Drupa Starts in Style: Landa Intros Web & Sheet Digital Presses

By Dr. Dene Taylor, On Print Contributor

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY | Drupa has certainly started in dramatic style. Benny Landa introduced his company Landa Corp.’s family of Nanographic web and sheet digital presses, intended to complement offset short to mid-run length printing.

Landa has done an excellent job integrating a number of technologies, and taking some of them to new levels. It seems that everything has been well thought through. The job is not complete though—there’s another year's work before commercial release, which is expected in the second half of 2013. Nevertheless, in spite of being prototypes, the machines on display are highly functional.

Landa has partnered with press builders. The S7 B2 sheet press was assembled with Komori. But the print engine, the controls, and the design are Landa. Partnering has value, not just in development, but also in the market because printers will be able to buy machines developed by manufacturers they already know and respect.

Speed is impressive at 12,000 sheets/hr for the S7 B2 format press and 200 m/min for the web presses.

Image generation is by aqueous inkjet but not by direct to substrate which is the major handicap of the technology. Instead, the image is formed in reverse on a transfer belt, then each color in sequence is dried so that only the resin containing the nano-sized pigment remains. By forming on a belt with known and consistent surface properties, dot control reportedly can be better managed. The image dot at that point is a highly colored thin themoplastic disc and gets transferred to the substrate in a hot nip. The advantage is obvious—the ink is a discrete layer at the substrate surface, with high adhesion but little penetration.

Landa’s press looks like the type of press that will get inkjet into the packaging market, not just folding carton but flexible too.

I’ll have more to say on digital presses for packaging over the next few days.

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