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Service Plan Options — Are You Being Served?

Managing Editor
TO STAND out from the rest of the herd, offset press manufacturers, both web and sheetfed, have ramped up their service offerings. This trend toward extended service plans, preventive maintenance programs and beefed up parts and labor options is allowing press manufacturers to expand what is offered to their customers while also becoming more of a partner with the printer. Here is a look at some service plans that are available, in no particular order.

At PRINT 05, Heidelberg unveiled an extended service package to the U.S. market called systemservice 36plus. Heidelberg’s systemservice 36plus service package extends service coverage for a period of 36 months with the purchase of a new sheetfed press. With systemservice 36plus, Heidelberg customers can take advantage of full coverage on all repair services and parts for 36 months, intelligent support services and a periodical Heidelberg inspection.

Unlike a warranty extension, systemservice 36plus is designed to help reduce unplanned press downtime while improving overall efficiency. New support services reportedly can resolve up to 70 percent of troubleshooting issues without the need for on-site service.

With the formation of its new Sales and Customer Support Group, KBA North America is aiming for seamless satisfaction from press purchase and installation to post-installation support. Service technicians and engineers are available 24/7. KBA has also opened a new Code Red warehouse for the immediate replacement of “critical failure” parts.

A standard feature of KBA press consoles is a modem for remote diagnostics and maintenance. A KBA service representative can remotely access the press to diagnose problems, analyze the machinery and provide software updates.

MAN Roland recently introduced printservices, a press support program. Positioned throughout North America, printservices technicians utilize tools and documentation specific to MAN Roland presses. Emergency services are available either on-site or by phone 24/7. With enhanced services, programs such as optimization, training, equipment upgrades and technical consultation are designed to improve operational performance.

MAN Roland has also launched, a Website designed to help locate components and consumables. It provides the ability to search by description, item number or manufacturer.

The KomoriKare Web Service Plan from Komori America offers project management with one point of contact throughout the duration of the project—from contract to the end of the warranty. Remote services capabilities through a VPN Internet connection allow service technicians to verify the condition of the press, determine the source of the problem and quickly resolve the issue. By monitoring the press maintenance log, users can avoid press downtime through remote service monitoring capabilities.

A network of regional service technicians that are cross-trained on the mechanical and electrical operation of sheetfed and web presses is augmented by a
dedicated team of web specialists.

Goss Service programs are part of its concept of lifetime support. The company takes a holistic approach to maximizing performance over the life of every press, and has established interrelated service, parts, training and enhancement programs. Goss officials maintain that they have documented significant decreases in maintenance, rebuild and parts replacement requirements for its gapless Sunday presses due to the fact that the tubular blankets
eliminate gap-related vibration.

All Sakurai presses come with a one-year warranty, which covers all electrical and mechanical parts and labor. Sakurai has 24/7 parts and service help available to customers and it offers free operator training at its demonstration center for Sakurai press owners. The Sakurai Security Plan combines planned service visits from Sakurai on a preventive maintenance schedule with a maintenance plan executed by the customer.

Meanwhile, Presstek offers remote diagnostics, automated dispatching and local on-site support. Presstek service goes beyond preventive maintenance to offer predictive performance data for its direct imaging (DI) press customers. Predicting performance is a proactive approach that utilizes the digital data collected by strategically located sensors within the DI press.

Timsons Inc. points out that preventive maintenance is vital to a printer’s profitability. Scheduling a small amount of downtime to make these checks on the press will pay off in reduced downtime on an annual basis. Timsons’ maintenance contract provides for routine scheduled maintenance visits to maximize press uptime. A special rate plan for discounted spare parts ordered from preventive maintenance service reports is available.

Mitsubishi’s Customer Services Group brings all of its service, parts and technical support functions under one umbrella. MLP U.S.A. maintains an extensive inventory at its parts facility in Lincolnshire, IL. This fully equipped operation can process most orders within 24 hours. Parts inventories are also maintained in Torrance, CA. It boasts computerized inventory and access to parts via computer link to Mitsubishi’s world parts center located in the Mihara Machinery Works in Japan.

Dauphin Graphic Machines notes it does not offer a rigid service plan like some other press manufacturers. DGM customers pay one rate, regardless if they are a commercial or a newspaper press user, or if the service is needed on a weekday, weekend or holiday. And that same rate is good for all of the services that DGM offers: press service, audits, major repairs, moving presses, etc. Its 24/7 emergency service is handled by DGM’s trained field service technicians located regionally throughout the country.

