Nanographic Printing: Tweaking Toward Perfection
Is there a substance Nanographic printing can't handle? "I suppose Teflon would be trouble for us," he says, breaking into a smile. Even geniuses allow themselves a joke from time to time.
The automatic paper handling system supports paper and plastic substrates and accelerates the changeover to new substrates while maximizing uptime, without stopping to replace the paper stack. Auxiliary delivery trays will enable operators to automatically collect proofs without interrupting the normal production process.
The beauty of the Nanographic printing process, the magic of it, Landa observes, is its ability to adhere to any substrate because the ink never actually touches the substrate. The Landa ink becomes an extremely thin, plastic film that then gets laminated onto the paper fibers. The paper's fibers—whether they're smooth and non-absorbent or rough and absorbent—are inconsequential.
"The latitude of the printing process is extremely broad," he says. "We have a robust process that can pretty much print onto anything, and that should give everyone a feeling of great comfort. There's nothing sensitive or critical about the conditions for printing, for transfer. You don't have to coat or treat any substrates."
From a dollars and cents standpoint, whereas digital excels in very short runs (under 1,000) and offset is most profitable in very long runs (10,000-plus), Landa feels Nanography will bridge the profitability gap. The cost per page is cheaper, he contends, simply because there is less material being laid down on the sheet.
"Over time, you will find digital printing penetrating deeper and deeper into mainstream printing," Landa notes. "Ultimately, there won't be room for mechanical printing, because of the overwhelming benefits of being able to do it digitally. The economics aren't there yet to do run lengths of hundreds of thousands, or even tens of thousands (digitally), but it will be. Especially in packaging. This is an industry that is not going to go away."