Need an Oil Change for that Binder?
It's no secret that printers have been a bit slow in replacing bindery equipment that may be a bit long in the tooth. You would be wise to be somewhat conservative in your equipment purchases in today's print market.
Bindery systems vendors are smart folks, and they know which way the wind is blowing at any given time. So, in a bid to keep cash flow robust, they've embarked on a campaign to offer extensive maintenance and upgrade services to their customer base.
This makes a lot of sense. A lot of new technology can be retrofitted to older perfect binders, folders and saddle stitchers. For a percentage of new machine cost , you can get a lot more productive life out of an older machine. In addition to upgraded mechanical components, your binder or stitcher can benefit from new electronic components, sensors and software. The end result? No doubt a finishing system with shorter makeready time and better overall uptime when running.
The strong point of the pitch that the vendors are making is that this work is performed by well-trained vendor technicians. This provides the 'safety-net" of a warranty on the work performed as opposed to any upgrades done by a third-party. The finishing vendors are also emphasizing the value of factory-approved bindery operator training to go along with equipment upgrades.
All-in-all, the combined upgrade-retrain programs that the vendors are offering make sense for both the customer and the equipment vendors.
Don has worked in technical support, sales, engineering, and management during a career in both the commercial offset and digital finishing sectors. He is the North American representative for IBIS Bindery Systems, Ltd. of The United Kingdom.