DL&P’s technical editor interviewed Benny Landa to hear about the launch of the first nanography press in 2014

The hot news about Landa’s nanography presses is that the first launch will be for carton converters in the form of the S10CF model, which will be brought to market in the last quarter of 2014.

While this is behind the original schedule, Benny Landa was unapologetic when he spoke to DL&P’s technical editor, Sean Smyth, saying, ‘I have made mistakes, but one that I am not prepared to repeat is to launch a new technology before it is ready.’ This was said in reference to the first Indigo machines that appeared 20 years ago, explained Sean, who agreed that the technology was not finalised then, but that users learned the capabilities and pushed the barriers forward, opening new opportunities and creating a new market for colour digital printing.

As regards the nanography technology, Landa has now greatly improved the quality from the indirect inkjet printing process, most of the inkjet faults and artefacts have been overcome while detail and vibrancy is much improved through the use of higher resolution ink ejectors, now 1200 dpi up from 600 dpi with improved ink and control systems. The latest samples do look pretty good, particularly in detail on a range of stocks with no treatment. For packaging, the ink technology has passed FDA food packaging tests, there should be no concerns as the ingredients are not present on any of the exclusion lists.

The company originally took over 400 letters of intent to buy, together with a deposit. Interestingly, 40% of these were in labels and packaging. The first machine to come to market will be the S10CF, a B1 machine for cartons that will include an inline analogue coating system with flexo plates/blankets for UV or water-based coatings with a speed of 6,500 sheets per hour.

The base model will be a four colour press, with options to add further units to broaden the colour gamut or to increase the speed. The press design has changed, to make it easier to use for operators with the big display screens now moved to the delivery, as a control cockpit that includes a personal screen for the operator to personalise, with displays from internal cameras to check the press operation. There is a job management screen and delivery control. These changes have been made following 120 customer site visits. ‘We want to pamper the operators, who are too often overlooked by many equipment suppliers. We want to do for printing presses what the John Deere Company did for tractor drivers, to provide a high quality working environment. We feel this will be a key factor in achieving high productivity’, said Mr Landa.

The first installations should be this time next year. After the carton press, Landa plans to launch a perfecting version for commercial applications and then the W10 for flexible packaging, which should be coming to the market in 2015. This will have a 1,050 mm print width and a speed of some 80 m/min in the base model.

As ever Benny Landa is enthused and optimistic. His company has made impressive progress since the launch last year at drupa, the quality has improved significantly and the press design looks to be more practical, while maintaining the futuristic feel. If the economics stack up, there will be a new press name in many carton producers and packaging converters in the near future.