From October 18-22 Horizon International hosted the Horizon Smart Factory 2021 event in collaboration with Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Miyakoshi, Ricoh, Riso, Ryobi, and Screen to showcase the latest in labor saving, automated finishing solutions. While COVID-19 related travel restrictions limited in-person attendance to domestic customers, sign-ups for the online sessions surpassed six thousand registrants.
This year’s theme was “Connectable Factory Automation” and the exhibited solutions delivered on that promise with several inline press and finishing device configurations—many shown for the first time.
Why have your skilled employees performing repetitive, labor intensive work when their time can be better spent elsewhere? Horizon showed how robots can be used for feeding book blocks into binders, palletizing folded signatures, and even offloading die-cut and stacked pieces for banding.
Inline solutions skip the transport step in usual workflows and streamline production. At HSF2021, Horizon showed inline book production with digital presses (web and cut sheet) and printed roll-to-book solutions. Two cut sheet presses ran inline with the 4-clamp perfect binder BQ-500 to print both the book block and cover sheet for true zero-makeready book-of-one production.
No one is perfect and mistakes happen, but what happens if we take the human element out of the equation? Inline cut sheet processing solutions with the Horizon SmartSlitter and rotary die-cutter RD-N4055 demonstrated how we can avoid mistakes at the guillotine cutter by leveraging the automated technology for perfect output every time.
The entire exhibition floor was connected to Horizon’s cloud-based iCELiNK network. iCELiNK allows users to monitor machine status, track jobs in the bindery, analyze operator and system performance, and more.
Automated, inline solutions don’t need to be large, costly investments. Horizon showed how even a one-clamp perfect binder can be integrated into a smart binding system to reduce touchpoints, increase productivity, and lower labor costs.
For those unable to attend the live sessions, recordings are now available for viewing on the official event website.