Revolutionary new printing technology unveiled at Drupa

Drupa, the world’s biggest printing industry trade fair, held every four years in Dusseldorf, Germany, wraps up today (17/5/12).

One exhibitor, Landa Corporation, proved to be the epicentre of the fair, and a constant scene of frenzied interest. The head of Landa Corporation is Benny Landa, an Israeli, who has been described as the Steve Jobs of printing.

In my opinion, it is not unreasonable to say that the technology unveiled at the Landa Corporation’s stand is as significant as Gutenberg’s press, over 500 years ago, the invention of lithographic (offset) printing, and the unveiling of the first digital press (also by Benny Landa), nearly twenty years ago.

In a nutshell, Benny Landa’s Nanographic technology is a new form of digital printing that makes digital competitive with offset for runs up to around 8000 (therefore most print runs). It can print on virtually anything, it can print a wider colour gamut than conventional offset, and it is environmentally friendly. Initial machines are being offered up to B1 in size (1000 x 707mm) as well as B2 (707 x 500mm) and B3 (500 x 353 mm) which overcomes the size limitation which is still an issue for digital printing.

I quote an article explaining Landa’s nanographis technology below. In a separate article, I quote an interview with Benny which proves considerably more detail that the article below, and which I highly recommend.

For now, however, I have one word of warning. I have either been to, or closely followed, Drupa trade shows and the largest English language trade show, IPEX, held in the UK, for 20 years. I have seen many dramatic and usually highly hyped up product announcements. Some have never come to commercial fruition (the A2 Indigo shown in 2000). Others have taken up to four years to come to market (the Xerox iGen shown in 2000). Benny Landa says his presses will be shipping in 2013. I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath. However, we will certainly want to be part of the action when production machines do start shipping.

Here is the article, which is an edited version of a press release issued by the Landa Corporation at Drupa.

LANDA UNVEILS GROUNDBREAKING NANOGRAPHIC PRINTING PROCESS

Rehovot, Israel, 2 April 2012 – Landa Corporation today announced the unveiling of NanographyTM, a new digital printing category.The Landa Nanographic PrintingTM process is a game-changing technology for mainstream commercial, packaging and publishing markets. At drupa 2012, the Company will unveil its new line-up of Nanographic sheetfed and web presses.

Led by the father of digital commercial printing, Benny Landa, who started the digital printing revolution in 1993 with the launch of the iconic Indigo digital press, Landa is now set to ignite the second digital revolution in print. Landa Nanographic Printing Presses offer the versatility of digital with the qualities and speed of offset printing – at unmatched cost-per-page.

“It’s good to be back,” says Benny Landa, Chairman and CEO. “The Landa Nanographic PrintingTM process is the result of ten years of nanotechnology research. It is a true breakthrough that enables our presses to achieve amazing results.”

Landa NanoInkTM

At the heart of the Nanographic Printing process is Landa NanoInkTM. Comprised of pigment particles only tens of nanometres in size (a human hair is about 100,000 nanometres wide), these nano-pigments are extremely powerful absorbers of light and enable unprecedented image qualities. Landa Nanographic Printing is characterized by ultra-sharp dots of extremely high uniformity, high gloss fidelity and the broadest CMYK colour gamut of any printing process.

Nanography – The Printing Process

The Landa Nanographic Printing process creates images of remarkable abrasion and scratch resistance. Most notably, it can print on any off-the-shelf substrate, from coated and uncoated paper stocks to recycled carton; from newsprint to plastic packaging films – all without requiring any kind of pre-treatment or special coating – and no post-drying. Adding to this cost benefit is the fact that Nanographic images are only 500 nanometres thick – about half the thickness of offset images – enabling Landa NanoInkTM to produce the lowest cost-per-page digital images in the industry. All of this from a water-based, energy-efficient and eco-friendly process.

Landa Nanographic Printing Presses

Landa Nanographic Printing Presses employ ink ejectors to create the digital ink images which get applied to the printing stock in a process that can operate at extremely high speeds. Each Landa press, which has an exceptionally small footprint, even when compared to other digital presses, can print in up to eight colours and can operate at 600 dpi or 1200 dpi resolution.

“Nanography is a truly ground-breaking development,” Landa stated. “At drupa, we will be unveiling a complete family of sheetfed and web presses. These include B3, B2 and B1 sheetfed perfecting presses which operate at up to 11,000 sheets per hour for commercial and packaging printing as well as web presses for publishing and flexible packaging that range in width from 52 cm to 104 cm and operate at up to 200 metres per minute. Such performance places Landa Nanographic Printing presses squarely in the heart of mainstream commercial printing. For the first time, commercial printers don’t have to choose between the versatility and short-run economics of digital printing and the low cost-per-page and high productivity of offset printing. Now they can have both.”

The Landa family of six Nanographic Printing presses will be of interest to commercial printers and packaging converters for applications that include general commercial printing, books, magazines, direct mail, labels, folding carton and flexible packaging for food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and more.

And from the Landa web site (http://www.landanano.com)

A short evolution of Nanography™

The worldwide digital explosion
We are surrounded by offset-printed goods that generate over $800 billion in annual revenue. But society is changing at computer speeds. Digital media is rapidly replacing many traditionally-printed products. What does this mean for the future of printing?

When it comes to digital, printing is no exception
Benny Landa’s visionary statement, “Everything that can become digital will become digital. Printing is no exception.”, has proven prophetic. There has been an explosion of digital printing devices of every kind. And digital printing has certainly experienced explosive growth, going from zero when Landa first introduced it in 1993, to a multi-billion dollar industry today.

But can digital printing go mainstream?
For the most part digital printing has only nibbled around the edges of mainstream printing. In order to really become mainstream, digital printing must be competitive with offset in terms of quality, speed and cost ‒ not to mention format size and the ability to print on virtually any kind of ordinary untreated paper.

Nanography™. Digital for mainstream.
Landa has developed a new category of digital printing: Nanography™. It combines quality, speed and cost with formats and paper types. It offers a winning formula that will transform printing into a fully digital industry.

The second digital printing revolution is underway!
Nanography™ has already gained wide recognition with industry leaders Komori, manroland sheetfed and Heidelberg on board. The second digital printing revolution has begun.

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