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BREAKING THROUGH THE INKJET PRESS BARRIERS

Wednesday, 23 December 2015 | By Bob Boucher, Senior Copywriter
 

Johannes Guttenberg portraitLet’s take a high-speed trip through the history of printing, say, in 50 words. Ready? Here goes. Woodblock printing kicked things off in 200 AD. It was followed a millennium or so later with moveable type (1040 AD) and the first printing press (circa 1440). Leapfrogging a few centuries, we witnessed the arrival of offset printing in 1875, Xerography (1938), inkjet printing (1951), and digital printing (1993).

 

Let’s take a high-speed trip through the history of printing, say, in 50 words. Ready? Here goes. Woodblock printing kicked things off in 200 AD. It was followed a millennium or so later with moveable type (1040 AD) and the first printing press (circa 1440). Leapfrogging a few centuries, we witnessed the arrival of offset printing in 1875, Xerography (1938), inkjet printing (1951), and digital printing (1993).

Some make the legitimate claim that, technologically, printing evolved a bit glacially from movable type for the next thousand years. Beginning in the 1950s, however, the relative pace of change for the industry grew to be relatively fast and furious.

Inkjet Press: Gains Have Been Steady, But Slow

Advances within digital printing have been fairly constant over the past 20 years; witness the growth in hands-off automation, increased speeds, better quality, etc. In the past two decades however, in terms of pages, the market share for digital printing has only inched its way up. The share continues to rise, certainly, but still at a somewhat sluggish rate.

One reason is that the prominent current digital print technology, inkjet printing, has yet to achieve true parity with its offset cousin. The breakeven point for inkjet is not quite where it should be. The quality is still a shade under the offset standard. The substrates are limited. In short, the economic model for inkjet continues to confine it to niche status within the overall industry.

Suffice it to say that digital printing – and printing in general – is due for a breakthrough.

Landa Nanography® Makes Its Case

Developed by Israel-based Landa Digital Printing, the Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press is the first digital press to incorporate Nanography®. It offers the quality, speed and cost of production printing, the flexibility of digital technology and the support for a limitless variety of off-the-shelf substrates, including B1 (41 in.) format, similar to offset and lithography.

In essence, Nanography® is pledging that print providers and converters no longer need to sacrifice either the versatility of digital printing or the economics and high productivity of offset. In one solution, Nanography® offers the best of both.

Nanography® is an innovative byproduct of nanotechnology – the science of ultra-small particles. Measured in billionths of a meter, nano-sized ink pigments have qualities unlike any other print process. Applied onto blankets by the billions, NanoInk® droplets produce offset quality and speeds that are beyond current digital technology.

Dot comparison: Inkjet press vs. Nanographic Printing® press

Looking at microscopic images, you can see the stark advantages of Nanography® dots compared to inkjet digital – in roundness, sharpness, uniformity and density. You can even see that Nanography dots have noticeably sharper edges than offset.

Ink dots printed by different technologies

Comparison of dot quality of different printing technologies

In the figure below, compare the dot thickness of Nanography®, inkjet, offset and other print technologies. The NanoInk® layers are the thinnest of the group and rest atop the substrate to both capture and reflect maximum color value. This unique characteristic is consistent across any substrate.

Ink dots thickness printed by different technologies

Comparison of the thickness of dots created by different printing technologies

Quick Dry Process Boosts Nanography® Throughput

Nanography® also differs from inkjet in its ink application process. As illustrated below, inkjet sprays wet ink directly on a pretreated paper. The inkjet substrate must be pretreated and super absorbent, and it still needs time to dry once coming off the press.

Nanography® ejects droplets onto a blanket, where the ink dries immediately. Only then is the ink applied to the media – again, any substrate – which enables unlimited sheet coverage, lower cost per image, faster throughput and higher productivity.

Illustration of inkjet press and Nanographic press printing processes

Comparison of inkjet press process and Nanographic Printing® press process

With the signature advantages of both digital and offset, Nanography® is poised to write the next chapter in the proud history of printing.


Image source:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Anonymous_portrait_of_Johannes_Gutenberg_dated_1440,_Gutenberg_Museum.JPG

 
 
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