août 2019 / Folding Carton Industry

Digital Transformation and Connected Services

Digital Transformation and Connected Services

Between 16th and 21st May, Koenig & Bauer presented a raft of new customer- centric offers based on digital transformation, as well as new and further developed data-driven services, during a series of four open house events at its facility inRadebeul, Germany. While the rst two days were devoted speci cally tothe needs and wishes of commercial printers, their counterparts in the packaging sector were the centre of attention after the weekend. More than 1,100 print professionals from 40 countries accepted invitations to the four-day event. They were treated not only to comprehensive information on the possibilities to streamline and optimise their production processes through digitisation, but also to a whole new experience of thebene ts to be derived for their businessfrom a close relationship with Koenig & Bauer and its new data-driven services.

Stable partnerships create con dence

Ralf Sammeck, CEO of Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed and member of the executive board of Koenig & Bauer, and Thomas Göcke, head of marketing & CRM, welcomed the visitors and presented the company’s new image campaign. Under the banner “We print your world”, it seeks to communicate the boundless diversity of print products bringing together the most varied inks and substrates, substrates and technologies and technologies and people. In doing so, the oldest printing press manufacturer in the world claims to offer the broadest product portfolio in the industry – a single source of solutions which  enable print companies all over the world to attain their individual goals.

Sammeck made special mention of the company’s strong economicgures, with increasing turnover and agrowing order book, giving users extracon dence when making decisions ontheir key means of production. Through a number of partnerships and take- overs, the company has expanded its portfolio far beyond its original core competences. The recent acquisitions of Iberica and Duran, a joint venture with Durst and cooperation agreements with Optimus and Esko underline this successful strategy. With end-to-end solutions, they promote quality maximisation, increased productivity and transparency. “Our overarchinggoal is to make our users pro tableand successful,” said Sammeck. Leading print companies from both the commercial and packaging segments are opting for technology from Koenig & Bauer. That applies not only to high- speed Rapida sheetfed offset presses, but equally to the rotary die-cutterRapida RDC 106 to at-bed die-cutterssuch as the Iberica Ipress 106 K PRO and the range of Omega gluers from Duran.

Many solutions are prize-winning developments: The Rapida LiveApps, for example, received an Intertech Technology Award in 2018. This year, the jury of the iF Design Award was full of praise for the design language and stylish appearance of the VariJET 106. And Koenig & Bauer has also picked up a German Brand Award for branding excellence in industry and engineering.

Approaches to Development

In an inspiring keynote, innovation and creativity expert Gerriet Danz explained how utopian visions andscience ction can be translated intoreality and thus into new revenue. Taking examples from historical practice, he showed how resistance can be turned into success. One of his essential principles is that only those who are prepared to adopt new perspectives will subsequently shape the future. Just think about
the new dimension added to printingby 3D printers, about former lmproducers who have become manufacturers of cosmetics products or about combined solutions such as the drone-cum- ying motorcyclebeing tested by the police in Dubai.

Those who ask the right questions will receive answers for the future. The appeal made by Gerriet Danz was to make use of creativity techniques and ask the right questions to lend new impetus to the print industry.

Data-driven services

For a number of years, Koenig & Bauer has itself supplied one of the best examples of how creative thinking and digital data can give rise to new customer experiences and innovative services. The company has earned a wide reputation as a cross-sector pioneer for the digitisation of business processes. The starting point for
most product-related customer services is the wealth of information contained in press operating data and the associated log les. Thefollowing solutions are offered:
 PressCall improves communication in connection with remote maintenance. At the press of a button on the console, all necessary information is sent directly to the hotline technician. Communication is optimised and there are no delays due to language barriers. A customer ticket is automatically created in the CRM system. Solution-nding becomes faster and more ef cient, reducing downtime andincreasing availability accordingly.

Visual PressSupport is another toolwhich simpli es communicationduring remote maintenance and raises the cooperation between customer and service department to a new level. Photos, video clips, audio and commenting functions via a mobile device allow more precise description of the current situation at the press. At the same time, Visual PressSupport has extended the functionality of remote maintenance to include assistance in case of process-related or mechanical problems. Everything is documented in the service module of the CRM platform Salesforce and full information is thus immediately available to all involved persons and departments. Visual PressSupport can also be used independently of remote maintenance.

