KBA 4.0: Digital Transformation of a press manufacturer

KBA theme drupa 2016KBA´s focus has long since shifted from just building the biggest and fastest offset presses. Complete automation of  the print process and JDF data were what the company from Radebeul was working on. At drupa the company, under the name of KBA 4.0, will show what it has been able to do, together with partners such as Kodak, Optimus and Printplus, to realise a complete closed loop print process. Everything from proposal to shipment is said to be possible with KBA 4.0. More about this digital transformation in the press release below.

Digital Transformation with KBA 4.0. expands customer service

The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is on everyone’s lips. It stands for the entire digital process and supply chains involved in production and business transactions between supplier and customer, and vice versa. Under the umbrella brand KBA 4.0. using digital transformation for data-based business models and more customer service is a key topic for the Koenig & Bauer Group. KBA-Sheetfed in Radebeul has already expanded its services in its comprehensive programme “Service Select”, intends to keep following this path and will inform users on this topic also at the upcoming Drupa.

KBA 4.0. is more than just digital remote access to a press. KBA-Sheetfed has carried out remote press access since 1994, back then via a modem as part of remote maintenance and for about the last ten years faster via a secure internet connection. Intelligent encryption modules in the consoles only enable KBA service technicians and certified KBA suppliers to communicate with a large number of the some 7,000 presses on the market worldwide 24/7. A virtual tunnel protects the presses from unauthorized third parties accessing its data.

Data sharing for proactive service

Automatic e-mail with a warning when defined milestones have been exceeded (shown here 60m printed sheets) (1)

For the last two years KBA-Sheetfed has been working on analysing available data automatically and using this for new services relating to the presses. In the beginning it was mainly designed for performance evaluation, but it later resulted in more and more ideas for proactive and preventative service applications. One goal is a 360° user perspective enabling sales, service and marketing to offer relevant information and added-value services on the basis of this data.Every Rapida press features extensive control and sensor technology which captures and stores data on press activity. This includes press data, such as status and error notifications, time-stamped operating actions and other information on the day-to-day use of the press. KBA loads these log files automatically during each remote maintenance connection. Job, person and company-related data is naturally disregarded, also as this information is not included in the press log files.

Monthly performance reports

Automatically generated performance report based on a KBA Rapida’s log files (2)

Currently a growing number of KBA users participate voluntarily in a data-exchange programme. This means that their presses are permanently online. KBA-Service accesses these presses daily to evaluate data and in return these participants receive a monthly performance report (photo 1).The performance reports are an optional part of remote maintenance contracts, but this feature can also be ordered separately. The reports which are set out clearly with graphics provide information on a user’s press output, maximum and average press speeds, production availability, run lengths as well as printing, washing and job changing times.

By networking customers and their presses with KBA and the service data available KBA is able to unlock potential for optimisation for its customers and make them more successful on the basis of this data. Milestones, such as exceeding a certain number of printed sheets, are recognised at an early stage and communicated automatically as an email notification (photo 2). Just like the on-board computers found in modern vehicles users receive information on expired service intervals and inspection, maintenance or update recommendations. These are aimed at maintaining a high level of press availability and production security throughout the press’ entire service life.

PressCall: Service at the touch of a button

PressCall is a new automatic press error notification tool. Users now no longer have to call the KBA hotline. All data relevant for remote maintenance is transferred immediately and directly to KBA’s service department. This offers many advantages for users and KBA-Service, such as:

  • Shorter reaction times
  • Optimisation of error notifications and registering
  • Clear identification of press
  • Prompt analysis of press data
  • Proactive and faster feedback from KBA
  • Fewer incorrect entries

PressCall activates a dialogue window on the console (photo 3). Error notification and maintenance is done via a menu. In the future KBA subsidiaries throughout the world will receive real-time information on hotline requests and are informed promptly about possible errors and maintenance requests in their region.

Remote maintenance is menu-driven with PressCall (3)

Benchmarking: using optimisation potential

The press is a key part of the process chain to the finished print product. Whether packaging or ad flyers, every minute saved through short makeready times or a higher production speed delivers cash benefits. KBA as a press manufacturer can support the optimisation process with international benchmarking. It is important to compare identical technology used for the same applications, which is why KBA is currently classifying technology according the various criteria. In the future users, sales staff or even service technicians are expected to be able to retrieve possible, untapped potential transparently and anonymously at the touch of a button.

An overview of the locations of service technicians in Europe (4)

Predictive Service: avoiding potential press downtime

When a motor overheats, the error notification often comes too late. The cause, e.g. a faulty bearing, can normally already be determined in advance. So, there is a chance to proactively counteract. Along with proactive service, predictive maintenance is the future. This involves real big-data applications. Rapida press’ sensor and logic systems deliver high volumes of data. This is in addition to service, quality and process data from the plant. Patterns can be derived from these data streams with intelligent software. Each component’s probability of default can be determined in advance. KBA offers maintenance services before this happens.

Much has already become reality today. The map (photo 4) of worldwide service requests and service operations facilitates the technicians’ operational planning. Digital networking offers the customer an additional advantage by automatically alerting the closest available technician to take over the service job.

More at: service-select@kba.com

Rob van den Braak

Printer’s devil (1964), phototypesetter, offsetprinter, teacher of graphic techniques, salesmanager, productmanager, trade journalist, founder of BlokBoek e-zine (2011). But above all husband, father, friend and lover of life in southern Spain (since 2010).

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