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To Boldly Go Where No Printing Press Has Gone Before

Monday, 30 June 2014 | By Gerry Mulvaney

 

By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing

As a member of the Star Trek generation, the adventures of Captain James Kirk, Commander Spock and the crew of the Starship Enterprise were a highlight of my week’s teenage TV viewing. I would watch awestruck at some of the technology they used, like the handheld communicators and tricorder mapping system which have turned into today’s reality of smartphones and Google Earth. It seemed so futuristic at the time.

My sense of wonderment was rekindled recently in the Landa facilities in Rehovot, when I stepped into a full size working mock-up of the Landa Cockpit, which will be the control centre for the new Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press currently under construction.

It will no doubt create competition amongst press operators to take control of the new press when it arrives at their premises. Just about everything in the press operator’s role has been scrutinised by Landa’s development team and the cockpit control centre has been tailored specifically for the new era of Nanographic digital printing.

Swipe, RIP, Print – At Your Fingertips

For a start, the large touchscreen that wowed everyone at drupa has been repositioned and divided into two parts on either side of the cockpit. In the centre of the cockpit are four monitor screens that provide a view of 11 cameras strategically positioned around the printing press. Another camera faces the operator enabling video conferencing with Landa’s 24/7 support centre in Israel. Daylight lamps illuminate the inspection table from above and below and the table has drawers containing all the necessary tools to turn the cockpit into the operators’ personal office space. Cupboards below the table provide personal storage space as well as housing the Landa Digital Front End and other computer control systems. The cockpit will be located alongside the delivery pile of the press, which in turn will have a large print counter and ancillary controls.

Landa Printing Press Cockpit vs. Star Trek cockpit
Spot the Difference. Which of these cockpits does printing?

Stepping into the cockpit was like taking control of the Starship Enterprise and it was all I could do to resist shouting “Beam me up Scottie” when the Landa technician brought it to life. The left hand screen of the cockpit is the place where the press status is displayed and controlled, while the right hand side screen shows the job queue and the timeline for the shift. Prefer it the other way round? A swipe of the fingers and… the screens are reversed.

Digital job tickets can be opened amended and moved about in the queue with a couple of swipes. All areas of the printing press can be monitored with the cameras and any press faults are immediately highlighted to the operator and watching call centre team in Israel. The four key Indicators of paper delivery, ink reservoirs, job run length and paper feed are shown in large displays in front of the operator, as well as in duplicate on an auxiliary tablet computer for convenience.

The cockpit will operate in many different languages, but Klingon will not be one of them.


Image source for lobby and middle right: http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/GraphicCity/news/?a=78071

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