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Landa – delivery of 1st nano presses

Wednesday, 22 February 2017
By Patrick Howard

Patrick Howard met with Benny Landa at the Rehovot plant in Israel to see the Nanography presses at work.

Selling off metallography patents and IP to German partner Altana frees up the Israeli company to focus on delivering its groundbreaking Nanography presses to market this northern summer.

During an overnight phone call, Benny Landa affirmed that the sale of the metallography foiling technology that he first showed at drupa last year is a good strategic move. “It’s an intrinsically analogue process. They’re already in that market and are better positioned than us to pervade it with the technology. It allows us to focus all our energy and resources on digital,” he said.

The sale is a vindication of the innovative process that provides an alternative to foil-transfer processes, enabling metallization graphics at up to half the cost of conventional foil stamping. Shown at drupa as a technology demo it was initially targeted at the label market.

“drupa was an information gathering practice. We wanted to test what customers wanted and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Since then we’ve developed the mirror-like effect in collaboration with Altana. It’s clear they have the capability to develop it further,” he said.

Altana will house the new technology in its Actega Coatings & Sealants division.

The Landa focus now is entirely on delivering his Nanography presses to the beta customers announced at last year’s drupa. Three presses shown on the stand last year covering different sectors, packaging and folding cartons (S10), commercial printing (S10P), and flexible packaging (W10) will be delivered in six-month intervals. The S10 will be first for the packaging market, although parallel development of all presses continues apace. Landa would not say who would get the first press.

“We’ve been running the beta machines 24/7 since drupa, getting a lot of mileage up and we’re on schedule to deliver this summer. We’re making great progress, the print is extremely high quality. I’m very pleased with it. We won’t ship presses to customers until they’re ready. We have so many orders. We want the presses to be completely reliable before they’re delivered. We’re doing this slow and steady,” he said.

He acknowledges the experience with his sometime precipitous Indigo launch in the early 1990s has made him a little more cautious. “First time around we got a black eye, copped a lot of criticism. We won’t do it twice. We’re going ahead extremely cautiously, into beta production, then ramping up production relatively slow and steady. This Benny Landa is very different from the young man in his 30s. This one has scars on his back; he’s not going to do it again.”

The five years that have passed since he first announced his Nanography presses at drupa 2012 have made him even more confident that he’s on the right track. “I find it most interesting that the window we identified for the technology has not closed in that time. If anything it’s widened. The B1 market is what everyone wants to get into. Our customers have shown tremendous patience, confidence and faith in the technology. No one is cancelling their orders; they may be buying other digital presses in order to stay in the game but they’re not cancelling.

“I find that a great reassurance,” said Landa. “We have no competitors nipping at our heels.”

 

 

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