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Landa’s Nanography press is finally beta tested

The much-heralded break-through from Landa, using the Israeli inventor’s nanography system, is nearing the end of its beta testing phase and it seems could finally deliver on its potential and promise.

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Landa’s long-awaited press is being beta tested in Israel

The firm’s B1 format sheetfed S10 Nanographic model has been set up at the packaging printer, Graphica Bezalel, in order to commercially trial the press and sort out any final glitches before marketing it to the wider print world.

Benny Landa’s nanography features ultra-small ink droplets fired at a heated blanket, which dries the ink into an ultra-thin polymeric film, which is then pressed onto the paper being printed. The droplets are a tenth of the size of normal inkjet particles, which are diluted with water at the print shop meaning less weight when transporting the ink.

According to Landa, the process not only uses much smaller dots than offset but extends the range of colours and improves the print quality. It can also be used on all forms of substrates and increases the speed of printing as: “the combination of Landa Nano Ink and the Nanographic printing process, allows digital production at up to 13,000 B1 sheets per hour for sheetfed and 656 feet per minute for web-fed presses.”

the combination of Landa Nano Ink and the Nanographic printing process, allows digital production at up to 13,000 B1 sheets per hour for sheetfed and 656 feet per minute for web-fed presses

Not everyone is convinced however, as the journey from conception to commercial viability has been slow. As one sceptic remarked on a print industry forum: “Five years since the ‘launch’ and counting; 46 slick videos announcing the new print technology; no machines sold; no commercial print printed."

Sceptics will point out the fact that Landa’s Nanographic press was heralded at Drupa 2012, with a high-profile launch and considerable media interest. Within weeks the system underwent a major redesign and overhaul due to technical issues meaning there were inevitable delays. Now that the press is finally being beta tested, the industry is waiting to see the results. Landa has promised to beta test the system in America soon and the UK next year. If things go awry then Landa’s digital print and litho-digital hybrid manufacturers will breathe a sigh of relief. If it works, then 2018 could be a very interesting year in the development of the printing press begun by Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg back in 1439.

Ben Zion Landa was born in Poland in 1946 just after the Second World War but his family emigrated to Canada soon afterwards. His father was an inventor working in the photographic industry and Benny soon followed in his footsteps. He invented the Indigo print system, which he sold to Hewlett Packard and used the funds to set up the Landa Group and to pioneer nanotechnology.

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