Heidelberg launches new cloud-based service to boost machine availability

Heidelberg has taken the next step in digitising its service portfolio and transferring smart, preventive maintenance to the cloud with its new Maintenance Manager solution.

The Maintenance Manager was developed in collaboration with the Heidelberg-owned software company DOCUFY, whose contribution focused primarily on its technical documentation expertise.

Most machine maintenance has to date been based on hard copies of lists and a maintenance schedule specified by Heidelberg that customers adhere to.

In the new web application, maintenance operations that are due can be planned and managed using machine data in an automated process, in line with maintenance intervals and machine usage.

Heidelberg service engineers receive orders via an app on their mobile devices and deal with these on customer premises. The app helps by providing detailed descriptions of specific steps in the form of texts, graphics, and videos.

The customer’s maintenance staff also have access to the Maintenance Manager app, which enables customers themselves to handle maintenance tasks for which they are responsible.

Heidelberg said the new cloud service enables prioritisation based on urgency combined in an intelligent way with the time required and the IoT data generated by the press. This shows staff exactly what needs to be done when.

On completion of the work, all the relevant information is saved in the Maintenance Manager. This ensures access to the complete maintenance history and seamless documentation – in the case of audits, for example, and as proof for particularly exacting customers from the packaging or pharmaceuticals industry, according to Heidelberg.

Heidelberg head of product management service, parts and consulting Klaus Kohl said the rapid progress of digitisation is transforming the print media industry, with print shops facing the challenge of dealing with all kinds of different jobs ever faster and, above all, more flexibly, while still producing top-quality results.

Machine stoppages and/or damage due to inadequate maintenance or the absence of a maintenance strategy can quickly jeopardise the competitiveness of print shops.

“The new Maintenance Manager was developed in close cooperation with customers’ users and now enables fully digital maintenance management,” he said.

“With this digitisation drive, our customers are benefiting from far higher machine availability, reduced downtimes, and seamless documentation.”

Heidelberg has been digitising service operations for a number of years by equipping machine systems with ever smarter preventive functions such as eCall and Predictive Monitoring, with the aim to maximise machine uptime.

Heidelberg has also announced that it has ramped up its manufacturing in China, with a third of all of its presses being manufactured in its Shanghai factory.

The machines manufactured there are being exported to some 40 countries including A/NZ and most of western Europe.

The factory employs about 450 staff and manufactures printing presses for both commercial and packaging printing. Most of its production operations are focused around the 70 by 100 format, namely the Speedmaster CD 102 and Speedmaster CS 92 models.

“Our production at the Chinese site in Shanghai is a success story, not just in terms of the Chinese market, but also, and increasingly with regard to the rest of the world,” Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer said.

“Already, around one third of all the Heidelberg printing units being manufactured are coming from this plant. Following the rapid economic recovery of the Asian markets from the coronavirus pandemic, our local production operations have proven to be a strategic advantage in overcoming the crisis. As a consequence, we are increasingly able to realise growth opportunities in these regions.”

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