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How Digital Printing Can Create an Industry Renaissance

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By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

Sitting in a London cab with Benny Landa and Guy Gecht – CEO of EFI, for the forty minute journey to IPEX 2014 was an exhausting experience. These guys have so much energy, ideas and innovation it just sparks off them and leaves you breathless in their wake. I got a special preview of what was to come and the audience at the IPEX World Print Summit got the same feeling judging by the response to their presentation and chat, hosted by the venerable Frank Romano.

  Benny Landa speaking at IPEX 2014 Benny Landa speaking at IPEX 2014

Every seat was taken and it was standing room only as they debated whether print was doomed or on the verge of a digital renaissance. The applause at the end was deafening and with good reason.

Benny chose to highlight the impact of technology on our lives, in particular the work going on into research into nanotechnology. He explained we are on the verge of a revolution in energy, medicine, computers and our homes as an outcome of the ability to reduce materials to the size of around 100 nanometres. This reduction changes their properties and enables science to come up with new uses, ranging from delivering medicines, isolating cancer cells, generating power, 3D printing and changing our lives in ways we have yet to discover.

Landa Labs in Israel is in the forefront of this development and Benny was naturally proud about their achievements to date.

POP/POS and Packaging Printing are Thriving

Of course at IPEX 2014, Nanography® technology was what the audience was most interested in. And Benny didn’t disappoint. He told them that packaging was a growing market and print is thriving in the retail markets. Over 70% of retail purchase decisions are made in store and so point-of-sale and display materials which influence those decisions are hugely valuable tools to retailers. This is an area that will hugely benefit from the digital printing qualities of Nanography.

Guy had spent the week prior to IPEX travelling in Europe meeting his customers, and his message was that far from being doomed, the print renaissance was well underway.

Customers were reporting growth in both value and margins as the recession started to fade – and he made another very interesting point: most of the print businesses in Europe are family businesses, often third or fourth generation, and these companies are used to regularly investing in new technology and taking risks. The close knit nature of their management teams made the decision making easier and previous experience guided them to the right sort of investments.

Digital is adding value to the printed page according to Guy. And although page volumes are falling in some sectors such as publishing and newspapers, what is left will have greater value.

His belief was that print businesses had to focus on five things: big data, imaging of things (3D printing), digital printing and long term relationships.

At the end of another stimulating forty minutes, the audience had seen what I had learned in that cab ride earlier – print is far from dead and the renaissance is already well underway.

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