Horizon HOF-400 High Output Feeder

Feed Precollated Sets Into Horizon Finishing

The HOF-400 is a powerful piece of machinery. HOF stands for High Output Feeder and this machine is a feeder module. It is compatible with a wide variety of Horizon finishing equipment. Basically, it allows for the use of precollated sets with high end automated finishing equipment? Why does this matter? What’s the point? Read on to find out!

Collating towers have served this industry for many years. When all printing came from printing presses that was how collating had to be done. Today with a growing majority of work coming from digital print engines that do the collating upstream, there’s a growing need for finishing solutions that take advantage of this widescale change in printing production.

Precollated input simplifies the bookletmaking process and eliminates an entire step in the bindery department. It also adds a new suite of capabilities that simply weren’t possible before. Things like variable data books or variable thickness books were not even possible without precollating the input. The HOF-400 is a specialized piece of equipment that can reliably feed sheets at an astonishing rate. It will feed these sets with a high degree of reliability and trustworthy error detection. The speeds required to match the capabilities of systems like the Mark III are very high and the HOF-400 can easily operate at these higher rates without any failures.

Precollating vs Uncollated

HOF-400 Flexible Applications

The modularity of the Horizon finishing systems is unmatched in the industry. In the image below there are three examples of how the equipment can be configured to match the exact needs of each user. The HOF-400 can be used with or without VAC series collating towers. Some users still need the flexibility of bringing in uncollated work from active pressrooms. Others are entirely digital and have no need for towers at all. Other items are available like stackers, trimmers, slitting units, cameras, cover feeders, etc.

Horizon Finishing Modules

  • Saddlestiching Bookletmaker (Portrait or Landscape)
  • 2 or 4 Hohner Stitcher Heads
  • Cover Feeder
  • Face Trimmer
  • Head & Foot Slitting
  • Up to 6 VAC Collating Towers
  • Camera Integrity Verification Systems
  • In-Line Stacker
  • Reverse Stacker
  • Envelope Insertion Kit
  • 4th & 5th Knife sometimes called Gutter Knife (2-up Books)
HOF Configurations for Bookletmaking

HOF-400 Modular Design

The HOF-400 is part of a modular design approach by Horizon. The HOF-400 can be used as a system’s only feeder or it can be placed inline with collating towers. This provides the flexibility of finishing traditional work or precollated sets from the digital department. A HOF or Collator Tower can be added later as a business operation grows and needs expand.

The HOF-400 is a late generation high output feeder. This item has been in the Horizon product line for more than 10 years and the latest refresh of the design brings it to another level of productivity, reliability, and speed.

HOF-400 with SPF-200L Bookletmaker

HOF-400 New Capabilities 📑

When the work is precollated there are suddenly new production possibilities that couldn’t be done before. Whenever our process changes it’s a good time to re-evaluate what is even possible because there are new capabilities here that are worth exploring:

  • Variable Data Books: When the work is precollated it is possible for every book to be different. Each recipient can receive a book with content tailored specifically to them. This is powerful for marketing teams and also something useful for custom data packets in the financial or legal sectors.
  • Variable Thickness Books: The HOF-400 has an optical mark recognition (OMR) feature. This OMR reader can be triggered with special marks printed in the trim on the first and last book of a set. This means that when doing variable data books we can deliver different page count books on the fly!

iCE LiNK is a cloud-based workflow management system that allows you to manage production across multiple finishing devices to provide a higher level of production efficiency. With iCE LiNK, you can monitor and collect machine data in real time. iCE LiNK can also provide KPI analysis, PM schedule/alerts, JDF/JMF Workflow, scheduling, job creation, editing, and more. 

This software acts as a conductor to the process of cutting a job. It uses smart algorithms to keep a registered edge and handle stacks appropriately to create the best possible end product. It will write a cut program that has all of the tricks and tips that an experienced cutter operator would use. This allows for inexperienced operators to use the machine with confidence and without making any mistakes.

  • Increase up-time: Use iCE LiNK to get updates about parts that need replacement or to schedule preventative maintenance based on your unique production levels to significantly reduce costly, unexpected downtime.
  • In-depth analysis: With real-time data and detailed visual graphs, you can easily analyze your production process to find inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and more.
  • Compatibility: Not only can you access iCE LiNK from anywhere using the cloud, but iCE LiNK is also compatible with all Horizon equipment that are operated using pXnet.
  • Choose your iCE LiNK: With iCE LiNK, there is no need to invest in a JDF workflow if it isn’t a fit for your production environment. You can simply use iCE LiNK’s Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities to monitor your equipment and production. Coming in 2021, you will be able choose between several iCE LiNK subscription packages to fit your business’s specific
iCE LiNK Data Flow Chart
iCE LiNK on a tablet showing machine status
iCE LiNK video demo