Horizon SmartStacker gets Drupa preview with B2 Indigo

The advent of the B2 digital printing press for commercial jobbing applications
requires a radical new approach to downstream conversion and finishing processes.

Unlike the A3 and B3 formats, the vast majority of work at B2 involves multiple paginations planned for folding into signatures for gathering, or cutting into blocks for collating, and the conventional systems developed for higher volume litho operations run counter to digital’s ambitions for infinite flexibility, zero waste and instant completion.

Horizon International, represented in Ireland by newly appointed dealer for IFS, Portman Graphics, has developed the system that converts complex B2 digitally-printed sheets into sets, book blocks or individual sheets and presents them ready for downstream processing – and all with no heavy-duty guillotine, no cumbersome folders or gatherers and without any manual intervention whatever.

Horizon developed SmartStacker to complement the new HP Indigo 10000 digital B2 flagship and both systems are world launched on the HP stand D60 in Hall 4 at drupa.
SmartStacker feeds B2 sheets (max: 530 x 760 mm), registers and slits up to seven sections in one direction and four in the other (all with gutters/bleed) to create up to 28 pages/sub-sheets (ie down to A6).

The individual elements are then collated into the correct sequence at an intelligent merging station, which incorporates a dual pass conveyor to achieve maximum production speeds. Although the system can be programmed via an HD touchscreen, the system is JDF-ready which means it can automatically set itself to the requirements of the incoming sheets – even to the point where it can pick out and eject planned-in blank pages/sub-sheets not required for the end-product’s pagination. Stock range is between 65 – 400 gsm.
 SmartStackeris available as an on-line solution exclusively with the new Indigo or, with high-pile sheet feeder, as an off-line stand-alone system from Intelligent Finishing Systems.

Bryan Godwyn, IFS joint managing director comments: “With B2 digital printing now a commercial reality it is vital that print operations have finishing solutions that ensure their high quality, fast turnaround print is completed efficiently and on time.
SmartStacker has been created specifically to meet this need and to reduce costs while improving productivity and profit. SmartStacker removes labour and touch-points and improves efficiency. It also moves the business argument on from simple cost-per-page to cost per finished document. I believe it is a mould-breaking solution that will become the first name on the team sheet in any B2 digital press owner’s post production line-up.”
The Horizon SmartStacker is targeted for a mid 2013 release; the purchase price has yet to be set.