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The Landa show dazzles at drupa

Wednesday, 01 June 2016
By Andy McCourt

The Landa press conference at drupa 2016

Benny Landa has done it again at drupa2016. Emerging from a cloud of smoke from a space time capsule; beaming from one side of the stage to the other like Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, he treated guests to a show worthy of a Hollywood production.

The master Nanotechnologist explained in fine detail the workings of his new process which builds around the remarkable properties of nano-particles. As a reminder, Landa Nanography uses water-based inks that are initially inkjetted onto a receptor belt. By the time the images are applied to the substrate, it is an ultra-thin layer of dye that is virtually ‘laminated’ to the surface of the substrate and not a deep-penetrating wet image as used by every other inkjet process.

The Landa press conference

This means speed (13,000 B1 sheets per hour simplex or 200 metres per minute on the web models), and ultra-high definition colour on any substrate, without the need to pre-treat or use coated media. On top of this Landa claims the lowest cost per digital page and the most environmentally-friendly and de-inkable process of any digital method.

The claims were backed by customer endorsements, with beta sites being rolled out at four sites plus giant US magazine printer Quad/Graphics planning to use Landa Nanography as its digital platform of the future, plus an order for 20 presses from Cimpress.

“Landa Nanography has the potential to disrupt the publication market, marrying the power of modern digital technology with today’s market needs for highly versioned short-run publications,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO of Quad/Graphics. “We are proud to be partnering with Landa to advance cost-competitive digital print technology for the publication market.”

Benny Landa at drupa 2016

Cimpress, better known in Australia as VistaPrint, will take 20 S10 B1 presses when deliverable from 2017. President Robert Keane said: “Cimpress looks forward to deploying Landa Nanography because we see it as a breakthrough technology that could enable us to transform our mainstream printing that we currently produce with offset presses. It is uniquely suited to a global technology and manufacturing-driven company like our own,” he continued: “We aggregate, via the Internet, large volumes of individually customized orders for a broad spectrum of print, signage, and other products. Nanography combines quality, speed, substrate-independence and print cost to create a major competitive advantage.”

Landa S10P at drupa 2016

Looking at a ‘Nan-slide’

When the Cimpress order is rolled out, it will most likely be the largest digital press technology order so far since Landa first launched Indigo in 1993. This could mean that the estimated 2.7% of the word’s print that is digital could start to accelerate exponentially as offset and other digital processes are displaced by Nanography. A big supposition but all of the evidence is pointing to a ‘nan-slide’ of Nanography once production is ramped up and orders fulfilled from 2017. “It took decades for Indigo to be developed, brought to market and refined,” said Landa, “and look at it now.”

The other S10 B1 press beta sites are Elanders of Sweden, a global packaging printer; Imagine!, the leading US POP and display printer, and Baiersbronn, Germany’s leading folding carton printer.

Two big advantages of Nanography will appeal to quality and environmentally-conscious printers.

1)    The ink is shipped as a concentrate and water added at site via a plumbing/de-ionizing system. Normal town water is used.
2)     Because the inkjet print heads eject onto a moving belt, which then applies the image to the substrate, a) printheads are more reliable and block less frequently as there is no paper dust and fibre close by and b) No ink is wasted – it’s 100% image.

The press range shown at drupa2016 is narrower than that previewed in 2012, with B1 and 40” web the main focal points. The W10P press is aimed specifically at publishing print as it is a perfector and will be available from late 2017. This is the main interest of Quad/Graphics.  All presses have the futuristic ‘cockpit’ control of touch-sensitive screens that will appeal to Gen x and Y iPad generations.

A Metalography Nano module, designed to work inline on any flexo, screen, offset or gravure narrow web press also being shown, aimed at the packaging market, where foil-like embellishment is applied with metallic NanoInk, saving masses of waste from heat-applied foiling.

Former Indigo and HP Indigo honcho Michael Mogridge was on hand for Asia-Pacific and ANZ customers, beaming like a Cheshire cat at being back at the sharp end of the digital spear. “It’s and incredibly exciting time,” he said, “to be back with digital technology such as this is a rare privilege indeed.”

So, as Benny Landa disappeared in a smoky haze of pixelated beamed particles, (to celebrate his 70th birthday), everyone knew it was all smoke and mirrors…for all the right reasons.






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