Printers are small components in the packaging line but very important ones. If a printer in an automated packaging line breaks down, this can have far-reaching consequences. A faulty printer often causes an immediate production stoppage, because important and legally required data, such as best-before date or batch number, can no longer be printed on the label or pack. In short: it is essential that a replacement printer is found.
“Our exchange program works very simply,” explains Ansgar Berndt, Head of Spare Parts Sales at MULTIVAC Marking & Inspection. “If a printer is damaged, the customer simply orders an exchange printer from us at a fixed price - and we then deliver this immediately, generally within 24 hours, if it is a common model of printer. The faulty printer is then returned to us in exchange. This is repaired, cleaned, and generally overhauled by us, and it is also subjected to a rigorous functional test before being stored in our stock of exchange printers. It is then available for the next customer.”
In addition to MULTIVAC’s own TTO printers, thermal transfer printers from other manufacturers are also used in labelling and marking systems. MULTIVAC’s exchange stock therefore includes models from Videojet, Allen, Markem, Datamax, and cab.
The new feature of this program is the fixed price. Whereas before it was necessary to have negotiations with cost estimates, commercial considerations, and time-consuming decision processes, now the ordering and delivery process is very simple and above all much faster. In addition to this, critical parts on the exchange printers supplied to customers are overhauled. Certain wearing parts, such as the thermal printhead for example, are replaced as standard during the overhaul. “This means we can guarantee the consistently high quality of the printers and offer our customers a unique and very simple service by exchanging the printer in advance,” says Ansgar Berndt.
On request, MULTIVAC can also individually configure the printer in the factory, for example with an IP address. This ensures the printer can be exchanged on site even more quickly - and this is a further factor, which results in higher efficiency and lower costs.
But this is not the limit of MULTIVAC’s service: “As the Center of Excellence for printing technology within the MULTIVAC Group, we have our own Test & Repair Department with experienced specialists and comprehensive know-how,” says Ansgar Berndt. “Customers can, for example, have various ink ribbons intensively tested on their own packaging films and labels. Perfect print quality can only be achieved, if there is optimum interaction between the materials used and the appropriate hardware.”
The exchange program has received a very positive reception from customers, and many have already made use of the new service - and all have been very satisfied with it.