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Horizon to showcase future defining automation and robotics at drupa 2024

Responsive and fast turnaround short runs have become the mainstay for many print service providers since the last time the print industry gathered at Messe Dusseldorf eight years ago.

While agile print technology has been a key driver, bindery systems and software have evolved to deliver streamlined end to end completion. The growth in robotics has also enabled the increased adoption of ever more green button and touchless production.

Horizon (Hall 6 F21-3) is a trailblazer in both automation and robotics. At drupa, as part of its largest presentation at the show to date, it will launch the 500 cycles an hour Horizon BQ-300 fully automated single-clamp binder with shortened job change over times and new template feature.

New, too, is the Horizon HSF-50D sheet feeder that can be part of the iCE StitchLiner Mark V, roll to booklet saddlestitcher. At drupa the line will be presented with the unwind unit leading to Hunkeler sheeter for feeding into the StitchLiner. The HSF-50D enables the easy switching between roll feeding mode to cut sheet feeding mode. This supports variable pagination production.

Joining Horizon’s portfolio as well is the new Horizon SPF-2000 booklet maker, the next evolution of the successful Horizon SPF-200 system. Featuring faster set up and greater automation it can run at speeds up to 4,700cph and produce A4 landscape booklets.

All have been developed to increase automation and place products into complete production lines with robot handling or robots that move pallets of work in progress around the operation. One example is a robot arm placing book blocks printed on a Canon cutsheet press into Tecnau’s BookReady and feeding these into the Horizon BQ-300.

Horizon’s drupa stand will also feature smart book solutions with an inline cut sheet press and robotic arm book production system incorporating Ricoh systems, plow fold book production with the new Horizon BBS-56 block making system for short to medium run book production, and cut and stack smart binding in collaboration with Hunkeler.

For litho a B1 folder, will deliver to a MiniCabs gatherer using an AGV robot. There will also be a Horizon StitchLiner Mark IV.

In total six robotic elements will be split between three systems moving work in progress from one station to the next production unit and three robot arms loading the next machine or loading a pallet.

Exploring these technologies and more will be four stand tours. They will cover smart book solution, workflow and latest products, new focused systems, and new conventional systems. There will also be tours on partner stands Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, and HP.

Eric Keane, IFS Managing Director, comments: “Horizon’s newest evolutions and portfolio developments are focused on delivering streamlined and smooth end to end production with minimal human touchpoints. This drives the most productive processes while reducing the demand on skilled staff freeing them up to focus on areas where they can have greater positive operational impact.”