Eight years ago at Drupa 2004 manroland sheetfed introduced telePresence as a service product. To meet the growing service response expectations, the speed at which a service department responds is critical. Rapid response alone is not enough, quality is an absolute factor as well; reliable detection of the cause of the failure – if possible at the customer’s first call, the identification of the right replacement part and whether it is in stock are key processes which can be improved with telePresence.
In a survey conducted by manroland, Inc in North America, it was concluded that customers with access to manroland’s telePresence remote service system for sheetfed presses get their equipment back into production 93 percent of the time solely with remote service. Remote repairs are done typically within hours and sometimes within minutes of initiating a remote service request through telePresence.
In addition, when a service technician is required, repairs requested through the telePresence system are completed as much as 80 percent faster because the problem has been narrowed down to a small number of possible causes. This allows the technician to arrive with the right tools and parts needed to fix any of the alternatives.
According to Matt Braun, Director of National Service, “manroland was the first press manufacturer to offer remote service via the internet. The telePresence system has been a standard offering for all new manroland sheetfed presses since 2007 and older presses can be retrofitted to accommodate the valuable and cost-effective service. Nearly 100 percent of the customers who have utilized this value-added service have renewed it.“
Braun said the manroland telePresence Service, which won the PIA InterTech Technology Award in 2005, is unlike other remote diagnostic services in that it provides technicians on the network with complete access, not just to the main console, but to all of the computers networked with a modern sheetfed printing press. For example a manroland six-color coater/perfector can be connected to as many as 26 computers, and remote technicians can work with all of them as easily as if they were standing next to the unit in question. As for mechanical components, remote technicians can see what is happening in various locations by way of embedded webcams or with the aid of a hand-held video camera that is provided by manroland.
Once a local service request has been initiated through telePresence, response is fast. It only takes 6 seconds for it to reach the factory in Offenbach, Germany, where the equipment is completely identified and its specifications linked over to the North American Remote Service Center in Westmont, IL. A full-time staff of remote technicians keeps pace with service requests as they occur. If specialized expertise is required, factory technicians in Offenbach may also be brought into a remote diagnostics session.
Aspects of telePresence that customers appreciate most include the ability to show manroland's remote technicians areas of concern with the video camera, manroland's immediate access to alarm conditions and its ability to control and adjust press parameters over the internet, and getting responses to telePresence service requests at any time of the day.