Pitney Bowes required a fast replacement solution for its high-speed printers in some of its mail inserting technologies across its large install base. TTP were assigned to fulfil this mission and asked Prima to support the project. Prima succeeded to deliver prototype assemblies in short timescales for test and evaluation which permitted to promptly transition to full-scale production.
As Paul Mayhew, Director of Global Procurement at Pitney Bowes, explains: “Time to market was a key deliverable of the program. It required the need to partner with a UK based manufacturing organisation that was agile and able to work at speed to implement changes through the development phase and ramp up. Prima had an established relationship with our engineering partner TTP plc, so it was a natural fit to engage with them on this program. They have provided excellent support in what has been an unprecedented year impacted by a global pandemic.”
The design features two ink cartridges enabling one to be replaced while the other is still functioning - thus ensuring continuous throughput. The complex design developed includes a large bill-of-materials (BoM) that comprises close to 400 different component parts.
“For this Pitney Bowes assignment, we needed to partner with an agile contract manufacturer that could respond to sudden alterations, in relation to either the design or process itself. The aggressive timeline that had been set, plus the logistical difficulties resulting from COVID brought extra pressures too,” adds Charles Cooke TTP’s Project Leader. “Beyond the actual production, the contract manufacturer had to have the resources to take on a diagnostic role, analysing different aspects of the project then implementing optimisations as and when required. From past experience, we knew Prima could tick all of these boxes.”
“Despite the issues that COVID has caused, we’ve managed to adapt accordingly” states Charlie Colbert, Engineering Services Manager at Prima. “Normally it would have been possible to have TTP engineers on site to observe and offer advice during the prototyping phases and early production runs, but current restrictions prevented this. We figured out ways around this though, with live video links being set up at our site enabling real-time interaction. This allowed us to get valuable feedback and quickly overcome any challenges that arose.”
Prima is now producing the initial printer demand required by Pitney Bowes. After that, ongoing residual levels will be needed - for repair and replacement purposes.