In the world of production printing, reliability and uptime are two important words. The new technology from HP known as “Pagewide” has taken this to a new level. After all, in today’s workflows, when we are printing physical documents, it’s normally because we need prints to accomplish key functions. We rely on printers to be operational when needed. The PageWide technology has allowed HP and their servicing partners to take a proactive approach to maintenace vs. the reactive approach.
What is the difference between these two terms? Traditionally, when working on plotters in the past – it was reactive. Technicians and users did not know service was needed until the system failed and often times was hard down! We simply worked on a break fix principle – the unit breaks and then technicians are called - which often meant the printer was down until a technician could get on site. Even with the best service providers – this could mean the printer was down for hours at critical moments.
How is Proactive different? Technology and data are now utilized to predict failures BEFORE they happen. Think about your automobile – things such as engine warning lights, scheduled maintenance, and data gathered by your car for better diagnosis are all proactive processes. HP has built this type of service into the PageWide system.
The technology has given service providers the mechanism to take a proactive approach as they are notified electronically via the internet when parts are due to be replaced or are starting to show signs of failing. Even better, the system has scheduled cleanings and parts refreshing. Not only has this minimized downtime for the end user, but has also allowed for the service provider to plan scheduled visits around the customers busy times or in the middle of deadlines.
At a high level how does HP make this happen? The technology actually tracks the amount of paper that has traveled through the printer as well as how many milliliters of ink drop through each print head. This then triggers a notice to what Preventive Maintenace kit is due to be installed, typically a warning well ahead of the actual time a part or filter needs to be replaced or cleaned, allowing the service provider time to schedule with the end user. Preventative Maintenance kits are another HP advancement, using service and machine maintenance data, these kits continue to evolve and adapt to the needs of the units as failures are experienced in the real world. Think of Tesla and how their cars automatically update their systems via Wifi – HP does this not only with software upgrades but adapting preventative maintenance.
It has been well documented (along with many customer testimonials) of how the new Pagewide technology from HP has decreased downtime through this proactive approach of preventive maintenance. The reactive “my printer is down” approach has been painful for all of us at times – think Murphy’s Law – breaks always seem to happen at the busiest of times!
In the 36 years of servicing and selling wide format systems, PageWide has been by far the most reliable technology I’ve seen. This paired with the proactive/preventive maintenace approach it continues to minimize users down time. I have seen many clients keep a “back up” printer or run multiple printers. But, with these advancements, clients are able to replace multiple systems with one HP Pagewide. All of this is due to the improved reliability and notifications the system automatically sends to the service provider. It’s a win-win for the end user and the service provider- and most important when a printer is needed – it will be up and running!