Like all other globally active companies, Koenig & Bauer is particularly affected by the current restrictions on travel. In this situation, data-driven services are helping to prepare machines for production and resolve service cases to the satisfaction of the users.
The basis for this capability is a remote maintenance function which has been guaranteeing the high availability of Rapida sheetfed offset press on markets around the world since 1995. Where communication is conducted exclusively by telephone, however, there is a risk that only limited assistance can be provided or that the full scope of the issue cannot be conveyed when dealing with complex mechanical specifications or process-related issues.
That is precisely the point at which Visual PressSupport comes into play. This ‘digital’ tool enables forms of information sharing with added value and greatly simplifies communication for users and hotline technicians alike. The hotline technician sees exactly what the operator or service partner at the press can see. He can observe relevant processes and functions as moving images, and thus obtains a faster and more comprehensive overview of the situation in the press room. That eliminates the need for lengthy descriptions and reduces the risk of misunderstandings compared to a simple telephone call.
This is how it functions in practice: When a new press is being set up, the installation of the UV dryers must be entrusted to specialists. Due to the current restrictions, however, they were unable to travel to the site. And yet commissioning was still possible – thanks to Visual PressSupport.
First of all, online training was organised for the local service technicians. This was provided through the Koenig & Bauer Campus, the press manufacturer’s training centre. The training course showed and explained the critical aspects of dryer installation and commissioning and the technicians received specific instructions for working on high-voltage equipment with voltages up to 4 kV.
Subsequently, press assembly was completed and the dryers were installed. Before the press was started up for the first time, a dryer specialist from Koenig & Bauer was shown all the important points. This included the wiring of all electrical connections, the cable routing and the water cooling connections. The factory specialist was able to view the components via Visual PressSupport as still images or videos, and could guide the colleagues on site to those elements which required a closer check or further adjustments, for example by highlighting details on a drawing or screenshot.
Communication was not limited to just speech, but also included live images and written comments. Checklists were tackled step by step in the same manner. Everyone was on the same page at all times, and gapless function checks were possible. The press and its dryers could be taken into production safely.
There are many other ways in which Visual PressSupport is able to help. Printing process-related issues or mechanical problems can now also be solved remotely. The user of a large-format perfector press, for example, reported creasing of the sheet in the perfecting unit. Design engineers asked to be shown the sheets in question and certain mechanical elements via Visual PressSupport, and were able to determine an incorrect gripper setting. After correction, the press produced flawlessly once more.
In another case, coating plate changes were not functioning properly. A visual check of the coating plate revealed that the wrong plate type was set on the console. Once the setting was changed, plate changing was back to normal. Visual PressSupport has established itself as a proven tool when providing service for sheetfed offset presses. Beside Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, it is also used elsewhere in the company group – for example with presses and equipment from the business units Digital & Webfed, Coding and MetalPrint.