Star product: Horizon SmartStacker
By Melanie Defries Friday, 10 August 2012
According to the manufacturer, this slitter and stacker has been designed with the needs of the growing B2 digital market in mind
What is it and when was it launched?
The slitter and stacker was developed specifically to run inline with the HP Indigo 10000 digital B2 press, but can also be used as a near-line system with other B2 digital sheetfed presses. It is being distributed in the UK by Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS).
The SmartStacker was launched at Drupa and will be commercially available next year.
What does it do?
The SmartStacker converts digitally printed B2 sheets into sets, book blocks or individual sheets ready for downstream processing with no manual input or guillotine attachment.
Sheets can be slit up to seven times in one direction and four in the other, all with gutters and bleed, to create up to 28 sub-sheets at a minimum size of A6. After the slitting process, the individual elements are collated into the correct sequence at an ‘intelligent’ merging station.
The SmartStacker can handle paper stock from 65gsm to 400gsm and can be programmed manually via an HD touchscreen panel.
It can be integrated with a range of Horizon systems for downstream applications including the StitchLiner 6000D, StitchLiner 5500 and the SPF/FC200L landscape A4 book production line along with Horizon AF/FC automated folding machines and perfect binding systems, such as the BQ-270 and BQ-470.
Who is it aimed at?
According to Yoshihiro Oe, Horizon International’s general export manager, the SmartStacker is aimed at commercial digital printers that are investing in B2-format digital presses and who require a downstream handling and converting solution that is dedicated to the B2 market.
"Previously, commercial digital printers typically worked with machines intended for SRA3, so the equipment required to finish the documents was relatively straightforward," he explains.
"With B2-format, it’s a different story – each sheet can contain a complex imposition of pages or sub-sheets and each job may comprise any number of sheets. This requires a different process to maximise the power of digital finishing."
"The SmartStacker eliminates the conventional guillotine cutting and signature folding processes and automates downstream processes for the B2 digital print market," adds Oe.
What is its USP?
"HP Indigo developed its 10000 digital press to change the B2 print sector from offset to digital in the mainstream commercial print market, but realised that the 10000 could not achieve this on its own," says Oe. "They realised that the finishing process needed to be changed to complement the B2-format digital press and the Horizon SmartStacker was developed to deliver that change. Also, Horizon was able to create the SmartStacker with the requirements of every kind of downstream operation factored in."
Among the system’s features, which were developed by Horizon in collaboration with HP, is a Finishing Line Controller which communicates between the SmartStacker and Indigo 10000 for a fully automated JDF set-up.
This allows the machine to automatically set itself to the requirements of incoming sheets, to the extent that it can pick out and eject planned-in blank pages or sub-sheets that are not required for the end-product’s pagination.
How fast is it?
The SmartStacker incorporates a dual-pass conveyor to achieve a maximum production speed of 4,500sph.
How easy is it to use?
According to IFS, the SmartStacker, which is based on the icon-prompted touchscreen technology used throughout Horizon’s range of post-press equipment, is user-friendly. Full training is nonetheless provided.
Max speed 4,500sph
Max sheet size 530x760mm
Max substrate thickness 400gsm
Price To be confirmed
Contact Intelligent Finishing Systems 020 8997 8053, www.ifsl.uk.com
There are currently no direct alternatives to the Horizon SmartStacker that can handle B2 sheets directly. However, also catering to the mid- to high-volume production digital presses market is Duplo’s DC-745, a versatile cutting, slitting and creasing machine.
The DC-745 can perform up to 10 slits, 20 cuts and 15 creases all in one pass and has additional finishing options, such as micro-perfing; perfing both edges and
on-off perfing. It is operated from a PC controller and can produce an array of finished products including business cards, greetings cards, photogift products and general business marketing collateral. Up to four independently controlled tools can be used, which enables users to switch easily between combinations of scoring, perforating, micro-perforating and slit-scoring.
Max speed 3,000sph (A4, four-trim and crease)
Max sheet size 370x999mm
Max substrate thickness 350gsm
Contact Duplo International 01932 468131, www.duplouk.com
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