Propelling new business with the highest operating rate of 49.4%

Japan, Smart Graphics Co.,Ltd | Lithrone G37P / KP-Connect

It has been six months since the Lithrone G37P started operations. President Fukuda states, "We have achieved a productivity of four times that of conventional printing presses."
As a result of focusing most on return on investment (ROI) when we considered a printing press, we decided to introduce the Lithrone G37P, and the benefit of KP-Connect together which resulted in our high operating rate. Director Fukuda says the following about the use of KP-Connect. "With the introduction of KP-Connect, the three things we focus on are the operating rate, start-up time, and the number of test sheets. As we are specialized for manufacturing products for the printing industry, we cannot control unit costs. In order to increase gross profit, we need to reduce start-up time and waste. Normally, start-up takes about 10 minutes, but we have reached times as fast as six minutes. This is a quarter of the time taken in the past. If we can improve operator proficiency, we can achieve a time of six minutes consistently. The number of test prints and makeready time are both decreasing." He continued by saying that they are seeing outstanding figures for operating rate. "The operating rate is as high as 49.4% on a single day. Of course this varies depending on the size of the lot, but the average figure is very high compared to other presses."
Director Kaneko, who oversees production management, said, "The Lithrone G37P presses are all fully automated. All the operator has to do is perform maintenance and run the press at full speed, and compared to our existing machines, it has greater visualization due to the KP-Connect data with job status information."

"The operating rate is as high as 49.4% on a single day. Of course this varies depending on the size of the lot, but the average figure is very high compared to other presses."
President Matsuoka also states that KP-Connect is perfect tool for the PDCA cycle.
"If a job is stopped, we need to know the cause to take action, but we don't know right away whether it is stopped per customer wishes, because a certain task is taking time, or due to transfer between processes. However, introducing KP-Connect enables the cause to be automatically obtained, so action can be taken immediately.
KP-Connect automatically converts the time taken for each process into meaningful data. We've learned the appropriate number of times and amount of time taken for registering until printing and that the time taken to start printing varies greatly depending on whether the color sample is the previous advance sheet, a press proof, a proof, or a color proof sheet that has been color matched."
Moreover, numerical values have clarified how much the same job can vary in terms of time depending on the operator.
Striving for integration including automation of in-plant transport and post-process
In regard to Parallel Makeready, Director Shimizu said, "The press is ready for final printing in a flash. In order to launch the new business, the reduction in preparation time and stability was most important. As the register and color matching is almost perfect, we can do a final printing after two test runs."
But the pursuit of greater productivity at the new plant isn't completed. President Fukuda says, "We are aiming for an operating rate of over 50% and we are planning on purchasing another press. In the future, we will also aim to create a comprehensive "smart factory" by automating transportation in the plant and connecting the guillotine and folder as one system."

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