Horizon unveils next event as bounce back begins

Darryl Danielli
Thursday, June 17, 2021

Horizon is to host its next annual Smart Factory Event in October under the banner of connectable automation, while its exclusive UK agent has warned firms against leaving it too long to invest.

The 10,000sqm Horizon Innovation Park opened last year
The 10,000sqm Horizon Innovation Park opened last year

The five-day Smart Factory Event 2021 virtual event will be hosted from the post-press manufacturer’s new Horizon Innovation Park [HIP] in Japan from 18-22 October 2021.

While the manufacturer will be revealing more details closer to the event, as well as well as showing its own latest products and various technology demonstrations, the event will also feature a raft of industry partners, many of which Horizon said would be showing “world debuts”.

Confirmed collaborators so far include: Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Miyakoshi, Ricoh, Ryobi MHI, and Screen.

While in-person attendance will be possible, dependent on international travel restrictions, the event has been designed to run virtually and the various demos and presentations will be live-streamed to registered attendees as well as being available for on-demand viewing.

“Virtual events have come on so much in the past year and with the amazing resources at the HIP it will be a fantastic event,” said Eric Keane, managing director of Horizon’s UK agent IFS.

While he said it was too soon to talk about the products that may be featured in this year’s event, he was confident that there would many new innovations.

“While I don’t know right now, I think it’s safe to say ‘do expect some’,” Keane said.
“Horizon is on a constant journey of evolving it’s products, so there’s always the likelihood of something new, or new levels of automation at these events – it’s their mantra after all.”

Last year’s event, which was attended by more than 2,500 delegates, was the launchpad for a number of new products including the flagship Horizon BQ-500 binder, with the UK leading the field in Europe in terms of orders – including the UK-first integration at CPI Group's new production site in partnership with Wiley

According to Keane, as more UK markets bounce back, a lot of pent-up investment activity that was understandably on hold in 2020 is now coming through.

“We’ve probably taken more orders in the past six weeks than we sold in the whole of the year [2020]. And that’s orders to be installed from between August and the end of the year.”

He also said that as the various global economies open up, with so much pent up activity across so many sectors it was inevitable there could be order backlogs in the second half of the year.

“I think we’ll see lead times getting longer across the board, and I don’t think that will be unique to us,” he noted.

He said that his message to companies looking to invest was buy now, especially if they want the capex to be offset against corporation tax in this financial year.

“Because it will get to January/February and there will be a queue of people wanting to do it and they won’t be able to get the capital investment they need, installed, invoiced and offset by the end of March [2022].”

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