By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
Telling an Israeli that they cannot do something is unlikely to achieve the expected result. The same applies to telling them they cannot do something within a given timescale. Telling an Israeli that something is impossible just sets a challenge that has to be overcome. These are the immediate lessons that I have learned from my recent trip to the Landa head office and factory in Rehovot just south of Tel Aviv.
The lessons start on the ride in from the airport. Modern three lane motorways built where desert and scrub existed less than sixty years ago. Skyscraper office blocks and high-tech Industrial parks sitting alongside them, demonstrating the relentless Israeli drive in taking their country into the 21st century.
It is a good introduction to the energy and exuberance that is found everywhere in Israel, as befits a young country, wrested from control of us Brits in 1948 and surrounded by generally hostile neighbours.
Arriving in Tel Aviv is an eye-opener. This place is more laid back, liberal and cosmopolitan than I expected and very much like many other European cities. If only I had the energy and stamina of my youth I might have joined the Israeli and other nationalities staying up until the early hours enjoying the buzz and the nightlife!
As it was, I needed all my energy for the four days in the labs and offices of Landa Digital Printing in Rehovot. Going behind the scenes was a real eye-opener, even for me who had worked closely in Germany with the team last year at Drupa where we unveiled our large format printing solutions powered by Nanography®.
Seeing at first hand the investment in technology, research and expertise that Benny has made in Landa Labs was a fantastic experience. I would love to tell you all about the research into nanotechnology and some of the discoveries they are making, but Benny made it clear that circumcision would be the punishment for revealing anything. Actually my Hebrew is non-existent, so it could have been a similar but more radical operation that he was describing!
The same applies to Landa Digital Printing, now occupying a stand-alone site in another part of Rehovot. There have been enormous strides since Drupa – as those of you who have been lucky enough to see recent print samples can testify. I saw significant developments in print quality and substrates that owed their results to those same Israeli qualities that make technology leaders in many high-tech markets. Things that couldn’t be done are now being done, in timescales that I would have thought were unrealistic. And certain things I would have said were impossible, I saw with my very own eyes!: a large format digital printing press will no longer be a fantasy of folding carton converters who are looking to print smaller, more customised runs.
But really this should be no surprise. As David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister said, “In Israel, in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.”