Harnessing the Power of Proactive Maintenance
As digitization leads the way forward for print manufacturing, print service providers (PSPs) now can use machine learning and data analytics to shape processes and guide important decisions. Both capabilities are integral to Industry 4.0. They provide PSPs with the power to proactively optimize the management, conservation, and ROI of their printing equipment as well as achieve higher levels of operational productivity and efficiency.
Benefits of Being Proactive
Common knowledge suggests it’s better to anticipate a problem and take care of it before it crops up—that’s basically the definition of being proactive. Common knowledge also says everything mechanical is going to need maintenance at some point in time. Digital printing equipment is no exception. A reactive approach to maintenance can be expensive, disrupt workflow, and increase risk. But advanced knowledge and early action can help prevent problems, significantly improve performance, and extend the longevity of these valuable capital assets.
A reactive approach to maintenance can be expensive, disrupt workflow, and increase risk.
That’s why, at Canon Solutions America, Proactive Maintenance is at the core of our customer-first support and service approach. This philosophy encompasses not only preventive but also predictive and performance-based tactics that can help PSPs:
- Avoid costly unexpected downtime and lost output
- Find and fix potential issues before they require extensive repairs
- Reduce unnecessary “routine” maintenance
- Prolong reliability and performance of printing equipment
- Protect critical investments
Preventative vs. Predictive Maintenance
Preventative Maintenance is familiar to anyone who owns a car. Typically, the timing and type of scheduled maintenance, like oil changes, is based on best practices, generic recommendations, and aggregated data for similar vehicles.
Both preventative and predictive maintenance rely heavily on data, but the types of data and how they are applied differ.
Preventive maintenance is much the same on the print shop floor. Routine maintenance includes things like cleaning filters or replacing belts. Having digital printing equipment inspected, tested, and tuned up by a qualified technician on a preset timetable according to manufacturer recommendations is standard operating procedure. There can be disadvantages to relying solely on this approach, however. It’s possible to address issues that don’t even exist or replace parts prematurely, incurring higher inventory, labor, and downtime costs than necessary. But the single most important consideration is scheduling preventive maintenance to reduce the likelihood of unplanned maintenance interrupting large production runs or important deadlines.
To aid customers in this effort, Canon offers Predictive Maintenance solutions—a systematic and holistic approach to avoiding costly malfunctions and downtime and helping achieve maximum uptime. Made possible by Industry 4.0, it yields accurate, immediate, condition-based information PSPs can use to time and perform maintenance tasks more strategically and to manage the supply chain more efficiently. It’s also critical for detecting and preventing potential problems based on each customer’s specific usage. This early intelligence can give print providers the lead time they need to “fix” issues before they disrupt the workflow or cause costly shutdowns and necessitate emergency repairs.
How Canon Powers Proactivity
Proactive service and support is a vital component of our ongoing commitment to customer-first innovation. It includes developing and deploying state-of-the-art tools and remote capabilities to help take equipment performance, engine uptime, and ROI to new levels, like Canon On Remote Service (ORS).
Enabled by the Internet of Things, ORS is a productivity-focused toolset that uses machine learning, advanced analytics, and secure remote access to measure critical functions, provide real-time troubleshooting, and help make both preventive and predictive maintenance truly proactive. Its Remote Diagnostics, Remote Assistance, and Remote Connect capabilities can help PSPs achieve:
- Higher uptime
- Smoother operation
- More efficient use of labor
- Improved inventory and supply chain control
A Closer Look at ORS
According to Scott Scheffer, a Canon product service advisor at the Canon America’s Customer Innovation Center, ORS allows Canon’s service team to “keep their fingers on the pulse of each press.” It monitors real-time sensory data to track and analyze the press’s actual utilization and functionality during normal operation.
ORS allows Canon's team to "keep their fingers on the pulse of each press."
“This information,” Scheffer says, “helps make it possible to time preventive maintenance to avoid interruptions during big print runs or peak workload. It’s also key to improving supply chain management for ink, paper, and parts, which is more critical than ever right now.”
In addition, Scheffer says several predictive triggers connected to various parts of the production process are monitored. “If an issue is detected, an email alert is sent to the appropriate Canon service technician, who can log in to see more details, remotely troubleshoot in real time, and offer a higher level of service and support.”
ORS also allows Canon to give customers “helpful information on how they could be more productive and efficient based on the analytics that we're seeing—their operational behaviors,” Scheffer said. And he points out another benefit that has risen in importance since the beginning of the pandemic: the ability to provide remote training opportunities to help shorten the learning curve for new hires or to share critical knowledge with current staff.
“We have the ability to pull in an expert no matter where they are on the globe. They can be there for a customer in real time, on site virtually, sharing their expertise, without actually having to be on the shop floor in person. With a clear, secure view of what the operators are seeing on the press, they can take control of the operator panel or service PC, manipulate the mouse, show them what screens they need to be accessing, and demonstrate exactly how to perform the different procedures in the technical service manual—all remotely.”
Proactivity as an Industry 4.0 Advantage
"You have this arsenal of people behind you keeping a constant watch on your presses and anticipating what you need." Scott Scheffer
“Helping you harness the power of being proactive as a print service provider is one of the many competitive advantages of doing business with Canon Solutions America,” Scheffer concluded. “You have this arsenal of people behind you keeping a constant watch on your presses and anticipating what you need. And you have leading-edge tools and technologies—like ORS—that are generating the deep information PSPs require to evolve and innovate.”
Did you know?
Customers looking to achieve higher uptime and productivity need look no further than Canon Solutions America’s Services team. There’s a reason they’ve earned one of the best reputations in the industry.