Management has just ordered a new post-press system, and you now have the responsibility to get this equipment on the floor and operators trained. What should you plan for? A lot!
A successful installation requires pre-planning as well as some flexibility to adjust your timeline for a few unexpected surprises. Knowledge of utilities like power, vacuum, compressed air, waste removal, as well as any special room conditions are essential. If your in-house maintenance staff is limited on time, then consider outside contractors who specialize in these utilities.
Having the correct equipment layout in the space allotted is key for workflow of bringing new equipment into the work space. This may require working closely with the equipment manufacturer (OEM) who has unique expertise in this area.
Once the utilities and workflow are planned, you need to address one of the most critical factors in order to ensure the equipment shines: your main operators. Standard offset equipment versus digital will necessitate different skill sets. Digital equipment may require an operator familiar with handling a variety of paper substrates, where offset equipment may need someone less knowledgeable in this area. The equipment with be computerized with automation so having someone computer savvy is important as well.
Training at the manufacturer’s facility is very helpful as it allows operators to focus 100% on the new equipment. If the training must happen at your site, be sure it is not interrupted and that it’s done in small groups so everyone receives hands-on experience. A general test should also be administered to ensure that what was trained is also retained.
Finally, when the machine begins production, enlist a production start-up assistant from the OEM to confirm that your operators set up and operate the machine in accordance with their training. It’s also highly recommended that the manufacturer return to your facility three or four months after installation to make sure the machine is operating at maximum capacity.