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How to Inspire the Next Generation of Printers

Monday, 21 July 2014 | By Gerry Mulvaney


By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

News that a supercomputer has been able to fool experts into thinking it was a 13 year old boy and pass the Alan Turing test of artificial intelligence is a reminder of how fast technology is changing and will continue to shape our lives and workplaces. Technology has certainly had a big impact on the printing industry where I have seen many changes since I first joined it in 1976.

In those days it was a very male dominated, craft based industry. Skills were handed down from father to son and a five year apprenticeship was the normal way you got a job at a printer. Many of those jobs had existed for years. Typesetters working with a tray of metal letters and compositors who used the mechanical systems from linotype and monotype were the kings in the business and earned the top salaries. Running a printing press was heavy manual labour requiring several men and finishing was still a hands-on process where guillotine operators in possession of all ten digits were a rarity!

Many of the old jobs in the industry no longer exist. Compositors, camera operators, planners and platemakers have all disappeared and so the careers that people expected to enjoy for life are no longer there.

Instead the roles have changed and now we have designers working with Apple computers, prepress and computer to plate operators and workflow managers. All careers can now be taken up by people of either sex with good computer skills.

It is no good hanging on to the old skills when they are no longer relevant and the industry has moved on. In fact these new roles are well paid and enjoyable – as well as being much less labour-intensive than the “old” days. Benny Landa has played a major role in this transformation of the printing industry – first with his Indigo technology and now with the Nanographic Printing® process.

Nanography® Brings a 21st Century Touch (screen) to Printing

We recently enjoyed a visit from young Italian printers to our plant in Rehovot, Israel, organised by Assografici, the Italian Industry body keen to see what the future holds. The Young Entrepreneurs Group of Assografici is made up of second and third generations of family-run Italian printers. The group sponsors company tours and visits to manufacturers allowing the next generation of business owners to examine the latest technology and ensure they have new skills required for the digital age. Naturally they wanted to see what progress Benny Landa had made since drupa and were given a tour of the Landa laboratories, manufacturing facilities and the assembly areas.

Assografici visit to Landa Digital Printing

The young entrepreneurs of Assografici visit Landa for a taste of the exciting future of print

In my experience the minute an ambitious young person stands in front of a Landa Digital Press, they will be enthused and excited by what they see. The Landa Nanographic Printing® Press is like no other!, with the cockpit area, touchscreen controls and video interface, creating a 21st century working environment. The young men and women brought to Israel by Assografici certainly thought so, and will no doubt be taking their enthusiasm back to their family businesses in Italy.

Image source (lobby):

Landa S10 - Printing Press