Printing in large numbers: NPI project at Océ
“I coordinate the industrialization phase of the latest innovative Océ printer”, New Product Introductions' Employeneur Leon Vincent proudly says.
Océ is a Canon company that produces and sells printers and copiers. Besides these products they also sell consumables like printing paper and ink. “During my previous work as a freelancer at TomTom, I got acquainted with industrialization and the setup of manufacturing processes in China. Even when production lines are ready improvements are still made. I was the coordinator between the R&D department and the factory. At this stage of my career, I missed a large network to work with and to consult. When I got acquainted with TMC, I seized this opportunity. This company suits me, because I can be both entrepreneur and employee. I brought my customer TomTom to TMC, finished the project and switched to another assignment.”
Since a few months Leon works on an NPI project for Océ. It is not an easy project because he has to work with a lot of disciplines. His manager Piet Geurts clarifies: “A year ago, I was asked to analyze the industrialization of the Niagara project from the R&D perspective. I concluded that this job was too complex and could not be done by one person. We had some discussions with applicants for the job and we decided that Leon was the right guy for us. His attitude, experience and vision was just what we needed. Also his software background instead of mechanics was a plus. Now, half a year later, Leon exceeded expectations. He is appointed as chairman of the Project Change Committee and took over my job as industrialization manager in the project. Now Leon has a crucial role in managing the complex information stream from R&D to Manufacturing and in leading the people involved.”
Leon continues: “The machine I work on is called 'Niagara' and is an ink jet production It's a big machine of 30' long, 10' deep and 9 feet high. Target applications are transactional printing, direct mail, manuals and books. If a company prints a few million papers a month this machine is profitable.” Leon explains why this project is so challenging. “The development of a printer like 'Niagara' takes years. As soon as the first prototypes within the R&D department are built there is a strong push to move to volume production. The sooner we get to the market, the sooner we get customer feedback needed to improve the machine and the further we stay ahead of competition. As an Industrialization Manager in this phase, I take care that an endless stream of improvements in featuring, cost, maintainability and reliability are implemented in volume production in a controlled way. This is not only a big challenge for me, but also for Océ. I am proud to make my contribution to this project.”