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[The Note] Maintenance of printing machines: the key to maximum performance
28 April 2022 | Jos Notermans
When purchasing a printing machine, the focus is often on technical specifications such as resolution or printing speed. Attention is barely given to keeping the printer operational as long as possible. This is particularly an issue in the textile world, where maintenance costs are a substantial part of the operating costs. These operating costs greatly determine your return on investment (ROI). Downtime is expensive.
In this blog, we will first address why operating costs are very often higher than necessary in the textile printing industry. To get this right, three things related to maintenance are crucial. Of course, I will also share with you the ultimate solution to improve both your maintenance and performance.
Preventing Downtime with proper Maintenance of Printing Machines
Purchasing a textile printer is a major investment. This printing machine is subsequently used in harsh environments. I do not mean that your factory isn’t safe, but your printing machine is used for printing textiles. By definition, this involves fabrics, fibers and dust. As you’re working with very sensitive equipment, maintenance of printing machines is crucial!
Printer maintenance is directly linked to your operating costs and therefore your ROI for two reasons. First, only well-maintained machines will deliver the best possible results. This means fewer rejected fabrics, which results in more satisfied customers that come back more often with follow-up orders.
The second reason is perhaps even more important: poor maintenance can lead to additional downtime. Downtime is very expensive since a broken printer produces nothing at all. Deadlines are not met and dissatisfied customers are highly unlikely to return. Until the printer is fixed, there is no point in doing so either. But how do you prevent this from happening?
Do it yourself: printing machine maintenance
Having an engineer come by every week is expensive and not at all efficient. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do yourself to properly maintain the machine and your equipment.
Certain wear and tear parts can be easily replaced by yourself. For example, there are parts that are best to inspect every 8 hours in order to identify defects in time. You can then replace these parts yourself, if necessary. Cleaning your printer (and keeping it clean) is also an important part of maintenance.
Regular inspection and good cleaning of the machine can prevent many defects, resulting in fewer maintenance costs. Of course, not all accidents can be foreseen. If a defect does occur, three things are of the utmost importance:
Quick fix Since downtime is expensive, it is imperative that your printing machine is repaired as quickly as possible. Remember: speed is important, but the quality is even more important.
Using the right components This can only be achieved with the right parts and components, so make sure you have spare components or a partner with the right stock.
The right knowledge and skills Staff with the right knowledge and skills are also indispensable for a quick, qualitative repair. Make sure you have trained personnel or a partner who knows what is required in times of need.
Printer Maintenance Service: two types of maintenance
You can maintain your printer all by yourself, but chances are that you don't have the right components or trained staff readily available. A partner with a fast Printer Maintenance Service is the solution you need.
SPGPrints offers two types of maintenance out of its service solution portfolio. It is recommended that an engineer will visit your company annually and check certain parts of the printing machine. For example, the cooling (is the ink on the right temperature?) or the alignment of print heads (are print heads bent or damaged?) and more. Some wear and tear components are recommended to be preventively replaced every year to reduce downtime as much as possible. That’s why we call this check-in preventive maintenance. If your machine is used very extensively, we can make agreements to do check-ins more frequently and adapted to your operating profile.
Even if you do perfect preventive maintenance, an unplanned event can occur unexpectedly.
In such cases, it is of the highest importance that you have remote access to your printer and that all the processes, contacts and access levels are clearly defined up-front. With that in place, the helpdesk can investigate the root cause of the failure, often even bring the machine back into operation and identify parts that need to be replaced in course of a corrective maintenance visit.
How do I find a Printer Maintenance Company near me?
In short, proper maintenance of printing machines can make your printer last longer and make downtime less likely. If something unexpectedly goes wrong, it is important that it is fixed as quickly as possible having the right parts, and experienced local personnel with the right tools at the same time at the same place.
If a company decides on external support for maintenance, it is important that the above-mentioned topic can be arranged. That's why SPGPrints offers service contracts with preventive and corrective content to their customers. Those service contracts can be adapted to special customer needs, which creates a win-win situation and supports the customer as best as possible, resulting in good printing quality and the highest availability of the machine. This means that you can continue to make profitable products, while our inks can reach their full potential.
Is a service contract interesting for your company? On this page, we would like to link you to a local employee, who will review with you what a service contract will look like for your business.
Of course, you can ask all other questions related to your printing business as well. You might find your answers in the Digital Textile Printing Guide, written by our experts, but they also love to answer your questions personally.