Etay Harpak is the first press operator to be trained on a Landa S10. Read all about Etay’s experience training up, working with Landa, operating the press, and his thoughts about the future.
What is your role in the company?
I’m the first operator of our new Landa S10 press. My background is in offset prepress where I worked for ten years including two years when I was implementing special projects within the Company.
How do you feel about being chosen to operate the press and how is the training going?
It’s very exciting to be the first Landa operator in the world! Here at Graphica we see digital printing as increasingly important in the future of our business. My training is going well, yet I still have a lot to learn. I have an extensive background in prepress and in-depth knowledge in offset printing, but with the Landa, I’m learning about digital printing and about a new press at the same time.
How do you find working with the press so far?
I’m having lots of fun! The press is still in beta, so not everything is optimal yet, but I see the progress that we are making and it’s encouraging and promising. The Landa operator cockpit with its touchscreen really simplifies my job. It gives me full control of the press, and makes it easy to operate. It’s also very exciting seeing the new business opportunities that the press will open up for us once we have completed the beta.
What is it like working with the Landa team?
It’s a great relationship with the Landa team. Good chemistry with good people. I feel they are fully committed to our success which gives me confidence that I have the support infrastructure when I need it. It’s very much a dialogue with the team. As I am the first operator to be trained, I see as part of my role giving feedback not only on the press but also the training processes, so they can be refined for future customers.
Are you producing jobs?
Yes. Initially we did lots of testing on different substrates and types of jobs. Now we’re focusing on jobs that require shorter runs for promotions and exhibitions for our bigger customers. These are the types of jobs that we couldn’t do at all in the past. We’re also testing more high-end packaging jobs like cosmetics packaging, which is a perfect fit for the Landa. In the coming months in addition to driving new types of jobs, we expect to be ready to print longer runs on the Landa S10 with higher efficiency than on our offset machines.
What is the feedback you are getting from your customers?
First and foremost, they’re very excited about the quality – especially the sharpness of the images and the richness of the colors. They’re excited about the digital possibilities, such as short runs and variable data. And with our biggest clients, we’ve started working on new types of jobs that fit the Landa machine; these are jobs that they can’t do anywhere else. They particularly love the proofing capabilities because we can now show them a proof which looks like the final product – we can print the proof with the graphics on the actual substrate that we will be using for the actual job. There are some jobs where we agree with our customers that the quality is not yet perfect, but these are topics that the Landa team are aware of and are resolving as part of the beta process.
Can you compare Nanography to offset in terms of results?
There are several obvious advantages of the Landa technology. Firstly, the colors on the Landa are definitely more alive and vivid, they really pop out of the sheets. The whole process is far more efficient: the sheets are dry right after printing, giving us the flexibility to move them to finishing more quickly. We are on the way to eliminating set up time, and we will significantly reduce waste as the first sheet comes out right. Because we are working with the same format as we do with our offset presses, the press fits seamlessly into our plant layout and we’re able to use all the same finishing equipment – foiling, embossing, cutting, creasing, UV silk screen, lamination – as we use for our offset today. This makes the adoption process very easy for the Graphica team.
How important for you is innovation and implementing new technologies?
I think it’s critical in our industry to innovate continually, and to find ways to offer our customers solutions that can differentiate us from our competitors. And of course, we’re always looking for anything that can make us more efficient, flexible, faster and reduce our own internal costs.
How many people at Graphica have been trained to be certified Landa operators?
At the moment it’s just me and one other colleague. But when we are able to add more shifts, as with our offset presses, and hopefully in the future add more Landa presses, clearly we’ll need to train more people.