There is nothing normal about the current global situation facing us. This is something we have not seen in living memory and that will have a lasting economic impact going forward. I was in Bangladesh, Dhaka in February 2020. The intention was to exhibit and attend the DTG show in this vibrant country. The virus was already in the news with China in partial lockdown and the first cases in Europe just being reported - the impact of the virus was just beginning to show. The show was cancelled, incoming flights from China subject to strict control. I had meetings with a number of well established global manufacturers and suppliers who had full order books but were struggling to find raw materials and higher prices. How the world changed, three weeks later: parts of Europe were in lockdown and the whole world economy is now in turmoil with the focus moving from the issue of supply of raw materials and increased prices, to cancelled orders for the foreseeable future.
Each country and its Government are having their own challenges to support the immediate economy, and provide a safe and stable infrastructure for its population in order to help its health systems to cope, and its food supply to feed the country. Some countries responded quickly and have done better than others.
In Europe some businesses have benefited, non-more than the food retailers and suppliers, who through their well organised supply chains have been able to respond to support the population. We are grateful to all the shop workers who are working in a high-risk environment. We also applaud those working in the front line of the health sector who risk their lives everyday working in very difficult circumstances.
Focus remains open for business whilst respecting Government health guidelines. We are operating in a support capacity to keep companies going who are key suppliers to the Food & Healthcare sectors, providing Tech Support and parts in the UK, Europe and globally for our clients. Our office is open daily 7am to 3.30pm and we respond to email messages. Focus continue to send out parts daily by DHL or other courier services. We carry a certain amount of spare parts for machines so can quickly send out replacements.
What makes Focus quite unique as a press manufacturer is that we actually produce over 80% of our machinery in-house, enabling us to not only guarantee the quality of the components but also, in most cases, ensure we can turnaround and despatch within 24 hours. However, you should consider a worse case scenario where there may be delays in shipping or transport out of our control.
Keeping the press running!!! We have a saying: ‘A stitch in time, saves nine’…!!
A printing press, like any machinery, requires regular maintenance in order to keep it performing to an optimum level. At times like this, following a few simple guidelines 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 should be done in-house on a regular basis.
Spotting potential running issues is a skill that requires all your senses: it’s important to keep looking for a mark or line in the print, and listening for damaged bearings, gears, a vibration, or an unusual sound that may indicate a potential issue just around the corner. At Focus, we have decades of experience and can diagnose most problems quickly, helping you to get back up and running in no time.
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 time and money. When your printing press is not running because of a failed component, it is not generating any revenue. Importantly, you will not be able to complete that critical order for your client. By having basic stock parts - especially consumable items - on hand, you can eliminate this problem completely and resume printing operations with as small a delay as possible.
It is usually the lowest cost parts that let you down - the cost of carrying stock is often negated by the savings in reduced downtime.
Original Parts vs Local Suppliers
Local suppliers can provide an invaluable service and some distributors have years of valuable experience you can draw upon. However, saving money on poor quality replacement parts and third- party consumables is a sure way to more breakdowns and long-term damage to your valuable investment. At times like this, you cannot always rely on a local supplier who has the same supply issues as you and may even expect a premium to service your machine. Where possible, purchase from the manufacturer or its recognised distributor – that way, you always have the chance for recall in the event of a fault. Explain any faults clearly and provide photos of parts, if at all possible. Original parts do last longer, and manufacturers do want your machine to be reliable and to perform to its maximum potential.
Will We Get Over This?
Of course we will. We may all be a little leaner. It will take time, and the global and business landscape may have changed. Excesses of the recent past may give way to common sense values built on communication, relationships, support and the environment. In the near future, we hope to welcome overseas visitors once again to our manufacturing facility for equipment demos and training.
Importantly, Please Stay Safe For Your Family’s Sake
Image source: Pixabay