Landa nanography revolution delayed

When Benny Landa unveiled his nanographic printing presses at last year’s drupa, many people, including myself, felt that his intention of having a machine ready for commercial sales within the first half of next year was over ambitious, given the samples then available.
So it’s not surprising that Landa has now announced that he has fallen behind schedule, with the first betas now likely to be around the end of 2014 and commercial sales towards the middle of 2015. The samples that I’ve seen since drupa have shown signs of improvement, and this seems like a more realistic target.
The Kyocera printheads that were shown at Drupa have now been updated for the next generation, and offer higher resolution of 1200 dpi. Gerry Mulvaney, Landa’s European salesman, says that Landa is still working on the screening and estimates that the print quality is now about 85 percent completed.
Landa claims that much of the delay is down to the presses being reconfigured. The iconic touchscreens on the side of the presses have now been replaced with a new Cockpit concept at the end of the press. Mulvaney explains: “Operators made the point that they spent a lot of time around the delivery end of the press so that’s where they would expect the workstation to be.”
Landa has worked with Komori on the paper transport system, which has been upgraded and will now handle transparent substrates and plastics as well as papers and carton board up to 400 microns.
There’s also a new inline coater option, likely to be the same unit that Komori currently offers. This uses flexo plates so can handle both spot and flood coating and will work with aqueous and UV coatings. Landa has said that in the future he would use one of the nanographic heads for coating but that’s likely to be some way off for now.
Landa is to concentrate on getting the B1 sheetfed presses out first, since they were the most popular. Of these, the folding carton variant is likely to be the first, simply because it’s easier to make a simplex press. However, the perfecting version for commercial work won’t be far behind, with the B1 web fed press being a little bit later.
The first beta sites will be in the US and Europe, with Germany and the UK likely to be the first sites in Europe, partly for logistical reasons and because those countries have seen the most interest.
Despite the delay, the Landa presses will still be out before those from the offset manufacturers that have partnered with Landa, though none of these wanted to comment on a timetable.
Landa has confirmed that around 430 companies have so far signed Letters of Intent, with deposits of around £10,000. Some of the original customers have dropped out, but others have replaced them, though Mulvaney says that anyone signing up after Drupa has had to pay extra. This number is significant because it means that Landa already has customers lined up, unlike any of the other presses still in development.

The B1-sized S10 folding carton variant with the new Cockpit control station.
The B1-sized S10 folding carton variant with the new Cockpit control station.

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