When introducing Nanography® for the first time, I’m often asked, “How is your technology different from conventional inkjet presses – after all it uses inkjet heads to lay down the ink?” It is worth taking a few moments to fully explain the fundamental difference between the two processes because it is precisely this difference that endows Nanography with its unique properties.
The conventional inkjet process is a direct printing process. A direct process has the following disadvantages:
- Since the ink is ejected directly onto the paper surface from the inkjet nozzles, the water in the ink is wicked into the paper surface. This weakens the material and therefore restricts the ink coverage, making more absorbent materials unsuitable for printing.
- As the ink spreads along the paper fibres, it reduces the sharpness of the dot edges and the vibrancy of the colours is reduced. To get bright, deep colours, you need to use more ink, which returns us to the first challenge.
- The wet ink needs to dry on the sheet before any further finishing processes can take place.
All in all, these characteristics restrict the use of inkjet to certain types of applications, such as transactional printing where the ink coverage is relatively low and where high-quality printing is less important. While this is a sizeable niche market, it is still a niche market.
Benny Landa realised that limitations render the conventional inkjet process unsuitable for mainstream printing. To overcome these challenges, he designed Nanography as an indirect printing process in which the ink image would be fully created on a special blanket and then transferred onto a substrate.
So how does it work? The Nanographic Printing® process employs a heated blanket onto which the NanoInk® particles are ejected, as well as warm air dryers above the blanket. As the ink droplets hit the blanket they start to dry, the water is evaporated and a very thin layer, some 500 nanometres in thickness, is formed on the blanket surface. Each colour is laid down onto the blanket in sequence and a dry, warm composite laminated layer of NanoInk is then transferred by the impression cylinder onto the substrate.
The technology behind Landa’s Nanographic Printing®
This use of the intermediate blanket is the key feature, and along with the patented NanoInk, differentiates Nanography from conventional inkjet.
This method of image transfer reduces the limitations of the conventional inkjet process. It ensures that a very wide range of substrates can be imaged including uncoated untreated paper and boards, as well as a wide range of plastic and metallic substrates.
Comparing Nanographic Printing® with inkjet printing
Nanography is a Game-Changing Printing Technology
Nanography’s very high image resolution and quality, wide colour gamut, broad range of usable substrates and lowest overall cost of print, are all benefits derived from the combination of NanoInk and the Nanographic Printing process.
Benny Landa and his team have come up with a significantly different process using water-based nano-particle inks. This new game-changing printing technology is being deployed across the range of sheetfed and webfed presses from Landa Digital Printing.