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.  

 Here are the TOP 5 highlights from HSF2021 

 1.     Robots, Robots, Robots

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.

 2.     Inline is the future 

 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.

 3.     Eliminating operator error 

  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. 

 4.     iCELiNK 

 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. 

 5.     Something for everyone

 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.    

Watch the recorded sessions!

 For those unable to attend the live sessions, recordings are now available for viewing on the official event website.


Add/View comments for this article →

Fri May 17th

Printxpand to exhibit e...

PrintXpand to Exhibit End-to-End Web-to-Print and Print-on-Demand Solutions at Drupa 2024

Wed May 15th

Automated plate-making ...

Mirco Wilke cites flexibility and quality as the key demands from All4Labels Hamburg’s customers – requirements that Crystal Clean Connect h...

Numbers count!

Especially for a city where hotel nights, restaurant bills are dependent on exhibitions. Don't fool yourself!

Thu May 9th

Maximizing profitabilit...

How benchmarking can drive profitability in your printing plant

Emt international build...

Heeter has installed an EMT RF Series Chameleon digital processing system.

Emt international set t...

Meet EMT International at drupa May 28 – June 7 in hall 6 stand A42 to learn about our latest solutions in print finishing equipment.

Israel - the startup na...

We all know names like Indigo, Landa, Scitex, Scodix, Kornit, Highcon, EFI, Wix, Wazes, SodaStream, and many more...

Tue May 7th


Morocco is a country in western Africa, bordering Spain to the north and Algeria to the east.

The next disruptors in ...

It MAY happen within the next ten minutes, ten days, ten months, or ten years—and closer to the minutes is not a bad guess.

Mon May 6th

Onprintshop urges psps ...

OnPrintShop, the leading web-to-print automation enabler, has confirmed its presence for drupa 2024.