Our installation of the game-changing HP T250 at a customer site in the UK was the global launch of the new print press. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a strong partnership, meticulous planning, expert knowledge, and Zoom...
Taming the T250
HP is a multinational IT corporation known for its technological innovation. IES and HP have been business partners from 2011, and since then we have worked with them on 150 machinery installation and movement projects.
The T250 print press had been developed at HP’s Corvallis site in Oregon, US. While the state-of-the-art digital inkjet press - which will raise the bar for quality and efficiency with its HDNA (High Definition Nozzle Architecture) printheads and print speeds up to 500fpm - had been tested at HP’s stateside facility, it had never been installed ‘in the field’.
This was IES’s assignment - to complete the first in-field installation of the T250 print press. But that’s not all. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, IES was asked to take ownership of the entire installation process, which would make us the first third party installer to complete such a project.
For this customer, commissioning the operation represented a huge leap into the world of digital web printing. With offset printing presses typically used in the past, such a significant shift in operations represents a massive commitment for any printing company, and was another reason why there was a lot riding on a successful installation.
No ordinary installation
The installation required circumnavigating the challenges presented by the pandemic – both logistically and on-site.
Travel restrictions necessitated IES taking the lead at the site of the customer, an award-winning commercial print provider based in Essex. The HP team was based in the US, and were available via remote support at all times.
In terms of the T250’s development, this was no ordinary installation. As IES would be the first installers to use HP’s instruction manual, it was treated as a ‘work in progress’. Much of the documentation was based on theory and computer work, so now IES would take an active role in evolving the manual, based on how the installation worked in the field.
The customer wanted to minimise disruption to their production schedule, and health and safety on-site would take on an even higher level of importance in light of the pandemic. It was vital that the installation area was operated as a ‘bubble’ which avoided the mixing of IES and on-site personnel.
This would be an opportunity for IES to demonstrate 30 years’ experience in the print press industry and expert knowledge in providing turnkey print press move and install services.
Getting off ground zero
Over four weeks before the ‘main event’, planning was already in full swing, with HP Corvallis and IES personnel collaborating via Zoom video conferencing.
IES received and offloaded the press in modules at the customer site before moving and unpacking the press ready for mechanical and electrical assembly. After all components were trammed together and perfectly aligned, the digital front end work began, with IT and computer set up including the cleaning, testing and inspection of fibre, and the installation and configuration of software. Then came integration, testing the functionality of every component; validation, to ensure the press was safe and operates to HP-published specifications; and the Customer Signature of Acceptance after all tests required by the contract were completed.
As the installation unfolded, IES worked with the HP team to update the instruction manual according to IES’s findings in the field. To minimise downtime and expedite the customer team’s familiarity with the T250, IES initially installed a T240 press for training purposes, before it was upgraded to the new T250 spec. As the customer was replacing four of their existing 12 offset presses with the T250, it was still possible to operate eight presses during the installation period, keeping downtime to a minimum.
Social distancing measures were in place in the installation ‘bubble’, which only IES personnel were permitted to enter in the installation process.
Signed, sealed and delivered!
With the T250 in operation, the customer is now enjoying many operational benefits and a competitive advantage in the printing market.
HP has strengthened its partnership with IES, benefitting from wider coverage and increased responsiveness from its agile installation provider. IES can carry out more projects – such as installations and upgrades – allowing HP to reduce travel, as well as overcome logistical difficulties posed by the pandemic.
Raul Maurici, HP Product Manager, said: “It is a pleasure to work with such a professional company that meets the high quality and safety standards of HP. From a Project Manager point of view, I appreciate the IES involvement with the project planning phase, in order to perform a smooth execution phase. Another very positive strength is the extensive experience and commitment of IES engineers and technicians in meeting all project milestones. Last but not least, I would like to highlight their dedication to continuous improvement, contributing to better methods of installation, and reporting potential design upgrades.”
Simon Zoloiev, IES Lead Engineer, said: “It is very rewarding to achieve customer satisfaction from HP. I am pleased to work with the leader in digital print technology and meet all requirements; from project planning to final customer acceptance. We worked seamlessly with them on the technical details and theoretical solutions for this project, collaborating on product design changes and improvements throughout.”
IES has been carrying out print press relocations and installations since 1991. Read more about our engineering services for the print industry here