage is becoming acute for label Printers all over Europe and it is only a matter of time before this too affects food & product supplies at the retailers.
In some cases, re-looking at the product packing has created some business opportunities to innovative labelling & present cost saving solutions for the end users.
Coming back to your own print shop now might be the time to re-look at your maintenance program. Keeping your printing press well maintained doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. By following a few simple guidelines you can minimise your lifetime printing press repair bill and keep it operating at maximum efficiency. Keeping your printing press clean and well lubricated is the very basic maintenance activity that can be done in-house on a regular basis. You can also keep stock on hand of the most important consumables and parts that you may need in the event of a breakdown. Having a stock of critical parts available allows you to replace troublesome parts without having to wait for a supplier delivery.
A Stitch In Time, Saves Nine.
Just like a car, a printing press requires regular maintenance in order to keep it operating in tip-top shape. You wouldn’t ignore servicing a car so why wait until your press is broken before taking any action. Spotting potential running issues is a skill that requires all your senses. Listening for damaged bearings, gears, a vibration, a mark or line in the print, an unusual sound may indicate a potential issue just around the corner. The catchword here is, ‘take action’ early.
Why Keeping Parts On Hand Makes Financial Sense
Ensuring that you always have stock of the most critical parts used by your printing press can save you a lot of money. When your printing press is not running because of a failed component it is not generating any revenue. Often suppliers need some lead time in order to deliver the required parts, which can mean longer downtime. By having stock parts, especially consumables items on hand you can eliminate this problem completely and resume printing operations with as small a delay as possible.
The cost of carrying stock is often negated by the savings in reduced downtime. This alone makes it worth your while to stock up on critical parts. Contact your machine supplier for a list of common spares for that particular press, highlight the critical ones to you and invest in them.
Maintaining Your Printing Press To Reduce Repair Bills
One of the biggest reasons for high repair bills is the neglect of routine maintenance. We would suggest a regular once weekly time slot is put aside for press clean downs. Each machine should have a maintenance book to record & highlight problems as they happen for the attention of maintenance the following week. By regularly servicing your printing press and performing routine maintenance you can reduce the risk of running into a serious and costly breakdown. Just cleaning dust & Ink spills from critical areas, checking your drying systems and condition of transport rolls, Impression rolls, greasing bearings & gears will save downtime. A well-maintained printing press will also be more efficient and deliver better quality prints. If you ensure that your printing press is well maintained your bottom line will thank you in the long run.