Clinical Print Finishers has installed a Horizon AF406F folder, its second Horizon folder from IFS. The machine joins a line up of 40 folders at the Leicester print finisher and will handle shorter run work more effectively than some of the larger folders thanks to the high levels of automation included in the all-buckle folder.
“We needed something a bit more automated,” says managing director Jamie Court, “and perhaps requiring a lesser level of skill.”
It joins a Horizon AFC566F folder that IFS installed in December last year. In the 12 subsequent months the folder has proved its worth to the business and this delivered the confidence to return to Horizon for the second machine.
Both Court and chairman Alvin Brown visited the Horizon demo centre near Hamburg to put the machine through its paces. The machine is a 6+6 buckle folder operated through a touch screen with servo motors to position stops and rollers rapidly. “We really like the Score Navigator which sets the position of the scores within seconds rather than the time taken on more manual machines,” Court explains. “These are the sorts of things that make a big difference when we are asked to handle runs of perhaps 200-300 copies for a smaller printer. It’s all about reducing set up times.”
It also creates more capacity on the larger machines that were designed for complex pharmaceutical work which take longer to make ready and are suited to longer run work. While the volume of pharma work has dropped, the trade finisher is handling an increasing volume of work, including small format jobs and a lot of Z fold work.
“We have had the AFC566F for a year and it has run really well,” says Court. “We need the new machine to handle more complex folding and the automatic adjustment will make a big difference to us.”
The Horizons join a line up comprised mostly of German built MBO and H+H folders which have handled the multi-fold complex work. However, the lead time for these build to order machines has been pushed out to 26 weeks. Says Court: “That is simply too long. Any project we might want it for will have been long gone by then.”
Jamie Court and chairman Alvin Brown visited Horizon's European demo centre in Hamburg to put the AF406 through its paces before committing to the order for the folder that has now been installed at its Leicester factory.