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American print shop significantly increasing OEE with Smart Print Shop from Heidelberg

  • Hobby Lobby Printing taking advantage of the high level of automation of the new Speedmaster XL 106 with the Heidelberg Assistant digital platform
  • Digital collaboration with the customer over the entire lifecycle
  • Almost 2,000 Heidelberg Assistant users

By the end of 2019, Hobby Lobby will have 900 craft stores in the United States. In order to meet the printing requirements for the future expansion, Hobby Lobby Printing replaced an older press with a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 106 four-color press with UV technology.

The Peak Performance technology together with the right Saphira consumables and the comprehensive analytic capabilities of the Heidelberg Assistant ensures a significant rise in productivity. With the Heidelberg Assistant, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) customers benefit from full process transparency as well as smart and efficient operation of their print shop – the Smart Print Shop.

Speedmaster XL 106 triples production

With 18,000 sheets per hour, the Speedmaster XL 106 offers high productivity and the highest level of automation on the market. Prinect Inpress Control 2, the inline color measurement system for color and register control, guarantees maximum efficiency through fully automatic setup and measurement of each printed sheet. This means that even complex job changes can be tackled at high speeds. At Hobby Lobby, the first measurement results are available after just a few sheets, and the job is ready to go in under a minute. “The Speedmaster XL 106 is fantastic. Instantly we tripled our production compared with our last press,” explains Dave Dunn, Print Shop Manager at Hobby Lobby. “The printing press is fast, and the color quality is outstanding.” The innovative Push to Stop operating concept and the integrated Prinect workflow means that autonomous printing is possible.

Heidelberg Assistant as the gateway to the digital world

The Heidelberg Assistant digital platform offers technical and operational information, performance and prognosis data, and contract and billing details that can be viewed anywhere, at any time, and on any device. The user gets a complete overview of the service and maintenance status of the print shop including predictive maintenance.

Users also benefit from access to the biggest knowledge base in the industry, and get access to Big Data performance analytics to unlock further potential for boosting productivity. With the Assistant, Heidelberg is further scaling its already introduced Big Data applications such as Predictive Monitoring and Performance Consulting in the market.

“Heidelberg has made accessing the data and navigating it really easy,” confirms Dave Dunn. “The data is prepared how we need it, and we use it for our decision-making processes.” Having access to this data has enabled Hobby Lobby to more than double its overall equipment efficiency (OEE) from 19 per cent to over 40 per cent in the last four months.

It has plans to achieve an OEE of 50 per cent in the coming months. “The best thing about the Heidelberg Assistant is that it gives me a complete overview of the print shop,” says Dunn. “I regularly meet with our press operators to discuss possible improvements. It’s great to be able to then show the team the progress that’s been made.”

The Heidelberg Assistant gives Hobby Lobby direct access to the Heidelberg eShop, which recommends and filters the Saphira consumables for the print shop based on its equipment. “In particular for our new UV press, we need to make sure that we order the right consumables so the press doesn’t get damaged,” continues Dunn. “The eShop shows us our customized Saphira consumables list, which is specially tailored to the Speedmaster XL 106. It’s the most efficient and intelligent way of doing things, and stops us buying the wrong items,” says Dunn.

Since the launch of the series two years ago, the Heidelberg Assistant is now being used by almost 2,000 users at over 1,000 customers in nine countries. The digital platform has been named a winner of a Digital Edge 50 2019 Award. This is a prestigious award for digital innovations that boost business success, modernize operations, and improve customer experience, with 50 winners each year.

Photo caption: Employees of Hobby Lobby Printing in front of the new Speedmaster XL 106, which has tripled productivity compared with the previous press.