12 Mar 2020

Precision inkjet technology manufacturing supported by ShireSystem

Precision inkjet technology manufacturing supported by ShireSystem

Xaar delivers digital piezoelectric drop-on-demand inkjet technologies for the world's most demanding printing needs. It uses ShireSystem software from Elecosoft for maintenance planning and management, to ensure its precision manufacturing equipment stays operating at peak efficiency and with total accuracy. Every employee across the manufacturing site has access to ShireSystem for fault logging, enabling teams to be despatched fast to fix any problems. 

Xaar has created meters in ShireSystem and equipped maintenance engineers with tablets and the MobilePro application. They can now fill and close work orders on the move and monitor the usage of gases and liquid chemicals in real-time to enable planned procurement and schedule machine servicing to match actual production usage. 

Ian Rickwood, Project and Equipment Engineering Manager says: “We have used ShireSystem for nine years and we are still exploring all the integrated possibilities. It has already helped us plan, manage and understand our detailed maintenance scheduling, securing efficiencies and formalising our TPM processes to give greater accountability to the people responsible for checks. It helps us gain more efficient use of our resources, and it is moving us towards more effective planned preventative maintenance.”

Xaar's precise manufacturing equipment incudes industrial lasers, deposition equipment and bespoke automation cells to create digital inkjet printheads for industry – and it is innovating in the rapidly-evolving market for printing functional fluids. 

Every piece of equipment must operate at peak efficiency and within incredibly tight accuracy tolerances. Even the smallest issue must be reported and addressed extremely rapidly, and the company uses ShireSystem to enable every employee across the manufacturing site to report faults fast from any location via standalone PCs in each area, including its clean rooms. 

Ian Rickwood explained: “We have enabled frontline reporting by giving everyone in the manufacturing area of the business easy access to the ShireSystem for fault logging. We can easily prioritise issues and despatch teams to fix them.”

Processes require a vast array of specialist parts and consumables, some of which have long order times. Managing this inventory is a mission-critical process.  

“We are phasing out the time-consuming process of collecting measurements and inputting them into spreadsheets. Now we have created meters in ShireSystem that can be managed via a handheld tablet on the MobilePro app. Measurements go straight into the database, so our procurement team can monitor usage and re-order at the right time.” 

The efficiencies are mounting as Xaar extends the use of ShireSystem. “Now, teams are actively working on equipment, not sitting at PCs. We can also better manage equipment that has a limited lifespan due to the aggressive chemical liquids that run through them. The data in ShireSystem means we have better awareness of actual engineering time spent and apply meters to monitor the number of production runs – so we can schedule contracted service visits at the right time and within the terms of service agreements.”


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