Founded in 1974 in Osaka, Japan, Keyence has grown over the past 47 years into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial equipment, ranging from assembly line vision systems to advanced microscopes. With more than 200 offices spread across more than 45 countries, Keyence is recognized as a global innovator when it comes to designing and manufacturing factory equipment.
Among Keyence’s current business interests, the production and sale of industrial coding equipment are some of the company’s most visible ventures. Offering a range of continuous inkjet and laser printers—many of which are considered top-of-the-line models—Keyence is well-known for providing companies with marking systems designed to produce high-quality results for years.
However, no printer is perfect. Issues that require professional maintenance to resolve inevitably arise over time, and Keyence’s printer support services have become less and less available in recent times, leaving many Keyence users confused, frustrated, and facing excessive periods of downtime.
So, what’s causing Keyence printer support’s inconsistency as of late? Read below to find out.
Keyence isn’t new to industrial coding and marking. For decades, its different printer models, vision systems, sensors, and barcode readers have helped production lines across the world run smoothly and efficiently. During this period, Keyence’s support team has also been available to answer customer concerns about products, provide guidance when items run into problems, and respond to any reports of defective products.
Today, anyone can visit Keyence’s website and find product user support that’s tailored to meet the needs of specific tech categories, including:
Interestingly enough, there is not a single printer mentioned on this entire page.
While this could be assumed to be a simple oversight, the absence of readily available printer support does coincide with rising reports of Keyence users claiming that the company isn’t reachable to discuss hardware problems related to their CIJ printer models. As a result, many Keyence customers are in a difficult position where their operations are facing prolonged downtime, as Keyence’s support team takes two to three weeks to respond to a single request.
Although it’s impossible from an outsider's perspective to definitively state all of the reasons why Keyence printer support has been so lethargic and hard to reach lately, there does appear to be one major cause: an overreliance on smart printer technology.
With every piece of equipment sold, Keyence offers free customer support to resolve any issues; however, there is no field service department to fix issues on-site. While other industrial printer companies maintain large field service teams that personally visit customers and perform repairs (for example, Videojet currently employs around 200 field service technicians), Keyence foregoes this approach altogether. Instead, the company asks its North American customers to ship malfunctioning hardware to Chicago for any repairs.
For years, this shipping dynamic has been the norm. However, more recently, even setting up a service request has proven elusive to many customers. How does a sizable company like Keyence not have the ability to promptly respond to customer concerns?
The answer to this question likely lies in how Keyence is emphasizing the artificial intelligence at work in its printing/laser systems. All of Keyence’s current CIJ and laser systems are built with sensors and software that are designed to provide self-diagnosing abilities. Around the industry, this idea of building a “smart printer” has been gaining traction, as many of today’s most popular CIJ systems offer similar self-diagnostic and self-regulating capabilities.
While great in theory, self-diagnosing CIJ models still often come with the promise of personal customer support in case complicated problems arise. On the other hand, Keyence has been struggling to provide this level of human support and instead has been relying on its machines to communicate the problems to its users.
To be fair, Keyence’s smart printer technology does work most of the time. When faced with simple problems like clogged printheads or the need for a filter change, Keyence’s printers can tell operators what the problem is and how to fix it. Despite this general effectiveness, there are cases where self-diagnostics fall short, especially in cases where:
These two scenarios can easily produce problems that are too complicated for a printer to resolve on its own, and without a timely response from Keyence printer support, users will be left in a bind.
Although we hope that Keyence will soon resolve its support issues for the sake of its customers, these shortcomings often prove hard to fix. If you’re facing Keyence printer problems, unfortunately, you may continue to wait for that support team response for some time.
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