Technology blog to take the pulse of the finishing industry
Finishing is where it’s at these days—in my opinion, it’s the final frontier on the path to total process automation. What I’ve found in my research over the years is that there are so many outstanding product offerings out there, and just about every one of them is high-tech and high-quality. These days it’s the details and feature sets that will determine which product is right for you.
That’s where my idea for this blog began. I was at PRINT 09 and stopped at all of my favorite finishing machine manufacturer’s booths and I saw so many neat things that were exciting and innovative from a technological standpoint, however usually the smaller details were not the focus, rather, the entire system was the focus. I wanted to start a blog that brings the “cool stuff” to the forefront, and reinforces the excitement that is happening in finishing. I am very pleased to post my first entry to my new blog and I plan to bring a lot of interesting information to your attention in the coming months. The first “cool technology” I’d like to share is something that caught my attention at the PRINT 09 show.
Standard Horizon AFC-566 Folder Features Handheld Remote Control
Horizon has put as much effort as any supplier in the postpress arena into developing and refining the operator interface for maximum ease-of-use and so less-experienced operators can achieve high-quality results. The intelligent, icon-based color touchscreen controls found on all Horizon folders, binders, trimmers and saddlestitchers is one example. Horizon has now taken its ease-of-use philosophy a step further with a wireless remote control for the popular AFC-566 production folder.
This handy new device frees operators from the control panel, so they can tend more than one machine, or inch the folder through an adjustment while inspecting an area that isn't close-by the operations panel. The remote control is equipped with basic stop/start function buttons, and a rotary trackwheel for deeper levels of control.
Standard Horizon’s National Sales Manager George Vergilis frequently speaks with operators in the field and he says the remote is getting rave reviews. For example, if some sheets were cut inconsistently and the operator notices a fold has floated out-of register, he can make an immediate adjustment using the remote without stopping the system and losing production time.
The remote is even magnetized so that it can be placed in convenient reach wherever the operator happens to be working — and when the machine is running, operators generally spend most of their time at the exit-end (off-loading the stacker, checking quality, boxing, etc), and not at the control panel. One could imagine how this would be a definite time saver and convenience feature.
For all of the Negative Nancies out there who are thinking, “Yeah, but how much does it cost?,” I have good news. I was sure this would be an a la carte accessory, but I received confirmation that the remote is a standard accessory that comes with the machine. Bonus!
Just a thought, but I wonder if there’s ever a fight over possession of the remote? I guess as long as a sporting event isn’t involved, it’s probably not an issue.
For more information about the Standard Horizon AFC-566 Folder, please click here.
Trish Witkowski is Chief Folding Fanatic at the online community foldfactory.com. She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design and a master of science degree in Graphic Arts Publishing from Rochester Institute of Technology's School of Printing Management and Sciences (now the School of Print Media).
An award-winning designer, Trish held the position of creative director for a Baltimore-based agency for six years, and has taught design and desktop publishing at the college level. She has a specialized expertise in the area of folding and is the creator of the FOLDRite™ system, a 2004 GATF InterTech™ Technology Award winner.
Trish frequently publishes articles for graphic arts industry publications, and has written three books on the topic of folding: A Field Guide to Folding, Folding for the Graphic Arts: A Teacher's Handbook, and FOLD: The Professional's Guide to Folding.