Horizon Smart Factory set to launch

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Horizon’s annual Smart Factory event is set to go live online next week and will feature demos of its latest machines, many of which were due to be launched at Drupa, in live production scenarios with digital engines from the major vendors.

The new Horizon BQ-500 will be one of the many new machines put through its paces
The new Horizon BQ-500 will be one of the many new machines put through its paces

Starting on Wednesday 28 October and running Wednesday to Friday for two weeks, the event will feature themed days, with live 60-minute demos broadcast from the Horizon Innovation Park in Kyoto, Japan, at midnight and 7am UK time (9am and 4pm JST).

The English language sessions will be recorded and available on-demand to pre-registered individuals in the days following the live broadcast. Registration is open now.

Themes include cutsheet connectivity, book production, Drupa launches and workflow and will feature Horizon’s full range of finishing kit hooked up to print engines from the likes of Canon, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Screen and Xerox as well demos featuring litho output from RMGT.

Jason Seaber, technical sales director of Horizon’s UK agent IFS, said: “The Horizon Smart Factory 2020 event is a must-see for any company looking to improve their production efficiencies with reduced costs."

This was echoed by IFS managing director Eric Keane, who described the event as “essential viewing for all printers who are serious about staying competitive in what will be even tougher market conditions in print over the coming years”.

“Automation, automation, automation is the key. Reduced machine touchpoints, one person operation, fastest and automated setup, high running speeds and accurate quality output… these are essential ingredients for success,” he said.

“Those who invest now in print finishing automation will be the printers who get ahead, win new business and be profitable and successful.”

Keane said that in addition to next week’s flagship event at Horizon HQ in Japan, it also hosted a similar ‘Finishing First’ at its European demo centre near Hamburg earlier this month. The European event featured sessions in various languages, with the two English language sessions viewed by around 500 customers. The sessions are now also available on-demand.

IFS is hosting around five virtual one-to-one deep-dive demos at the centre every week, according to Keane, with the recordings then made available to the companies involved for further review.

“Following the HSF event in Japan the Horizon Innovation Park team will also open up the [HIP] centre for individual customer live, online demonstrations,” he said.

“We have never before had this sort of capacity to undertake such a high volume of customer demonstrations. Covid has changed everything and fast forwarded this sort of facility by five years.”

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