Tech Watch: Horizon iCE StitchLiner Mark IV Saddlestitcher

Edited by Erin La Row, editor, PostPress

Standard Finishing Systems, located in Andover, Massachusetts, combines scoring, folding, saddlestitching and trimming into one system with its third-generation Horizon iCE StitchLiner Mark IV Saddlestitcher. Compared to previous generations of StitchLiners, the Mark IV features more automation; customizable machine status indicator lights; easier system access points for operators and technicians; more flexible configuration options
for both offset and digital output; improvements to key areas like feeding, scoring and jogging; and built-in connectivity for Horizon’s iCE LiNK.

“The Mark IV StitchLiner was designed with variable thickness booklet production in mind,”
said Don Dubuque, director of marketing for Standard Finishing. Stitch length, balance adjustment, registration guides, trim size and more all can be changed automatically during production, giving print providers the ability to run a wide range of booklet applications on the Mark IV without being slowed down by manual changeovers.

“Achieving true variable production has been a challenge for print providers running booklet applications. Downtime during changeovers is costly, and manual changeovers require skilled labor that is hard to find in this market,” Dubuque said. “By automating this process and optimizing the machine to produce high-quality booklets across thicknesses and substrates, the Mark IV reduces those costly changeovers and lets operators work more efficiently without requiring advanced skill sets.”

The Mark IV can run at speeds of up to 6,000 booklets per hour for A4 portrait applications and up to 5,300 books per hour for A4 landscape applications. It can maintain these production speeds while in variable thickness mode or even when cover sheets are being inserted.

The system’s scoring function reduces cracking on the spine and allows for a tighter fold across all booklet sizes. Depending on the substrate, the gap and scoring pressure can be adjusted for consistent scoring quality. The sheet-alignment section of the Mark IV features 4-directional jogging for a tighter jog and more accurate alignment across stocks. Improvements to Mark IV’s transport system also allow for stable sheet transport across substrates, even for coated sheets. Additionally, the feeding end can be configured for offset or digital print output and can be integrated with Horizon VAC series collators and
the HOF-400 high-speed sheet-feeder.

The Mark IV also is iCE LiNK ready. iCE LiNK is Horizon’s cloud-based information and diagnostics tool that allows for production management across multiple finishing devices to provide a higher level of operational efficiency by offering items like KPI capture to verify productivity, preventative maintenance alerts, job scheduling and seamless workflow
for job changeover.

Dubuque said customer response to the Mark IV during product demonstrations at Standard Finishing’s National Demonstration Center in Andover, Massachusetts, has been positive, and several customers already have placed orders.

“Horizon’s StitchLiner Mark III was one of our most popular solutions, and customers are excited to see the changes Horizon made for the Mark IV,” Dubuque said. “It’s a machine
built for today’s print environment.”