Performance and inspection

Users with a remote maintenance contract receive a monthly Performance Report. This report visualises key performance indicators of the installed presses in clearly structured graphical form and provides an overview of all relevant production data at a glance. In addition, the performance data can be compared both internally and

externally with other presses used in a comparable manner – all anonymously, of course. This helps to reveal potential for optimisation, reduces unplanned downtimes and enables pertinent maintenance work to be planned in advance. Performance and availability are improved. A Press Inspection Report presentsthe results of a press inspection in a similarly structured summary. The user is informed of any potential for technical improvement and can see at a glance the reasons for recommended maintenance work, including the expected duration. The necessary measures are also prioritised in accordance with the possible impact on press availability and the urgency of replacement for individual spare parts.

Digital Service

To provide a central point of contact, Koenig & Bauer has set up a Customer Community. This portal is where users nd all digital service offers.They can create new tickets, view existing tickets and performance reports and make use of many other data-driven services. In this way, users and manufacturer have access to identical data at all times and can base their cooperation decisions on the same information status. With the Customer Community, Koenig & Bauer has brought all digital services together under one umbrella.

Thomas Göcke showed how predictive maintenance is becomingreality. Arti cial intelligence methodsenable disturbances to be foreseen before they actually affect production or, in the worst case, result in unplanned downtime. If the data from a press indicates the pending failure of a back-up battery, for example, intervention and replacement can be coordinated in good time. This spares the user an annoying data loss and there is no need to spend time re-entering the stored press settings.

“The challenge is to acquire vast amounts of data and to evaluate the data with high performance and precision,” says Göcke. “To this end, Empolis Industrial Analytics

supplies rule mining and machinelearning methods of arti cial intelligence, for example arti cialignorance, with which data relatingto normal behaviour can be lteredout of the overall data streams.”

Koenig & Bauer is currently developing an IoT-based service process. On the basis of data from a Rapida press, emerging faults and irregularities are detected and analysed automatically to determine the cause before a problem is noticed by the operator. The service manager receives a full overview of the situation on the press concerned and can make arrangements for a remote maintenance session and possibly a service visit. The technician on site is able to rectify the fault within the framework of the planned visit, and the risk of a sudden production interruption is averted. Any necessary downtime can be scheduled in advance. The userbene ts from more reliable productionand improved performance. Through this ServiceApp, the technician has access to the full service history of the press, and can even submit his service report directly from a mobile device.

Converting Equipment

The open house picked up the thread of a customer event held under thesame name last year. For the rsttime, it was possible to show the complete process chain for packaging production in a live demonstration – from creation of the jobs in the MIS, via printing and die-cutting through to completion of the folding cartons. Koenig & Bauer has thus positioned itself as a one-stop partner for all the needs of this growth market. As participants in a panel discussion, Stefan Segger (Koenig & Bauer Digital & Webfed), Dr. Peter Lechner (Koenig & Bauer Flexotecnica), Franc Freixes (Koenig & Bauer Iberica), Markus Müller (Koenig & Bauer Coding) and Pinar Kucukaras (Koenig & Bauer Duran) provided key information on their current technology solutions for packaging printing.

Visitors were able to follow the de nition of pharmaceuticalspackaging jobs in Optimus Dash. In addition to the basic job data, this involved also speci cation of the substrates and coatings, the required quantities of different product versions, the corresponding die-cutting formes and much more besides. All process steps through to incorporation into the production schedule were shownlive. One key bene t of Optimus Dash is a packaging module with which production jobs, including die- cutting, can be created automatically. The result is a fully imposed PDF.

A six-colour Rapida 105 PRO with inline coater was on hand for the print production. After plate changing, inking of the rollers and automatic register correction, the press produced several print jobs fully autonomously in an AutoRun process. In other words, it switched automatically between production and makeready upon completion ofeach job in the de ned sequence. Theoperator simply selected the job list, which was then processed as a whole without any further intervention.

After printing, the sheets were passed directly to the Ipress 106 K PRO for die-cutting, creasing and stripping. Folding and gluing was handled by an Omega Allpro 110. Visitors got to see that high speeds also apply to post-press processes and were able to takehome a nished folding carton.

Visitors who chose to attend the luxury packaging session were again able to witness a complete process chain. A six-colour Rapida 106 in a double-coating con gurationprinted one job with opaque white, LED-UV inks, UV coating and a micro- embossing effect applied through the second coating tower, and a second with UV adhesive, cold foil application, LED-UV inks and high-gloss UV coating. These jobs were subsequently embossed, creased, cut, scored
and stripped on the Rapida RDC 106 rotary die-cutter. The individualblanks were nally separated on a Laserck Master Blanker. 

 

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