Trinity Mirror Printing is the print services arm of Trinity Mirror, the UK newspaper publisher. Trinity Mirror Group employs over 6,500 people in 71 locations across the UK, and publishes newspapers including The Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror, The People, Sunday Mail as well as 148 regional newspapers. Its turnover for the financial year 2009 was 763.3 million.
Alongside the production of newspapers, Trinity Mirror Printing also offers a professional contract print service to a wide range of newspaper and periodical publishers, as well as for organisations including Argos, Tesco and Lidl. With nine printing sites located throughout the UK, the print specialist's largest operations are located in Watford and Birmingham.
Setting the Strategy
The Watford operation is responsible for printing large volumes of newspapers, including 700,000 of The Daily Mirror's 1,247,000 total newspaper circulation. It also produces 100,000 copies of The Independent every night, as well as variable daily print runs for companies including Argos, Tesco and Lidl.
In order to produce such high volumes whilst delivering consistently high standards, Trinity Mirror Printing requires reliable, sophisticated, finely-tuned, expensive machines to manage its printing process.
The publishing group owns all of the production equipment required to manage its complex printing process, which comprises paper receipt; pre-press; printing; inserting relevant documents; finishing, including stitching and trimming; stacking; strapping; labelling and palletising in preparation for despatch.
Within an environment like this, equipment uptime is critical, as maximising the productivity of each machine is key to reducing costs and generating return on machinery investment. Any loss of printing capacity during peak hours is irrecoverable and may reduce output. Therefore having confidence in the reliability of equipment, as well as associated maintenance and engineering, is of paramount importance.
To maximise uptime and ensure problems are dealt with appropriately, Trinity Mirror Printing employs a team of 50 engineers on site to deal with equipment malfunctions and breakdowns.
To support its team of engineers, Trinity Mirror Printing previously used a basic IT system for maintenance management. However in 2007 it became clear that the system was not capable of supporting the increasing print volumes demanded of the Watford operation. There was pressure to improve the reliability and up-time of the equipment but also to do so with a lower cost base.
Getting Business Specific
"As our parent company continues to expand, the pressure upon our printing operation to produce high quality products at minimised cost, increases," comments Luke James, Engineering Planner,, Trinity Mirror Printing. "To cope, we needed a solution which could support all of our equipment maintenance needs, from rapid response and day-to-day breakdowns, through to a full programme of preventative maintenance for improved reliability and up-time".
"Having reviewed Infor EAM in detail, we were impressed with the capabilities it offered. We were keen to take advantage of its functionality in preventative maintenance, detection and notification of break-downs, the scheduling and prioritisation of our engineers, and the management of spare parts inventories," he continues.
Since implementing the system three years ago, all of Trinity Mirror's Watford-based equipment is managed by Infor EAM, and the printing specialist is reporting improved reliability, greater up-time and substantial cost savings.
Despite these improvements, the real-life demands of a printing environment mean that Trinity Mirror Printing still experiences 50 equipment breakdowns each night across its printing production operations. However, the speed of detection and response to these breakdowns has been much improved through Infor EAM.
Previously these breakdowns would equate to around four hours of downtime. Since using EAM, downtime has halved to less than two hours each night on average, boosting equipment up-time across the production lines, which means potentially higher volumes of output.
"This saving has been made possible because Infor EAM alerts engineers via e-mail to workstations or handheld devices as soon as any breakdown occurs, and engineers are then assigned jobs according to priority level," Luke comments. "It makes for a much more rapid response".
"Infor EAM provides a live picture of the status and activity of all equipment, so that problems are fixed quickly, printing can be moved to alternative machinery if possible, and disruption to production is kept to a minimum," Luke continues. "For example one of our trimming and stitching machines frequently jams, but the intelligence provided by Infor EAM highlights that we need to select other machines for the job until the problem is fixed."
"Infor EAM also contributes to our ongoing remit to reduce operating costs through efficient management of all parts and materials for our maintenance operation," continues Luke.
Doing Business Better
Building on this success, Trinity Mirror Printing is capitalising further on the system's capabilities, embarking upon a programme of continuous improvement.
The preventative maintenance functionality inherent in Infor EAM ensures that equipment is managed properly, highlighting essential servicing and warranty requirements to keep equipment at peak operating performance. This ensures that problems are not left stagnant, helping to extend the lifetime of the asset, and therefore the return on investment of equipment.
"Weekly reports highlight completed and outstanding maintenance according to department and equipment group, which supports this continuous monitoring," Luke continues.
"An additional benefit is that we are able to configure the solution to incorporate quality and health and safety information, which is necessary for our audit. It means that all of our information is in one place and we have a comprehensive, live view of the productivity of all our printing processes," Luke comments.
"Our next step is to add all of our external contractors on to Infor EAM for work undertaken on site, as where external support is necessary in areas such as buildings maintenance, we don't have the same visibility that we experience for work undertaken by our own engineers. We envisage that this will drive further efficiencies in our printing processes.
"We also plan to make better use of the trends analysis tool within Infor EAM. The reporting capabilities within the system are excellent, and enable us to see exactly where maintenance is needed, completed and the associated cost. However trends analysis will go one step further and identify key trends and anomalies, forecast reliability, and suggest measures which will deliver improved bottom-line results.
"Infor EAM is a proven, reliable solution which has improved our operation immeasurably through delivering on its promises of better up-time, greater reliability and faster response to equipment failure. This has been achieved whist reducing our overall maintenance cost base, boosting the company's overall profitability," Luke James concludes.