For the first time, introducing a single revolutionary technological development such as the Komori fully Automatic Plate Changing System (APC) in the early 90s becomes a milestone that changed everything in the Graphic Arts Industry.
The introduction of this advanced engineering development was a turning point globally as printing companies felt the increasing marketplace pressure of higher quality and faster delivery.
Immediate adoption of Komori's press automation since the introduction of the Lithrone in the Market.
Since its introduction, the APC has enabled printers to increase productivity by shortening the make-ready time cycles. At the time, this advanced automation, a game-changer, was considered a luxury. And even some suggested that it was a half-baked potato as the marketplace was not ready for it.
Soon after, all press manufacturers included comparable press automation and their versions of automatic plate changers in their printing equipment with different degrees of success.
Meanwhile, the APC development honoured Komori, a prestigious award from the Japanese Society of Printing Science and Technology.
Komori's exceptional plug-and-play press design.
In the mid-80s, Komori redefined press manufacturing and established new trends by introducing the concept of plug-and-play design. With new technologies, Komori raised the bar by pioneering functions integration and fully automated press operations. It also demonstrated 'plug-and-play' potential and possibilities by tightening the cycle from equipment manufacturing to total production capacity at the customer's printing plants.
The early adoption of the Toyota-based manufacturing principles proved very successful. They have provided unprecedented product quality and manufacturing on-demand and just-in-time logistical support and customer service.
This manufacturing philosophy tightened the relationship between Komori as a service provider and its customers.
Komori technicians shared their experiences.
Field Komori technicians experienced first-hand plug-and-play equipment design during press installations. In a recent interview, Mr. Carlos Perez Huaman, a senior engineer who installs Komori printing presses since the early 90s, shared some of his experiences.
He remembers installing the first Komori Lithrone press in 1990 at the company Lito Envases in Mexico City. He was impressed by the ease of the installation and plug-and-play experience.
He witnesses how easily the press operators learned the press functions and how quickly and effortlessly they could relate to the remote central console functions. These operators enjoy the automation as their only experience was with older analog equipment without remote controls and most mechanical procedures actioned by levers.
Mr. Perez recalled how quickly he completed the installation and the press put into operation. He also remembers Rosa Barrios, a woman operator and team leader who loved the new Komori press and set new productivity records and quality standards for packaging manufacturing.
Another senior Komori technician, Gustavo Cruz, shared his perspectives about Komori by saying that customers appreciated the press's ease of operation and durability. He explained that operators reached an unprecedented level of proficiency very quickly. Professionally speaking, from a mechanical standpoint, he enjoys a quick start-up after installations.
This article's perspectives and opinions are based on the author's experiences and research and supported by information obtained from Komori R & D senior team member Engr. Takeshi Yoshikawa at the Komori Tsukuba Plant. The author's first-hand field experiences expand several years—nothing in this article demerit other printing equipment manufacturers' technical accomplishments.