The Humble Origins of Digital Printing Technology
When he introduced Landa Nanographic Printing® technology at drupa 2012, Benny Landa unveiled several “firsts” to the print industry. Among them was the announcement that Landa Nanographic Printing® Presses would be the first digital production devices to support B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) media, the industry standard format for offset printing.
How Nanography® Broke the B1 Format Barrier
In the course of a decade of research, Landa observed that ink pigments, when reduced to nanometric scale, become unusually powerful colorants. On the basis of this discovery, Landa created Landa NanoInk® colorants containing ultra-small pigment particles that are tens of nanometers in size – about one-half the size of pigment particles used in offset ink.
Tiny Particles Causing a Big Revolution in Digital Printing
Landa’s new printing process was created to take advantage of the special properties of Landa NanoInk® colorants. By the billions, droplets of Landa NanoInk® are ejected onto a transfer blanket by ink ejectors mounted 1-2 mm from the blanket. As each ink droplet lands on the heated blanket, it spreads quickly. It immediately loses its water, becoming thinner in the process and forming a 500 nanometer thick, dry polymeric film.
A Tight Bond with B1 Format Substrates
One of the most important benefits of the Nanography® process and Landa NanoInk® is the extraordinary ability of the polymeric ink images to bond tightly with all paper and plastic printing substrates. Unlike other digital press technology, Nanography® can be used to print on any off-the-shelf B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) sheet or web substrates, including coated or uncoated paper – without any priming or pretreatment.
B1 Format Propels Digital Productivity
Now, imagine the implications of digital B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) support for a printing operation. First and foremost is the productivity. Printing on B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) format, which is twice as large as B2 media, the Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Presses reduce paper and production expenses compared to other digital printers. The presses also operate side by side with offset print equipment. No special rooms or environments are required, reducing costs and complexity and rendering activities like refilling paper and ink as simple as servicing other presses on your production floor.
A Welcome Change in Cost Structure
The Landa Nanographic Printing™ presses produce up to 6,500 B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) sheets per hour, boosting productivity five times that of other digital printing technologies. Nanography® is changing the cost structure associated with mainstream printing for commercial, folding carton, packaging, and publishing applications.
The entire process, in which B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) media support plays an important roll, offers print providers exclusive access to an elusive sweet spot of printing – profitable, medium length print runs. At Landa, the phenomenon is referred to as bridging a daunting “profitability gap” in printing.
The Landa S10 Nanographic Printing™ Press
The first commercially available printing press using Nanography® is the Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press, a B1 (41 in./1,050 mm) device supporting substrates of 60-400 gsm/70-460 microns/3pt - 18pt, or 200-800 microns for packaging. An inline coating unit applies aqueous /UV coatings and specialty colors onto the B1 (41 in./1,050 cm) sheet.
The Bottom Line
The Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press is the first digital device to deliver true mainstream production efficiency for print production. The high capital investment and operational costs for current B1 (41 in./1,050 mm) offset presses will also make Landa Nanography an attractive option for many print operations. With lower costs of entry versus traditional B1 offset presses and with no sacrifice of quality, business owners can deliver the mainstream applications that clients want, in the run lengths they demand, at the prices they are willing to pay.
While the trend in run lengths edges ever lower, to an approximate average of 5,000 pieces, neither offset nor current digital technology can deliver the job on a sustainable, profitable basis. The Landa S10 Nanographic Printing® Press answers the urgent call from customers with a solution that quickly closes that vast “profitability gap.” It’s arriving in the nick of time, literally and figuratively, for print service providers in search of new sources of profit and margin.