Yearly Maintenence Agreements / Service Contracts

ReproElectroProspero

Well-known member
I was wondering if folk tend to use local vendors to service complicated postpress machinery like most of us do for our digital presses and such. It's the common practice in my organization, where I am newly in charge.

I was reviewing a proposal from a local vendor for a 1 year service/maintenance agreement on our Duplo DC-618 - and saw that they are charging $3,875 for the contract. That means we'd be paying ~$323 a month regardless of if we have a mechanical issue we can't figure out. The machine is a couple years old at this point, so I'm leaning towards getting it since the network of gears and circuits is a little beyond my understanding...but it made me curious. Is this in-line with what others do? Or do you all just wing it and pay for an expensive problem if it ever shows up rather than pay for a moderately expensive service agreement?
 

SoggyWinter

Well-known member
I don't have have local service for bindery equipment, so I lean on dealer techs and friends with mechanical and electrical skills. I was told by my dealer that my Duplo 646 shouldn't need servicing before 500,000 sheets and they walk us through most issues on the phone and can sell us parts.

You might be better off paying per incident for Duplo 618 and/or asking the dealer where they draw the line with after sales support.
 

Ynot_UK

Well-known member
Some of these service/maintenance agreements are no more than an overpriced insurance policy, with the 6-monthly or annual "service" visit being little more than a chat whilst drinking your tea, popping the cover off, having a look and possibly some very basic cleaning/oiling. If you have a good local technician who can fix most things, unless your throughput is constantly heavy and lead times so tight that 24 hour downtime would be critical, then I'm inclined to steer away from such agreements.

It's about time the finishing companies offered a click agreement at a sensible level. Most of us wouldn't want to be without CPC for our digital presses, therefore positioned correctly this could be an opportunity for finishing manufacturers/dealers, but greed seems to get in the way. Perhaps some do offer just this and I've just not come across it.
 

gregbatch

Well-known member
That's about what we paid our vendor to cover every piece of post-press machinery in our shop. Cutter, folder, Bourg collator w/inline booklet stitch/fold/trim, laminator, perfect binder, UV coater, drills, perf/score/number, GBC and wire binding equipment.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
That's about what we paid our vendor to cover every piece of post-press machinery in our shop. Cutter, folder, Bourg collator w/inline booklet stitch/fold/trim, laminator, perfect binder, UV coater, drills, perf/score/number, GBC and wire binding equipment.
We do the same...one contract with one vendor to cover every piece of finishing equipment in the shop. No more surprise bills. This was a necessity for us as a county in-plant. Going through the red-tape for approval every time was too much of a hassle.
 

ReproElectroProspero

Well-known member
Thanks for the advice everyone! I will definitely try and negotiate a catch-all contract. What would that be called? A consolidated maintenance agreement?
 

kslight

Well-known member
We have a DC646 that’s 4 years old…over 2 million sheets through it, never seen a tech on it. Just clean it out every once in awhile and you’ll be fine. The knife can be sharpened, but we never have. Yes, parts are expensive, we’ve never had to buy any though. Yes, it’s a complex machine but I believe Duplo equipment is reliable - I am told by my sales rep that nobody buys the contracts on them.
My suggestion would be, keep repairs in the budget - if it helps to set aside $4k or whatever that a service contract would cost…or even “pay your own account” as a mock service contract, if coming up with the cash on the spot will be catastrophic for you. But I would not get a contract on it, it doesn’t break like printers do..
 

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