drupa Theme Takes ‘Nanographic’ Turn –Michelson
There was a great deal of anticipation about Benny Landa and the debut of his Nanographic Printing process among the trade press and industry pundits leading up to drupa 2012. After all, Landa has a well-earned reputation as a charismatic showman and marketer based on the glitzy introduction of the Indigo E-Print 1000 digital color printing press at the Ipex show in 1993, followed two years later by the unveiling of the Omnius press, which could digitally print on cans, bottles and other packaging surfaces. They marked the culmination of his pioneering R&D efforts that began in 1977, and earned Landa the title as the “father of digital offset printing.” In 2001, he sold Indigo N.V. to HP and, flush with cash, then founded Landa Corp. in 2002.
Fast-forward to last month’s drupa exhibition in Germany. Throughout the show, Landa starred in five daily presentations within Landa Corp.’s 300-seat theater. Entitled “Nano. Bigger Than You Think,” the slick program incorporated provocative dancers, video on a huge monitor and even a nano-sized Benny Landa.
Not trumpeting Indigo ElectroInk this time around, Landa’s new lexicon of “game-changing” technology is the development of nanometer-sized NanoInk pigments and, hence, the Landa Nanographic Printing process. He contends it will transform the mainstream commercial printing, packaging and publishing markets. (More detailed information about the technology itself appears in this issue within our post-drupa coverage.)
Landa Corp. unveiled (and was taking deposits at drupa for orders) its own family of six—sheeted and web—Nanographic Printing presses, which are expected to ship in late 2013. But, unlike the business model of his Indigo venture, Benny Landa caught industry watchers off-guard with his strategy of also licensing Nanographic Printing technology to other press manufacturers. So far, Heidelberg, Komori and manroland sheetfed have signed on—with more vendors likely to follow.
I attended hardly a press conference where Benny Landa’s development wasn’t addressed in the exhibitor presentations or followup Q&A sessions. In what was initially heralded to be the “Inkjet Printing drupa,” Nanography raced to the forefront in what seemed like a nanosecond.
Mark T. Michelson