Nanographic Printing: Tweaking Toward PerfectionNovember 2013 By Erik Cagle, Senior Editor
Meeting Benny Landa for the first time may be as fascinating as learning about the latest technology he's promoting. That the father of digital printing is a genius nonpareil is unquestionable. As for the charges he is an unrepentant self-promoter and a showman...in truth, he brings more substance and less flash to the table.
Landa displayed the latter two character traits on this warm early September evening on the eve of PRINT 13 as he passed around samples of his Nanographic printing technology to a host of editors, analysts and other industry pundits between the appetizers and the main course at ZED451 in Chicago. Indeed, Landa marveled with curiosity at the samples being floated, analyzing and appreciating them much like an ornithologist would rave over spotting a rare, scissor-tailed Flycatcher, or a philatelist would beam over finding an inverted Jenny on cover stamp.
This is Landa's most curious quality. His soft voice is filled with wonderment and discovery, as if he is somehow detached from the Nanographic printing technology and just so happened to stumble upon it in his back yard. The man certainly needs to work on his self-absorption and gloating, but for now, with his game-changing press only at 85 percent quality in relation to offset printing, the touchdown dance lessons can wait. He's gunning for 100 percent.
Team Landa boasts more than 200 engineers working on the Landa S10FC and S10C Nanographic printing presses, the long-awaited "game changers" that now have beta test shipping dates—fourth quarter of 2014 for the S10FC (folding carton, shown left) version and the first half of 2015 for the commercial (S10C) model. Judging by the samples that were distributed in Chicago during PRINT 13, the press has made substantial leaps and bounds in production quality since its drupa 2012 debut.
Landa notes that significant changes were made in several areas, including the image processing software, the ink ejectors, the resolution (bumped to 1,200 dpi) and the gray levels used. Following drupa, Team Landa went on a tour to get feedback from printers, and found there were a number of modifications needed, including putting the command console/cockpit at the output end of the machine.
The Landa Operator Cockpit provides the operator with touchscreen press controls, job management tools, video feeds from all key press functions, production-related vital signs and a lighted inspection table. A number of other suggestions were implemented, including the addition of an in-line coating unit that allows for flood and selective coating.