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Nano Bits. When Nano Meets Print.

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Of all the different departments that I saw on my recent visit to Rehovot, the one that we have jointly established with our digital front end (DFE) supplier EFI caught my attention. Here teams of software engineers from Landa Digital Printing and EFI are integrating and developing one of the fastest and most powerful DFEs in the market, ready for the beta testing of our B1 (41 in. /1,050 mm) format Landa S10 Nanographic Printing™ Press. Some of the brightest brains in the software business are working on this challenge. For me personally it was good to see our announcement of the partnership starting to bear fruit.

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As the world’s top soccer teams jet off to Brazil for the World Cup, I have been in Israel observing Landa’s team members at work close up. The similarities between the football players, coaches, staff and fans heading to Brazil on the one hand, and Benny Landa’s Nanographic Printing® technology team and our customers on the other hand, are striking.

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At exhibitions, conferences and customer meetings, I often get a request for a brochure on the Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses. Perhaps being asked for a brochure is surprising in this digital age, but it is a reflection of a wider need for a printed product. Of course it would be easy to offer a PDF version for them to download or perhaps even on a memory stick, but customers expect me to let them have a something physical that they can handle, something tactile that they can see, touch, and feel. The content is important but the memento of the occasion is the really important part.

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I have recently returned from my annual holiday to the beautiful west coast of Ireland and for the first time in a long time this year was very different. For a start there was not one drop of rain which must rate as a record for Mrs Mulvaney and me on an Irish holiday. However the biggest difference we saw was the resurgence of the Irish economy.

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If I tell you that my wife only ever turns her phone on when she wants to send a text or make a call and then turns it off again, you will see how staggering her conversion to her Kindle reader has been. From flatly refusing to use one last year, she has now become one of their biggest advocates. She reckons that when we travel, her book consumption has gone up at the same rate as our suitcase weight (now lightened by the lack of printed material) has gone down.

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Benny Landa’s next generation of Nanographic Printing® presses are going to provide a great opportunity for printers to improve their profit margins, but they will only achieve it if they educate their sales and marketing teams in the ways to do it. Rather than competing in a price driven, commodity market, the sales and marketing team will need to focus their efforts to show how the new technology can increase sales and profits of their customers.

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Sunday the 13th April found me in Greenwich Park, London at the unearthly hour of 7.30 am. I was there because it was the day of the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 and my youngest daughter was running in the race. Now six months ago she had not so much put a running shoe on but here she was with 26.2 miles in front of her – the 0.2 is incredibly important she says as it is the last few steps to the finish.

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Supermarket wars have broken out in the UK with Morrisons, the smallest of the dominant big four groups, announcing a permanent profits warning with their quarterly results and plans to take on the discount retailers like Aldi and Lidl in a price war. The recent period of austerity has changed the shopping habits of UK housewives and instead of doing a loyal and regular weekly shop at one of the big four, they are now shopping online and in local convenience stores, combined with visits to the German discounters. Morrisons CEO suggested that this change in habits is now permanent and he is redefining his strategy to take into account this new marketplace.

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Landa S10 - Printing Press