Linx PrinterNet helps out in difficult times

Has demand for your products changed since the start of the year?

The change in consumer demand as a result of the lockdown conditions imposed by governments around the world has created new problems for producers. Some industries have seen a sharp decline in demand, for example automotive, but others have seen huge increases in demand in the scale typically seen in the run up to major holidays such as Christmas. Factories in the #food, #beverage and #personal care markets are very used to managing seasonal variations in demand for their products, but this takes planning. The unexpected and sudden change has created problems throughout the supply chain from primary producer through to retailer.

Have the lockdown rules created staffing problems for you?

In addition to the change in demand, many businesses are also being impacted by government guidance around #social distancing. Some staff are working from home, others are forced into #self-isolation because of medical conditions that do not generally affect their performance at work. When staff are on site, they are required to keep a distance from colleagues. Some businesses have had to run additional shifts with smaller numbers of people to ensure they can meet demand and maintain social distancing of staff on site. Whilst it is possible to split the operators across shifts, this creates difficulties for managers who either need to be onsite for long hours or trust others to supervise operations.

Many businesses, including Linx, have had to adapt quickly to the changing world they find themselves in. Staff are working from home, social distancing measures have changed production patterns, but the priority continues to be to focus on meeting customer needs.

Linx has long been extolling the virtues of connecting Linx printers to #Linx PrinterNet to help you manage your production lines and to receive world class support, and PrinterNet has been invaluable in allowing their technical teams to continue to offer fast and friendly support while working from home.

In these unprecedented times, support becomes even more important. Here are some of the ways our customers have told us that PrinterNet has helped them:

  • Controlling printers from a laptop
    • Reduced contact with the on-screen display, keeps line operators safer
    • Using PrinterNet to keep control of which message is being printed, reduces the chance of an operator selecting the wrong one. Avoiding re-work is especially important during a period where resource is limited
  • #Monitoring the status of production without going onto the production floor
    • Keeping distance from operators means reducing the frequency of physical checks, but we can still see the message that is being printed, the production rate, and be alerted of any line stops
  • Re-ordering fluids from the Linx PrinterNet dashboard
    • This is especially helpful if the person who normally orders fluids isn’t available or is #working from home
    • Placing fluids orders directly from the dashboard, means we know exactly which ink type, bottle types and quantities are needed for the connected printers, which reduces fluid order errors and avoids additional handling and hassle if they need to be returned
  • Fast #support from Linx
    • Linx Technical Support engineers are continuously monitoring printers while they are connected. They are aware of any alerts, so if a printer does not restart within a few minutes, they call to help
    • If there are repeated errors on a printer or at a site they investigate to find root cause and advise how to resolve them. This may be an engineer visit, but in the majority of cases, these issues can be resolved by a change in printer settings or in regular maintenance regime

If you would like to find out more about connecting your Linx printers to Linx PrinterNet to start seeing the benefits of IIoT, please contact a member of the Linx Team.