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TitleMaintenance Best Practice
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Document Text Contents
Page 1


Final Report
Contains full analysis and data
March 2005

Productivity Maintenance in the UK Printing Industry

Page 2


Productivity Maintenance in the
UK Printing Industry

A cross-industry survey from Vision in Print

by Dr. Tim Claypole and Nigel Wells

March, 2005

Page 43


Page 44


Productivity Maintenance report

Section 2

Internet survey of UK printers

Page 85


N° 18: Silkscreen and ink jet — Point-of-Sale displays

Size & intensity: 80 staff — 24 h/5-7 days.
Operating snapshot: Family-owned company for 110 years until 2003 when management buyout made. About five
years ago the company was concerned about market trends and their competitive position and invested in new
production equipment. They also appointed a multi-skilled technical services manager to install, train and maintain
equipment and operating facilities (located in a Victorian-era factory). The company uses several silkscreen presses
for multi-colour printing of runs of several hundred copies. A large format ink jet printer is used for runs up to 30
copies. Various converting equipment is often combined with intense hand-finishing using up to 50 temporary staff.

Maintenance approach: Previously there was no maintenance, if something broke but machine could still function, it
was not fixed (“fix it when it stops”) and few parts were held. Most equipment now has PLC control and software is
rarely a problem — 99% of problems are from electronic and mechanical components. A lot of silk-screen presses are
produced in small numbers and some are one-off models which complicates servicing and maintaining a parts
inventory. First step was to recruit an in-house engineer and establish adequate spare parts store. The first year focus
was on restoration maintenance to bring machines back to a reasonable operating condition.

Quality & Documentation: Suppliers manuals seen as generally poor with barely intelligible English. Suppliers do not
readily communicate their “knacks” required for many maintenance tasks. Staff observe and record OEM technician’s
procedures so that they can be performed internally next time (e.g. changing the 50 gripper belts on a silk-screen
press is very complex with a very specific method to achieve and takes four people 3-5 days). Maintenance is
recorded to (a) provide a reference record of what has been done (b) helps meet and prove that H&S risks are
managed. Effective use of simple technologies (e.g. Internet and digital photos) is highly effective to improve speed
and reliability of communication with suppliers for problem diagnosis, part identification, etc.

Maintenance staff: Engineer 3 days a week — a fitter with good electronics and software skills (oil industry
background); plus a general handyman.

Production staff: Limited to simple routines and cleaning.
External maintenance: Often significant start-up problems of new equipment with poor back-up after installation.
Avoid relying on suppliers because their engineers only solve a specific problem at a huge cost (typical £700 for 3
hours). Remote diagnostics from two suppliers, one used intermittently, the other a failure.

Scheduled maintenance: Friday from around mid afternoon to midnight, usually dedicated to a specific series of
tasks. Biggest problem is time and cost, they would like to run maintenance on Saturday but requires minimum
presence of two people and overtime payment.

Housekeeping: Good, but difficult within an old building.
Spares: Adequate in-house inventory. Building spares data base to bypass equipment supplier where possible.
Internet is used to correctly identify specifications (essential) and then search for availability, price and sources.

Maintenance results

Significant increase in available production time with big impact to reduce total operating costs. Five year ago
around 40% of operating hours lost to unplanned equipment stoppages this has now been reduced to about half
a shift (4%).

Permits reliable just-in-time delivery essential to meet demanding customer/competitive needs.

Improved understanding of machine operation has improved quality e.g. registration.

Significant cost savings on spare parts purchase from non-OEM sources.

Keys for success

Maintenance is an integrated part of manufacturing strategy. Unless the machine is in good condition it cannot
reliably produce correct quality on time.

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