Background to Implementation
Long-standing Goal of Streamlining Analysis of Log Data for Printing Equipment
FUJIFILM Corporation Graphic Communication Business Division’s primary products include the Jet Press series of inkjet digital printers, widely used at printing companies and elsewhere, as well as commercial printing equipment and related solutions. The Graphic Communication Business Division’s daily operations include research and development of these products, technical evaluations, and after-sales services.
In these businesses, collection and analysis of usage data and error data from clients’ printing equipment is essential. In the 2010s, engineers in the Graphic Communication Business Division began utilizing data in development and preventive maintenance by downloading log data stored on dedicated websites and using Excel macros to analyze it.
However, those efforts ran into many issues. Kosuke Taguchi, Chief of the Service Solutions Group in the Graphic Communication Business Division, reflected on that era as follows.
“The conventional process required around an hour to download log data for one piece of printing equipment, then another hour to import that into Excel and create a PDF visualization. The inconvenience of the process made it extremely unpopular. Building and managing software for data collection and analysis cost tens of millions of yen for waterfall-style development, then tens of millions of yen again to make improvements. We always had a desire to free ourselves from that state of affairs using BI tools.”
Tableau Implementation and Operation
Streamlining Operations Through Faster Data Collection and Visualization
The number of FUJIFILM staff using Tableau began to increase internally around 2015. In 2019, FUJIFILM decided to deploy Tableau with the aim of transitioning from traditional BI to self-service BI. Latching on to this trend, the Graphic Communication Business Division also began the full-fledged implementation and utilization of Tableau.
In around four months, the Graphic Communication Business Division went from considering Tableau implementation to initiating rollout, and they immediately set to work visualizing log data for their main product, Jet Press inkjet digital printers. Hiromichi Watanabe of the Service Solutions Group described it as follows.
“We pulled printing equipment log data from servers and connected to Tableau via Tableau Bridge for visualization and analysis. This log data included how much ink customers used, the size and thickness of paper used, how many sheets were printed, and any errors that occurred. Using Tableau improved the speed of data access and visualization tremendously compared to our conventional systems.”
Kazumasa Hattori of the DS Quality Assurance and Services Group in the Graphic Communication Business Division described Tableau’s usefulness in after-sales services as follows.
“In the past, staff were dispatched for repairs whenever a customer’s printing equipment broke down, which both took time and incurred personnel costs. We had been collecting log data from printing equipment since around 2010, but we were not making good use of it. With Tableau, we were able to rapidly analyze data to pick up predictors of breakdowns and act to prevent breakdowns during regular on-site maintenance, and this helped us reduce customers’ equipment downtime.”