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Tech Thought No.5

May 1, 2007 12:00 AM

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If a plant wants to produce good work efficiently, maintenance is a must. But how much time should you allow for it? Manufacturers specify the exact amount based on operation hours. The old rule of thumb was four hours per week. These days, sheetfed presses are reaching speeds from 10,000 to 18,000 iph and running two 12-hour shifts, seven days per week. In productive plants, we are seeing at least eight hours and up to 10 hours per week dedicated to maintaining a modern eight-color press. It's also a good idea to do a full print quality test every six months on major pieces of equipment.

Raymond J. Prince is a leading expert in pressroom technical and operational issues. He recently joined NAPL (Paramus, NJ) as vice president and senior consultant, operations management. Contact him at (605) 941-1492 or e-mail

Action plan

  1. Establish a 5S program. There are a number of books on this subject. Purchase one.

  2. Place a large sheet of paper in a prominent position by each piece of equipment and ask all the operators of that equipment to list each and every problem and date the comment.

  3. As each item is corrected, cross it off, but leave the list up. This gives the operators hope!