To service Ryobi printing presses and equipment, xpedx Printing Technologies offers a coast-to-coast force of local, factory-trained and certified press technicians—as well as same-day customer response time. xpedx Printing Technologies, Lenexa, KS, is the exclusive U.S. importer and distributor of Ryobi presses and digital workflows. The company’s 50 local dealers provide support through factory-trained and certified technicians. They are fully backed by expert Ryobi press technicians at the xpedx Printing Technologies headquarters, as well as Ryobi engineers in Japan.

xpedx Printing Technologies is now expanding its remote diagnostic/remote service capabilities, but emphasizes the importance of quick-availability, in-person support for press owners and operators.

Likewise, Hamada has more than 40 dealers in the U.S. and Canada that are trained at Hamada’s service schools. The company recommends that customers call their authorized dealer for service. Some dealers offer service contracts for routine maintenance and repairs. These are done on an individual basis, not through Hamada.

Drent Goebel’s service team is committed to support a clearly defined, high standard of quality. Every member of the team has completed an intensive training program and gathered years of field experience. Their skills and knowledge are regularly upgraded at the company’s training center.

Keeping presses running is the top priority for Akiyama Parts and Service. Its parts and service teams are factory-trained professionals that provide competitively priced service. Equally adept at complex repair work, light repair, regular maintenance and warranty service, Akiyama Service helps to keep presses running at optimum levels. Akiyama maintains an extensive parts inventory at its U.S. corporate headquarters in Cerritos, CA.

Web Press Corp. maintains a complete parts and service department. Its extensive inventory allows for timely shipping of urgently needed parts. The company’s Website also offers downloadable maintenance schedule forms to track scheduled and preventive maintenance, as well as troubleshooting guides and tips for all of its equipment.

Supporting Service

A new alternative to traditional service programs has been launched with the creation of SERVaccess.

“SERVaccess is a totally new concept, nothing like any traditional service organization out there,” explains Brian Chapin, president of SERVaccess. “We don’t actually fix the equipment. We add value by making it possible for everyone in the industry to get better service, in a shorter period of time, and with state-of-the-art communication.”

SERVaccess has created a link between independent service providers and printers in need of service on a wide range of graphic arts equipment. Independent service people and small service companies can now compete without the substantial financial investment or required business expertise. For its network of independent service providers, SERVaccess provides a complete array of back-office support, marketing and training. SERV-access basically does two things. It provides all of the back-office
support and unites a network of service providers with customers who need service. All of this is done using Web-based technology.

“Keep in mind that SERVaccess isn’t designed to compete with the (equipment) manufacturers,” Chapin points out. “On the contrary, we should be able to help them. For instance, they could use our call management systems, or tap into the network of independents who could help them with older products, in remote areas, or when their own mechanics are too busy.”

Service providers pay a base monthly fee and a nominal amount for each service call that is processed. This ensures that costs are scaled to match the amount of work being done. When a service call comes in, it is automatically routed to the primary service person who gets all of the necessary information on his cell/PDA.

Special software and pull-down menus make it easy to accept, defer, update and close calls on this simple device. When the call is done, the customer’s signature is captured on the PDA and SERVaccess takes care of the billing, taxes, collection,
updating of records, etc. The mechanic is free to move on to the next assignment.

“We have no limitations on where we can offer support,” Chapin adds. “In a way, we’re like a match-making service that brings printers and service providers together, giving both the resources to work more efficiently.”

For More Information

on service programs for sheetfed and web presses, visit and enter the numbers below.

Akiyama 371
Dauphin Graphic Machines 372
Drent Goebel 373
Goss International 374
Hamada of America 375
Heidelberg 376
KBA North America 377
Komori America 378
MAN Roland 379
MLP U.S.A. 380
Presstek 381
Sakurai 382
SERVaccess 383
Timsons Inc. 384
Web Press Corp. 385
xpedx Printing Technologies 386





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The graphic communications industry is facing some very serious challenges, but that doesn't mean there isn't still a lot of life and opportunity in our future. “Competing for Print's Thriving Future” focuses on how printers can create their own positive future by understanding and taking advantage of the  changes that...










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