Landa @ drupa: Another chance to change the world

noelward

Well-known member
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends! Get your popcorn at the door, come on in, come on in! It is once again time for the most amazing show, you really have to see it, rock and roll, rock and roll!


That was the vibe from Landa Group at drupa 2012, replete with edgy theatrical performances and giant banners hung on every available surface throughout Messe Dusseldorf. It was impossible avoid the messaging, even if one didn’t venture into Hall 9 where the flashy new presses were showcased in a blaze of bright lights and punched up music.

Disruptive Marketing
Benny Landa, the irrepressible visionary and inimitable showman of print, threw down a gauntlet with his message of nanographic technology and set out to again distort reality with a line of presses that would (of course!) change the landscape of the industry. The seven machines shown in 2012 were impressive, visually compelling, and provoked endless discussion about the technology and the distribution models. Mr. Landa went so far as to take orders granting would-be early adopters a place in line so they could be among the first to install the nascent technology.

Since then, print providers, industry journalists, analysts, and assorted pundits have been quick to criticize Mr. Landa and his showmanship, not recognizing, perhaps, that much of it was really a strategy of disruptive marketing. This is a proven approach intended to draw attention away from competitors and entice a few prospects to wait for the promised presses to be available. Other companies–in technology and automotive industries–do the same thing, albeit with less lead time and showmanship. And now, four years later, Mr. Landa has a significant segment of the print industry waiting to see exactly what he has going on and when it will be ready to buy.

Which was the whole idea. And in a few weeks we’ll get a first-hand look at the new machines coming out of Landa Group’s campus in Rehovat, Israel..

B1. And be Fast
A significant portion of the past four years on that campus have been spent working closely with nearly 100 print providers to fully understand how their businesses run and specifically what they would need–and not need–in a high-end digital press. This led to numerous substantial changes and even complete revisions in the development of the presses and their imaging technology. One need that rose to the top was size, which is why one of the stars at the Landa Group stand in Hall 9 will be a sheetfed B1 size press (707mm x 1000mm or 27.8 x 39.4 inches) running at 13,000 sheets per hour.

Four other machines will include two S-series presses, one for folding cartons and one for Point of Purchase displays. There’ll also be a sheet-fed perfecting commercial press; the W10, a one-meter wide, 8-color web press that can print on plastic packaging films; and the sheetfed B1 press. All of them, notes Mr. Landa, are designed to run at 13,000 sheets per hour, although not all will be running that fast at drupa. The company will also unveil Nano-Metallography, a zero-waste metallization technology claimed to halve the cost of metallized printing compared to foil transfer processes.

The theater–there has to be a theater–will hold presentations five times a day for the duration of drupa. Seats are likely to fill up fast, so if you’re heading to Dusseldorf make your reservation in advance at www.landanano.com/drupa. Seats are subject to availability, and may also be booked at kiosks in the Landa stand, but it’s best to get in line now. I’m already slotted in for 10:30 AM on the opening day of the show.

My Take
The overarching message we’re seeing is that Landa Group’s new machines can deliver the nirvana of digital printing–digital presses sporting offset quality printing on any paper stock at speeds that rival offset presses. This has never been attained, but now could actually be possible. The liquid toner technology used in Landa presses is unlike that of any other devices on the market and if it delivers the promised speed and image quality, could be the breakthrough that really does change how a larger volume of printing is done.

There are a lot of variables in the mix, and the reality distortion that comes with any trade show, especially drupa, must be factored in. But no matter how you look at it, the presses of Benny Landa are a must-see. Mr. Landa has a history of changing the landscape of printing, and with these presses it is entirely possible he can do it again. When I see what he and his teams come up with, I think of how Steve Jobs once said that he wanted to make a dent in the universe. And he did just that. Benny Landa has a habit of doing the same.
 

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noelward

Well-known member
No, kansasquaker, not a paid post--sorry to disappoint! It's just my opinion.

And yeah, Priceline, it will be interesting to see what old Benny has cooked up. I've known him since about 1996, and have never done any business with him, Indigo, HP, or Landa.

The problem with these shows is that every vendor has a blank slate to say anything, and while I am fortunate to sometimes see behind the curtain and look at what is going on, that's not always the case and I have to relate what I hear, know and think.

But what I see and know is that Benny has a knack for seeing a new way of doing things.... and capitalizing on it. He pretty much developed liquid toner, and did well licensing it to a bunch of companies, then expanding it to 4 colors with Indigo. And that sure wasn't perfect. I know the stories from the guys who pulled the trigger on Indigo too soon. Being on the bleeding edge is not for the timid. Not for me.

The new nanotech stuff contains more than a little bit of hype, but that's mostly marketing, as I stated in the original post. Anyone with a reasonably refined BS detector knows that. But the actual technology does hold a lot of promise. I really don't care what they call it, or even how the ink or toner or whatever it is gets stuck to the page. What's important is whether printers can make money with whatever technology they choose. In my opinion, this latest from Landa Group has some promise. I really don't expect it to deliver all of the promises made at drupa--at least not for some time. But it will likely move things forward, just as the liquid toner from Xeikon will, and some other things we'll see at drupa.

So just curious... How many digital presses do you have, how do you use them, and how much pain have you had to endure to get to where you are with those beasts?
 

kansasquaker

Well-known member
No, kansasquaker, not a paid post--sorry to disappoint! It's just my opinion.

Haha, sorry. I really didn't mean to be a jerk and I'm not disappointed! Your post just wasn't as skeptical as most and that sort of thing does happen a lot. (most of the time people don't declare they're being compensated which IMO is completely unethical) Since that truly is your opinion, it carries more weight than it would otherwise.

To answer your question, we currently have one digital press, a Kodak Nexpress. Although, we've had a number of Xerox devices over the years, the last one being an iGen. Our Nexpress is only two years old and it has been truly painless. But the platform has been around for a long time, so I'm sure other people way back when helped them work the bugs out. I can't say our experiences with Xerox were painless, but for the most part their machines performed pretty much as promised.
 

kinni88

Well-known member
Is there enough demand for printed paper to pay millions for a new press? The short run is king right now. To buy an expensive press means you have to feed the beast. If I were Landa I would be targeting most of my efforts into flexpack or labeling.
 

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