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Products and solutions, 2006-10-17, 10:00 AM

Maintenance (for printed) matters

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (HDM) is an internationally leading supplier to the commercial and industrial printing sector. The company is renowned for its highest quality standards in precision mechanical engineering, mechatronics and the development of integrated software. For the maintenance of the painting lines for their production machines in Wiesloch the Heidelberg people rely on the services and capabilities of ThyssenKrupp Industrieservice.

Since start-up back in 1957, Wiesloch has been the world's biggest and most modern printing machinery factory and the largest production location of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. Here, sheet-fed offset printing machines are manufactured, direct-to-plate recorders assembled, mechanical and electronic parts produced; also a training center and the company's global parts center are based here. For around three years now, ThyssenKrupp Industrieservice has handled the routine maintenance and repair work on the facilities where the brand-new printing machines are being cleaned, painted and coated as well as greased.

At least once a year during the three-week company holidays, the plant is taken over by the maintenance team headed by Anton Sahm. Not much time in view of the magnitude of the plant and machinery. The tasks of the industrial service providers range from simple visual inspection via cleaning and measuring to repair and parts procurement. "Of course, we plan well in advance any extraordinary repair jobs in coordination with company management. And we are well prepared through our large service network for all material and parts needs," adds Sahm.

A hair's breadth

Sticking to tolerances when it comes to a thousandth of a millimetre is a decisive factor for the proper functioning of a printing machine. That's why the Heidelberg engineers measure the accuracy of their work in a unit of one-fiftieth of the breadth of a hair. For ThyssenKrupp Industrieservice's maintenance specialists, such precision is routine. "Small mistakes - severe effects," Sahm is well aware. Therefore it doesn't make any difference whether his team is just testing the pneumatic pressure in the washing plants, cleaning the cyclones of the waste-air systems or replacing the heating elements in the drying unit - workability and availability are always of top priority. The services providers know exactly what they are doing. For years now, renowned companies of the entire sector have been entrusting them with their key production units.

A modern printing machine consists of 50,000 to 100,000 components. All of these elements are exactly mated to each other for smooth interaction. At the same time, the demands regarding the machine's ruggedness are enormous - demands on the printing rollers, side parts or cylinders, which with their enormous weight and at breathtaking speed produce the tiny dots on paper in line with the principles of offset printing which works with tiny coloured pixels, invisible to the human eye, precisely patterned superimposed or adjacent to each other to reproduce a complete picture in the observer's eye.

Greased lightning

When it comes to printing machines, nothing works without proper lubrication. Lubrication is a decisive factor for service life and operability. Therefore, the industrial services providers' maintenance package also covers professional lubrication including oil filtration, thus permitting oil life extension and hence cost reductions while, at the same time, lowering the quantity of waste oil to be disposed of.

"Our customers get all these services from a single source - even beyond maintenance," summarizes Sahm. If necessary, ThyssenKrupp Industrieservice will carry out all the necessary safety and engineering inspections or take over the technical cleaning jobs. Clean machines and a safe environment are not only an absolute must in the production of perfect printed matter, but also in the manufacture of such production lines.

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